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Strangers on a Train by [Highsmith, Patricia]
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Strangers on a Train Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 289 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

An incredible study of psychological torture and how fine the membrane is between normality and the underlying darkness.--Tana French

Strangers on a Train is a moral-vertigo thriller: Crime and Punishment for a post-atomic age. --Tom Nolan

About the Author

Patricia Highsmith (1921 1995) was the author of more than twenty novels, including Strangers on a Train, The Price of Salt, The Blunderer and The Talented Mr. Ripley, as well as numerous short stories.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 761 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0393321983
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (17 Aug. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007Q6XIVO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
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Format: Hardcover
This book provides a lot of answers and the interesting part is it has also given you a lot of questions. Recommended for future philosophers!
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Format: Audio Cassette
In this audiobook, Mr William Roberts reads Patricia Highsmith’s “Strangers on a Train” with plenty of enthusiasm and I enjoyed his voice very much. He manages to adapt his intonation beautifully according to the situation, at times tense, then hilarious, then serious again. A great performance.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent play, great condition
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars 159 reviews
84 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Classic Criss-Cross 27 May 2005
By Gary F. Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Patricia Highsmith (1921-1991) was among the most lauded of the "noir" writers, an author who published over twenty books and won such prestigious prizes as the O. Henry Memorial Award and the Edgar Allan Poe Award. But in spite of her tremendous fame in Europe, she did not win fame in her native United States until after death, when the 1999 film version of her 1955 novel THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY at last brought her work the recognition it had long deserved.

The 1950 novel STRANGERS ON A TRAIN was Highsmith's first novel, and the premise was so intriguing that no less than legendary director Alfred Hitchcock snapped up the movie rights and turned it into one of his most admired films. The Hitchcock film is a classic of its kind--but even so the novel was both too hot and too dark to be filmed "as is" in the repressive 1950s. Readers who come to the book from the film are in for a surprise.

The very famous point on which the plot turns, however, is the same. Two men, Guy and Bruno, meet by chance on a train and pass the time in conversation. Each reveals to the other that a specific person stands in the way of happiness: for Guy, it is a wayward wife who refuses to give him a divorce; for Bruno it is a stubborn father who refuses him money. When Bruno playfully suggests that he will kill the wife for Guy if Guy will kill the father for Bruno it seems like a bad-taste joke... But Guy will soon discover there is nothing to laugh about at all.

From this opening salvo Highsmith unwinds and rewinds her plot in a manner distinctly different from the Hitchcock film, and even today the book is best known for its fiendish storyline. But it is the characters that make it work, and Bruno emerges as one of the most brilliantly constructed psychopaths of 20th Century fiction. By turns comic, pitiful, stupid, and witty, Bruno's insignificant veneer masks a truly deadly turn of mind. The all-American-honest Guy is no less memorable as his personality slowly but surely deteriorates under Bruno's pressure, and even the most minor of characters pop and sizzle with life under Highsmith's pen.

Although long out of print in the United States, STRANGERS ON A TRAIN is back with a vengeance--and the icy, direct, and darkly comic tone of the novel sets it among the best of Highsmith's remarkable work. Recommended.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer
In Memory of Ellen R. Smith, 1920-2005
Virtuoso Pianist and Good Friend
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lesson in uneasiness & the nature of evil 27 Feb. 2005
By lady detective - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Charles Bruno is not the kind of man you want to confide in, but Guy Haines doesn't listen to his inner voice telling him just that. Under the influence of liquor and the lull of a moving train, he confides in Bruno, revealing his deep distaste for Miriam, his estranged, pregnant, wife.

Thus begins an unrelenting path of secrets, lies, obsession and murder. The fascination lies in Highsmith's ability to twist the everyday into nightmare. Strangers on a Train, is taut, well-crafted, and difficult to put down. It's a brilliant example of suspense done right, & a blueprint for legion's of mystery novels to come.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtly menacing, every sentence slowly picking at your sanity... 13 April 2007
By Andrew Ellington - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Patricia Highsmith was ahead of her time, constructing the perfect crime novel long before it would truly be appreciated. Sadly she was never as famously accepted as she could have been while still living, but thanks to reprints and reissues her novels are being given a new breath of life. Now I say all of this and I have only had the pleasure of reading one of her novels, but that novel was so articulately perfect that I have nothing but the utmost respect for the late author. `Strangers on a Train' is so brilliantly crafted that I'm racking my brain to find a flaw, a drawback of some sort and the only thing I can muster is that here and there there are some grammatical errors, but other than that...I'm coming up empty handed.

