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Strangers on a train /

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Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Penguin Books, 1974
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SUMMARY

Strangers on a Train, Highsmith's first novel and the source for Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1953 film. With this novel, Highsmith revels in eliciting the unsettling psychological forces that lurk beneath the surface of everyday contemporary life.


Review by Library Journal Review

Two strangers strike up a conversation on a long train ride. One is a successful and talented architect; the other is a harmless-looking psychopath. The result is Highsmith's (The Talented Mr. Ripley) gripping and terrifying psychological thriller. Listening to this story is wonderfully entertaining while being equally painful. The descriptions of landscapes, towns, and buildings are detailed and vivid, enabling the listener to visualize the scenes. The characters are so real as to cause us to ask uncomfortable questions about ourselves. How do we recognize and respond to evil? Can we all be driven to murder? This chilling tale raises some difficult questions about crime, guilt, and punishment. William Roberts effectively captures the mood of the book and enhances the tension. Strangers on a Train is a classic of suspense fiction; highly recommended for all collections.DChristine Valentine, Davenport Univ., Kalamazoo, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
AUTHOR NOTES

Patricia Highsmith wrote twenty-one novels including "Strangers on a Train" & the "Ripley" series. She died in 1995 in Switzerland, where she resided much of her life.

(Publisher Provided) Patricia Highsmith (January 19, 1921 -- February 4, 1995) was an American novelist and short story writer, most widely known for her psychological thrillers, which led to more than two dozen film adaptations. She was born in Fort Worth, Texas. Highsmith grew up with her maternal grandmother in Astoria, Queens, and attended Barnard College.

Her first novel, Strangers on a Train (1950), was adapted for stage and screen numerous times, notably by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951. In addition to her acclaimed series about murderer Tom Ripley, which was made into a film in 1955, she wrote many short stories, often macabre, satirical or tinged with black humor. Highsmith liked to examine the ways in which people can get to the point where they are capable of murder, as well as who they become after they have committed a crime. In carefully constructed stories and novels, she integrated this scrutiny of the human psyche into complex plots that often took unexpected twists. In Strangers on a Train, architect Guy Haines meets Charles Bruno on a train. Bruno conceives a plan to have Haines kill Bruno's father, while Bruno will kill Haines's wife. The effect that this plan has on Haines is the focus of the story.

Highsmith's awards include: O. Henry Award for best publication of first story, for "The Heroine" in Harper's Bazaar (1946), Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, for The Talented Mr. Ripley (1957), and the Dagger Award -- Category Best Foreign Novel, for The Two Faces of January from the Crime Writers' Association of Great Britain (1964).

Highsmith died of aplastic anemia and cancer in Locarno, Switzerland, at age 74. Her last novel, Small G: A Summer Idyll, was published one month after her death in 1995.

(Bowker Author Biography)


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