Customer Reviews


27 Reviews
5 star:
 (18)
4 star:
 (7)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written but not to be taken lightly!
The year is 1950-something. New York city. The scene is the toy department of Frankenberg's. Therese Belivet is staring into space, her toe is bleeding, her career in stage designing is nowhere near Broadway, she is not in love with her boyfriend, she has no family. Then she meets the completely mesmerising Mrs H. F. Aird, first name Carol, a customer looking at dolls as...
Published on 26 Sept. 2008 by Rowena Abdul Razak

versus
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gentle feel good lesbian love story
I bought this book because my name is carol, I had no idea what it was about.It is a lovely lesbian love story, I found it an easy to read story, quite gentle, the story unfolds slowly. However I did enjoy it and toward the end it did speed up with me wanting to find out if it ended the way I wanted it to. Unusual, well worth a read.set in the 50's I think
Published on 25 Feb. 2001 by bennieblue


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written but not to be taken lightly!, 26 Sept. 2008
By 
This review is from: Carol (Paperback)
The year is 1950-something. New York city. The scene is the toy department of Frankenberg's. Therese Belivet is staring into space, her toe is bleeding, her career in stage designing is nowhere near Broadway, she is not in love with her boyfriend, she has no family. Then she meets the completely mesmerising Mrs H. F. Aird, first name Carol, a customer looking at dolls as a present for her daughter. Therese attends her with as much professionalism as she can muster, but her heart is lost and when the woman has disappeared behind closed lift doors, she takes a chance and writes a Christmas card. Carol calls her to say thank you then proceeds to invite the impressionable Therese for lunch.

What happens next is a true adventure of the heart. It is as much as a growing up tale, as it is a love story. Carol is the divorced older woman who is given a chance to completely break free and throw caution to the wind. Therese is the young girl who has no real past but chances for an uncertain future with what may possibly be true love. Together, they give in to their desires: they answer the questions of their heart fully and unashamedly. But all is not well, and the fragility of love is put through the test of seperation and persecution.

The novel, initially published as A Price of Salt in 1951, is as undeniable read. In my opinion, it's a beautiful book to read on a rainy day, curled up in bed. It's carless and passionate. There's an amazing trip taken into the American heartland. It calls out to the adventurer and lover in us all. Give it a chance and take the trip down the heady and bubbly road of what we dare call love.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An astonishing Thought Provoking love story of 'First Love'., 25 Mar. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Carol (Paperback)
This was one of the most moving and thought provoking love stories of first love, I have ever read. It is totally immaterial that this is a lesbian love story as it could be a love story for any age or any time. But perhaps it is particularly brave because of the time when it was written and the context in which this was written. It is also a story of obsession, and a story of absent parental love and the effect that it has on the life of the main character - Therese and the tough choices she eventually makes. This is not a cliche ridden story, and has many facets, examining the effect that love for a member of ones own sex has upon what was then perhaps the typical male of the era (early fifties) when this was written. For a lonely young woman living alone in a world of what appears to be 'happy families' around her, tough decisions are made that affect not just her life but the lives of others too. It was extremely hard for me to put this book down, reading long into the night and savouring every line. As with all really good books, I was very sorry when I reached the end, despite reading as slowly as possible to spin the story out! If you wish to read a love story with a happy ending against the odds - then this is for you. Doubtless I shall return to this book many times. I do feel that I must mention here, this was only the second book of Patricia Highsmith's that I have read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing, even 50 years later!, 30 Jun. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Carol (Paperback)
For those familiar with Highsmith's more renowned tales of murder and intrigue, this has a refreshingly different theme, quite starkly autobiographical, and rather brave for the times it was written in. This was only her second novel, but already her distinctive style was already established - a crisp, compelling and no-nonsense style of writing that sets it apart.
Young Therese meets Carol, a customer at the doll department in Frankenbergs where she works. This fleeting encounter is described by Therese as a vision, a sudden realisation of one's desires in another. In this story, she and Carol meet, become friends and later on, become lovers during a road trip they take together right across America.
It is a very sensitively written portrayal of love, at a time when such relationships were considered degenerate and as Highsmith said herself, most fiction pertaining to the subject ended in dissolution and tragedy. Here was a refreshing outlook to a previously controversial subject, and her treatment of it was bold and wonderfully low-key, tasteful and un-sensationalist. For that reason, I think it deserves the 5 stars. I also like the depiction of personal revelations of love, which do not consider the usual, hackneyed questions of "Is this perverse?" but then later on, goes on to challenge the perceptions of the world and so-called respectable society.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dramatic feelings, 14 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Carol (Paperback)
Carol is a book that has been on my list of book I want to read for a long time, and luckily I wasn't disappointed.

Highsmith has created a very tender, but complicated, love story between two women in the 50s New York. Young artistic Therese and married woman Carol strike up a friendship that turns into a romantic road trip - only to be ruined by Carol's husband.