Any fan of the Hitchcock film will immediately understand why the famed late director scooped up the film rights to this novel. The premise alone deserves the reader's utmost respect. Two strangers get wrapped up in the perfect crime that escalates into the most horrific journey into the human psyche.

Up and coming architect Guy Haines is traveling by train to meet his estranged wife Miriam to pursue a divorce. Miriam has given Guy nothing but heartache, nothing but trouble, and his nerves are getting the better of him. What if she refuses the divorce? He has a lot riding on this. He has a big job in the works that could finally make for him the name he's been waiting to make. He also has a wonderful supportive woman, Anne, waiting to give her his hand in marriage. He needs this divorce more now than ever.

Charles Bruno so happens to be traveling on the same train. Bruno is traveling to escape his father, a man he abhors with every fiber in his body. His father has denied him all that he feels he is entitled to, and he's come to loathe him in such a way that his death seems all Bruno can think of. If only his father were out of the picture, if only somehow, someway he could be rid of this horror of a man.

And with that the wheels begin to turn, as Guy meets Bruno and Bruno delves deeply into this man, winning over his trust and then devising a plan which involves a double homicide, the two of them trading off murders. It seems so perfect, Bruno, who has no relation to either Guy or Miriam, kills Miriam to free Guy of his ex and in return Guy murders Bruno's father. Guy immediately dismisses the idea as a sick joke and from that point on does all he can to avoid Bruno. Bruno on the other hand doesn't so easily forget Guy, and he decides to go ahead with the plan whether Guy wants to participate or not, but it's after he's snuffed the life out of Miriam that the trouble really begins.

In order for a plan like this to work the two parties would need to remain separate, distant and out of touch, but Bruno slowly becomes obsessed with Guy, falling in love with him in a way and begins to haunt, stalk and torture (mentally) Guy to the point to sheer insanity. The novel continues to weave Bruno's twisted web and we, the reader, are able to sit back and experience madness at its most effective. Patricia was able to paint this picture so clear that we are left with no feeling other than contentment and pure satisfaction. Yes, this novel plays out differently than the famed film, but that's no reason to disregard the novel altogether. It's worth every word penned!
54 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can hardly find the words 14 Jun. 2000
By Joseph W. Smith III - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I cannot believe that A) only one Amazon customer has written areview of this book or that B) it is out of print! WHAT! This is,quite simply, one of the finest novels I have ever read. It was as tough to put down as any other book I've encountered, and at times as profound as Shakespeare. I've yet to discover any other writer besides Highsmith whose books are both absolutely riveting and thoroughly penetrating about the human condition. At times, it was so suspenseful I thought I was going to have a heart attack. The only other experience I've had in life that was as ravaging as this book is sex. Yet despite its at-times horrifying suspense, it is excruciatingly compassionate; the ending made me weep. Highsmith's characters are unbelievably real; I still can't figure out how she makes us care so much about people who are so flawed and sinful. It's as close to the divine as a writer can get. WOULD SOMEBODY PLEASE PUT THIS BOOK BACK IN PRINT SO I CAN GIVE A COPY TO EVERYONE I KNOW! END
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This Is Not Patricia Highsmith 6 May 2016
By Macs Perkins - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Here are the opening sentences of Patricia Highsmith's novel Strangers on a Train:

"The train tore along with an angry, irregular rhythm. it was having to stop at smaller and more frequent stations, where it would wait impatiently for a moment, then attack the prairie again. But progress was imperceptible. The prairie only undulated, like a vast, pink-tan blanket being casually shaken. The faster the train went, the more buoyant and taunting the undulations. Guy took his eyes from the window and hitched himself back against the seat. Miriam would delay the divorce at best, he thought."

Here, meanwhile, are the opening sentence of this eBook:

"The train rushed along angrily. Guy was thinking about Miriam. He saw her round pink face, her cruel mouth … he started to hate her."

I don't know who took it upon themselves to rewrite Highsmith's book, but this version (ASIN: B01FKPEFP0; published by "MUMOO") isn't her novel.

The actual eBook of Strangers on a Train is published by W. W. Norton & Company. This reads more like an unauthorized, bootleg version that would be better titled STRANGERS ON A TRAIN FOR DUMMIES. I don't know why Amazon is allowing this garbage to be sold on its site. Beware.

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