Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Book Review: Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train (1950)

Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train gives only the barest idea what the original novel is like. While Hitchcock's film is a stylish (read: superficial) tale of good vs. evil, Patricia Highsmith's book is a complex psychological study of the evil that we are all (perhaps) capable of. Though Highsmith's characters and their motivations and behaviors are not always 100% convincing, and though in the end the plot takes a regrettable turn for the hackneyed, on the whole this novel triumphs on its merits. Grade: A-

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