The writing is excellent. The dialogue rings true and the pacing feels right, even if the beginning is a bit slow. Highsmith is creating drama through her accurate descriptions of feelings and the outcome is never obvious.

Therese is in an open relationship with Richard, but doesn't love him as he thinks he loves her. She also gets attention from a scientist called Dannie and his brother Phil. Therese's mixed feelings about herself and her sexuality is described very well, especially towards the end of the book when she's attracted to an actress.

Today lesbianism is more accepted and it's an important insight to read about how difficult it was in the 50s.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars oh Carol..., 31 Mar. 2007
By 
RD - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
It was slow going at the beginning as I had to come to grips with Ms Highsmith's style of writing but once I got into it the story became rather enjoyable.

Therese is working in a dept store over the xmas period to earn a little money while she tries to get work as a set designer. One day she meets Carol who has come in to buy a doll for her daughter. She feels a connection immediately and boldly instigates communication outside of work. Very soon a stronger attraction and tension builds between the two but things are somewhat complicated.

Firstly, this is set in a time when being a lesbian wasn't something you wanted people to know. Then there's the fact that Carol is married and Therese is in a one-sided relationship (his side!).

They embark on a road trip together which soon leads to them acting on their feelings and a tentative relationship begins.

One of the things I like about this book is the depth of feeling. The love Therese has is an all consuming one and as her thoughts and emotions are laid bare you can't help but feel it to.

The ending is dramatic and emotive as one hurries through the pages to find out if they will have a happy ending. I haven't felt that kind of tension since reading 'Gone with the wind'. A fantastic piece of writing to finish off this book, certainly kept me gripped.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Passionate, haunting and - surprisingly - optimistic, 3 Jan. 2006
This review is from: Carol (Paperback)
A wonderful book. Knowing (but not liking all that much) some of Highsmith's other work I had certain reservations about this book. Or at least expected there to be a dead body or two (perhaps as part of yet another mournful ending for lesbians as was so common when the book was first published in the fifties). And there are certain elements that give it away as a Highsmith - particularly the intense atmosphere she creates. But ultimately this is a book about passion, about love and about working out who is "right" for you. It's lesbian treasure.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing and beautiful love story, 25 April 2004
By 
This review is from: Carol (Paperback)
This book has been published under a number of different titles and authors, being originally entitled "The Price of Salt" by Claire Morgan (a pseudonym Highsmith used). It is, quite simply, a remarkable novel.

This is the story of Therese, a young girl working in a department store,trying to scrape the money together to go away to Europe with her boyfriend. Their relationship is not exactly setting Therese's heart on fire, and one day she meets the fascinating and beautiful older woman Carol, and immediately falls in love. What follows is a thoughtful and mature study of a developing romance between two women.

Some might find the romantic sentiments a little over-the-top, but this is, for me, a 5-star novel. The characters' thoughts and emotions are convincingly conveyed and are at times, startlingly true-to-life. This book is all the more astonishing if we consider that it was first published in 1952. For that time, it was something very new and challenging and very much ahead of its time, and this last quality is something which makes it very relevant (and enjoyable) to read today. The dilemmas of Therese, a young woman expected by everyone to be in love with the man she is seeing, and Carol, an older married woman who has a young daughter and is in the process of separating from her husband, are just as relevant today.

Fans of the cold menace of Highsmith's crime novels e.g. "Strangers on a Train", "The Cry of the Owl" and the Ripley series may be disappointed by what is essentially a good-hearted love story, but "Carol" indicates Highsmith's broad talent and versatility as a writer. It is undoubtedly, not without its flaws but for its sheer spirit and mature approach, it has to be commended. If you have no desire to read a lesbian love story, then it's true that this is not the book for you. However, those interested in reading a slice of gay and lesbian fiction history (and a very entertaining and thought-provoking slice, at that) should check this one out.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ahead of it's time!, 3 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Carol (Paperback)
Bearing in mind the year this book was written, it was well ahead of its time - the author was obviously worldly wise. A beautifully written and heart moving book - brilliant! I can't stop thinking about the story nor its wonderful characters therein, a rarity these days.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've ever read., 10 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Carol (Paperback)
I don't think I've ever read a book that was so probing into sexuality and so upfront about a lesbian relationship without being explicit. A truly enjoyable novel whatever your sexuality.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gentle feel good lesbian love story, 25 Feb. 2001
By 
bennieblue (Cardiff South Wales) - See all my reviews
I bought this book because my name is carol, I had no idea what it was about.It is a lovely lesbian love story, I found it an easy to read story, quite gentle, the story unfolds slowly. However I did enjoy it and toward the end it did speed up with me wanting to find out if it ended the way I wanted it to. Unusual, well worth a read.set in the 50's I think
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Carol
Carol by Patricia Highsmith (Paperback - 7 Jun. 2010)
£7.19
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews