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Strangers on a train ne level 4/book [Paperback]

Highsmith Patricia
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 9.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

May 15 2008 Esl-UK penguin book
Contemporary / American English Guy Haines is travelling through Texas on a train when a stranger invites him to share a meal. But the stranger has a terrible plan. 'You murder my father, and I'll murder your wife,' he suggests. So begins Guy's journey into a world of madness, lies and death.

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Product Description

From Library Journal

Highsmith's 1950 debut novel made her famous (and inspired a Hitchcock film) but, unlike some of her later titles, was never recorded. William Roberts does the reading honors.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

For eliciting the menace that lurks in familiar surroundings, there's no one like Patricia Highsmith. -- Time --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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The train tore along with an angry, irregular rhythm. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Thrilling! June 15 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The story begins very simple. Two people meet each other in a train and talk. But the end is not as simple as the beginning at all. Charles Bruno has killed Guy Haines' wife and Guy has killed Bruno's father. The basis for these two murders is established still on the train, but at that time no one imagines that it would go so far. Both have killed somebody at the end, but there is a difference between them: Bruno is an insane, and Guy is a victim.
Through the whole story a very complex relationship between these two men evolves just because of this accidental meeting on the train. Patricia Highsmith shows her ability to describe such relationships in a wonderful way. She tells a whole story with a relationship and has no need of any kind of big surprise effects to turn around the whole story. The reader is always up-to-date concerning the main action. Although it's not boring at all, because the real tension of the story is not created by the progression of the actions but by the progression of the relationship.
"Straingers on a Train" is not a typical detective story. Highsmith's protagonist is not a private detective who solves the case gloriously. The two murderers are protagonists, the reader even shares the suffering of the two men running away from the "bad" police. This complete role reversal - together with many other unusual initial positions - makes the book to a unique reading enjoyment. Absolutely recommendable!
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5.0 out of 5 stars An American Dostoyevsky Dec 26 2003
Format:Paperback
Patricia Highsmith's "Strangers on a Train" came out in 1950, attaining prompt bestseller status and intriguing filmdom's master of intrigue, Alfred Hitchcock, enough to fashion a film around it which was released one year later. Highsmith jolted readers with her gripping realism, taking a basically simple but clever plot and carving out something much more.
Highsmith's book focuses on two men in their twenties, Charlie Bruno and Guy Haines. The former is of great New York wealth, but is troubled and is headed for cataclysmic disaster, which he appears eager to reach fast through his alcoholic dissipation and all-purpose troublemaking. The latter has worked his way upward from a modest, middle class background in his native Texas to become one of America's premier architects before reaching his thirtieth birthday.
Under normal circumstances these individuals would probably never cross paths, but fate intervenes when they travel on the same train and meet as a result of the extroverted Bruno forcing himself on the more introspective Haines, who does not want to appear rude. When Bruno learns that Haines is faced with an unpleasant divorce situation in dealing with a promiscuous wife, the inebriated Bruno jolts his more stable traveling companion by suggesting that they swap murders. Someone who avidly reads mystery books, Bruno states that they would each perform a perfect crime since they would each be killing total strangers and there is nothing to link them to their victims. Bruno wants Haines to kill his father, who is standing in the way of his getting access to the family wealth. The reason for his hatred of his father is also linked to his slavish devotion to his mother, who is seen as a quasi-deity to the troubled young man.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Poor reproduction of a masterpiece Dec 29 2002
Format:Paperback
I am quite fond of Patricia Highsmith's writing, having, like so many others, been introduced to her through her Ripley series. I am thrilled that Norton decided to republished most of her lesser-known novels and stories, many of which I have read already, the others of which top my reading to-do list. The greatest problem with this edition is the annoying presence of frequent typos and less frequent grammatical errors. I found myself having to go back to figure out the meaning of a sentence to discover one of the words was obviously incorrect. I understand that the publishers were probably rushing to get this edition on the market so that they could capitalize from The Talented Mr. Ripley's box-office sucess; nevertheless, the sloppiness distracts from the enjoyment experienced in reading Highsmith's other works.
With that said, Strangers on a Train lives up to its reputation as a significant first effort by Highsmith. Those familiar with her work will recognize the beginnings of themes she continues to explore throughout her life. Primarily, this work presents a sympathetic murderer-- like Ripley-- a person who, the reader believes has to murder. Like Flannery O'Connor, Highsmith has an uncanny ability to place us in the minds of characters who face circumstances that seemingly force them to do unthinkable things. She follows with guilt-- or lack thereof-- that confronts characters based on the strength of their conscience. It reminds us that often the worst decisions are made at times when the choice seemed rational under the circumstances.
I have yet to view Hitchcock's take on this novel. It is, undoubtedly, immensely difficult to portray a story that takes place mostly inside the characters minds on the big screen. For that reason alone, those who have seen the movie should consider reading this book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Hitchcock over Highsmith! Dec 19 2001
Format:Paperback
Yes. I realize that the book is usually better than the movie. "Strangers on A Train" is the exception to the rule. I was elated when the paperback came back into print. Perhaps my expectations were too high after reading "Those Who Walk Away". My basic complaint is that the book is too long: The reader will quickly realize that neither of the principal male characters, Bruno or Guy, are wrapped too tightly. The authoress devotes too much time and space in establishing that blatantly obvious fact. The story could easily have been shortened by 50 pages. The Hitchcock movie, at least the American version, concentrated on Guy's potential problems with the police. Highsmith chose to utilize a now you see him/now you don't private investigator. (Ineffectual police work is a recurring theme with the authoress, while the director was usually the opposite). I believe the authoress further lost her way when she decided to write "SOT" as a psychological tale rather than a straight crime story. I must acknowledge that the book is being held against a very high movie classic standard. Such comparisons are not completely fair to Ms. Highsmith, but they are also irresistible.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Strangers on a Train
I went into this already familiar with Hitchcock's film version of the same story. The opening premise of the film and HighSmith's novel are the same. Read more
Published on Jan. 10 2012 by Arah-Lynda Hay
3.0 out of 5 stars That boy Bruno is something else
Highsmith was a very talented writer. This was her first novel but does not much feel like a beginner's effort.

The best thing about the novel is Bruno. Read more
Published on Nov. 28 2010 by Sears Braithwaite (of Bullard)
2.0 out of 5 stars Deja Vu all over again
This is one of those rare cases when the movie is actually better than the book. If you want the definitive version of this story, then watch the movie. Read more
Published on July 4 2008 by Joel Cormier
4.0 out of 5 stars These people truly were strangers to me.
I don't know why it surprises me to discover that Hollywood has tampered with a novel. Having only seen the Hitchcock film scripted by Raymond Chandler, I was blown away by this... Read more
Published on July 9 2004 by I. Sondel
4.0 out of 5 stars good read
"Stranger on a Train" is a really interesting book. It has a lot of crazy things in it and the main person is a real psychopath but I guess that's what makes the book so special. Read more
Published on June 22 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Psychological Study!
Highly entertaining and original, even though so many rip-offs have been produced since its debut. Highsmith does a titanic job of studying the cat-and-mouse psychology of Guy and... Read more
Published on Dec 12 2003 by Nelson Aspen
5.0 out of 5 stars Far more disturbing...
...than the movie! As I recall it, the character of Bruno never develops in the movie beyond that of a randomly-met psychopath; the portrayal of Guy, for that matter, is rather... Read more
Published on Oct. 30 2003 by P. Micocci
3.0 out of 5 stars Are they, or aren't they ?
I found the dialog between the two potential accomplices in the train was the best part of the book. Read more
Published on July 13 2003 by Jean-Marc M Salama
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Characters+Good Plot= Excellent Book
Brilliant. People swap murders on a train and oh you will have to read it but it certainly is an engaging read. Read more
Published on Jan. 13 2003 by Mr. P. W. Stirups
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