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Sconosciuti in treno

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  7,310 ratings  ·  605 reviews
Due uomini viaggiano sullo stesso treno e, come spesso accade tra sconosciuti, iniziano a parlare rivelandosi a poco a poco i segreti più riposti della loro vita, convinti di non rivedersi mai più. Non sarà così, però. L'incontro del tutto casuale si trasforma in un tacito patto di morte che dovrebbe portare l'uno a rendersi complice del delitto che cova nell'animo dell'al ...more
Mass Market Paperback, Special Edition for "Il Corriere della Sera" (Patricia Highsmith, #2), 299 pages
Published July 24th 2012 by RCS Quotidiani S.p.A. (first published 1950)
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When I was in my 20s- living in Toronto and traveling on the train to visit my parents 4 hours away- I always thought there was nothing worse than trying to read my book while having some annoying fellow passenger try to start a conversation...but then I watched Alfred Hitchcock's STRANGERS ON A TRAIN and realized- Nope it could have been worse.

I usually have a hard time reading the book once I have watched the movie, but Patricia Highsmith's novel is very different than Hitchcock's adaptation

Any kind of person can murder. Purely circumstances and not a thing to do with temperament! People get so far - and it gets just the least little thing to push them over the brink. Anybody. Even your grandmother. I know!

A disturbing proposition that I happen to strongly disagree with, but I can't think of a more able writer to raise doubts in my mind and to argue the merits of the case. According to her biographical notes, Patricia Highsmith started her study of perverted human nature at
Nancy Oakes
"And Bruno, he and Bruno. Each was what the other had not chosen to be, the cast-off self, what he thought he hated, but perhaps in reality loved."

Strangers on a Train is another case where most people have seen the movie but haven't read the book or didn't know there was a novel behind it. In this case, if you've seen the movie, and then go to read Highsmith's book, you end up with two different entities. The basic plot is the same -- two men, total strangers, meet on a train; one (Bruno) is a
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. Two strangers meet on the train and discuss among other things, people in their lives: a Wife, a Father, who they would be better off without. One of these strangers, Charles Bruno, is an extremely well imagined sociopath, while the other, Guy, is a mild mannered architect whose role in this story I never entirely accept. (view spoiler) ...more

Nightmare on a train. The premise is simple enough. Two men meet on a train, and a weird discussion about swapping murders ensues. Patricia Highsmith’s intriguing but imperfect tale is definitely a chilling portrait of obsessive psychopathy. It also asks an unsettling question: Do we all have a dark side?

Strangers on a Train is short and mostly to the point, though it could have been shorter, perhaps even a novella. Told in third person omniscient point of view, Stranger
Nandakishore Varma
Warning: Mild spoilers ahead.

As I have said earlier, it is a dicey affair to one-star a classic on GR. Some people may see it as blasphemy: and maybe, one can expect a lynch mob. But what to do? I did not like this book: could not bring myself to finish it even; so one-star is the only option.

My only acquaintance with Patricia Highsmith before this novel was The Terrapin, a terrifying short story. So I was pretty sure I would like this novel, even though the story was familiar to me from Hitchco
Why is it so much easier to unburden yourself to a stranger? Is it that awareness of anonymity? Is it the knowledge that this person has no history, no preconceived notions upon which you might be judged? Whatever the underlying reason, I’ve always found this to be true. I’m pretty sure that the entire realm of internet communication is so prevalent in part because of this truth. In this unforgettable work, Patricia Highsmith examines the sinister outcome of a chance meeting, and a momentary int ...more
A genius idea drowned in a soup of too many uninteresting characters. Most of the book could have been edited down to one taut, terrific short story.
Now, you see, if you ask me to write a review on this book, I'm going to write it in relative to Hitchcock's infamous Strangers On A Train.
(Brain: No one's askin' you, Pri!
Me: ...
Me: Shut up, Brain!)

Leave it to Hitchcock to find such little gems, especially in their obscurity, while others deemed it to be "just a silly story". (Raymond Chandler's words, not mine!)

Now, why am I talking about Hitchcock? It's because of him that I found this perfect embodiment of- what is popularly known as- psycho
M.J. Johnson
What an astounding first novel! This book is sixty-five years old but remains to this day a considerably shocking edge of the seat read. And I don’t mean that it contains graphic violence or gripping action sequences - not at all. This book is a psychological novel that gets deep under the skin of its two main characters. We plough straight into the story from page one; we’re suddenly there, in the train compartment where our strangers meet. Believe me, what ensues is increasingly tense and quit ...more
This was another fun airport read because it is all about the perils of oversharing with strangers on public transportation. This is like literary B.O. for travelers, I'm sure. If only I had a Team Bruno shirt to don (and sully with literary b.o. pit stains!) in the air.

This book explores a nightmarish scenario: you wind up sitting next to a creep who'll ply you with scotch, force you into the confession zone and try to seduce you into a murder pact (e.g., you bump off my father and I'll make wo
I can't say enough good things about this book. This isn't a thriller in the whodunit sense. You know right away who the killer is. Still, Highsmith keeps elevating the tension throughout the book, which studies the effects of guilt and ego upon the commission of the perfect crime. The characters are interesting, and the book's quick pace keeps you reading to the end. Anyone who has read Crime and Punishment will see a lot of Dostoevsky's influence here, and Strangers on a Train holds up very we ...more
Laura Leaney
I sometimes think there's something wrong with me. All these brilliant reviews of Highsmith's book, and when I reached the last page I felt somehow dissatisfied with it. I liked the thing well enough, but Dostoyevsky does psychological guilt better. So does Hawthorne. The characters here, Bruno and Guy, are not wholly believable to me (although Bruno is more so). Guy is supposedly a brilliant architect - and he's got a fine enough mind to attract the well-educated classy Anne (a very flat, unint ...more
I put off watching the great Hitchcock's take on this Highsmith classic until I actually read it. The books has a neat narrative symmetry and logic to it. It contains a lot of the early hints of some of her later, great Ripley novels: obsessiveness, insanity, meticulous crimes, impulsiveness, boats, doppelgängers, homoeroticism, art, food, etc.

I didn't enjoy it as much as the Ripley novels, but even without knowing the great body of work to follow this one book, 'Strangers on a Train' contains
It's perhaps ironic that, having read all of the Ripley novels years ago and loved them, that I would only now get around to reading (listening, actually) to Strangers on a Train. The basic plot must, by now, be well-known to just about everyone. For the three of you who don't know the story, two men meet while having drinks on a train and discuss their respective complaints about Bruno's father and Guy's ex-wife, both of whom are making their respective lives miserable.

Bruno, hatches a one-side
I was surprised to find out how different the original novel is from the excellent Hitchcock film. Hitchcock went for suspense and thrills which necessitated substantial changes to the original story. In Highsmith's equally excellent novel, Bruno remains the quintessential rich spoiled psychopath yet Guy is a much more complex character. He is still naive but more intelligent (he is an architect in the novel and not a tennis bum). He is also not as morally strict and this is where the tension ar ...more
A simple ride on a train and meeting with two strangers begins this tale. The scenario: a perfect murder. One man, Guy Haines, begins to discuss with another man, Charles Bruno, about topics as they ride to their destination. Bruno seems to have a way of sizing up Guy from the get go, and eventually he pushes the discussion to how much he hates his father and Guy, in turn, reveals too much about his own struggles with his wife. Bruno, laughing, comes up with the perfect plan, which he suggests t ...more
Whew. Midway through this novel I realized I had continued reading because of a hideous compulsion to exorcise its proceedings from my mind. Reading for pleasure or entertainment was no longer a component to the experience. I couldn't stop reading because I would allow neither the story nor the characters to become completely swallowed by the moral abyss without any attempt by the writer to illuminate their struggles in a "meaningful" way, but that motivation was driven more by sick fascination ...more

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
Picture this: You are on a train. You’re minding your own business and reading Plato. You can’t really concentrate on your book because you have other thoughts occupying your mind. There are thoughts of a love lost and an enemy gained and you don’t really pay any attention to the surroundings while you’re lost in your thoughts. After a while, you notice a stranger sitting close by. He’s watching you with curiosity and it almost feels like he’s about to say something to you. But you go back to yo ...more
Strangers On a Train by Patricia Highsmith is a book that’s far too often neglected today. In fact, it’s so neglected that many people don’t even know it is a book. For this, of course, I blame Alfred Hitchcock - more or less. His film adaptation was so brilliantly done (though in some significant ways, very different from the book) that people interested in Strangers On a Train simply watch the film rather than read the book. I should know. I was once one of them. The book is so good, however, ...more
Jill Hutchinson
A warning......if you have seen the Hitchcock film with Robert Walker and Farley Granger, don't expect the book to follow the same storyline. The novel has the basic premise of "exchanging murders" but goes in an entirely different direction with a much darker denouement. The film always struck me as having some plot holes regarding the actions of the Guy Haines character...........the book, with a different focus, fills in those inconsistencies.
It is a very disturbing and twisted story of two m
Lauren Henderson
I had to read this book for a Comp class in college, and I was pleasantly surprised. Since when do professors pick awesome books for forced reading? It really got me into crime fiction. I'm kind of a nerd, but I loved writing my literary analysis of this book. We studied it in parallel to Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky. Both are very intriguing books.
I picked this up because it was referenced as the inspiration for another book I recently enjoyed, The Kind Worth Killing. In this novel Bruno and Guy meet by chance on a train. After a brief conversation they realize that they both have people that they hate in their lives and if they each killed the other person's problem then they couldn't be caught because there is no connection between them. Guy and Bruno leave the train with Guy, at least in his mind backing out of the deal and thinking th ...more

One of the few instances where the movie is better than the book.
Karolyn Sherwood
There's a reason the USA Today named STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, by Patricia Highsmith, one of the greatest mysteries of the 20th century: because it is. Highsmith, author of The Talented Mr. Ripley books, managed to combine "the perfect murder" set up with a perfect psychological profile in under 300 pages. It is the kind of book people want to read over and over because the brilliance is so subtle.

Briefly, two men, Guy (an unassuming yet "genius" architect) meets Bruno (the bored and twisted son of
WARNING: The review may contain certain spoilers
It's seemingly 3 stars.

The book started with two complete strangers, Guy Haines and Charles Bruno, meeting on a train where one was completely uninterested in the other while the other held a morbid fascination towards the first. The two get to talking, something strikes and suddenly they find themselves sharing some personal details that they've never shared with anyone before. This is where the "conspiracy" starts. At first you'd think Bruno is
Patricia Highsmith's novels demonstrate time and again the mastery that the author had in creating characters that readers had trouble liking, but also had trouble rooting against. The most famous of her characters is the completely amoral killer, Tom Ripley, whose escapades are hideous, but the reader always wants to see Tom get away with it. That same contradiction of spirit is at play in "Strangers on a Train", where the lives of two complete strangers intersect randomly, but are forever inex ...more
Architect Guy Haines is on a train to Texas to see his estranged wife Miriam to discuss their divorce. Before long Charles Bruno, a rich n'er do well, sits down opposite him. Haines talks about his problems with Miriam and Bruno talks about his hatred for his father. Before long Bruno makes a suggestion: the two men should "exchange murders". That is, Bruno should kill Miriam and Haines should kill Bruno's dad - and having no demonstrable motive - neither man will be suspected.

Haines strongly o
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Pulp Fiction: August 2015 - Strangers on a Train 36 45 Sep 02, 2015 04:58PM  
Classic Trash: Book vs. Movie 5 32 Jan 30, 2015 10:42AM  
Classic Trash: * Strangers on a Train: Finished (Spoilers) 5 15 May 18, 2013 01:37PM  
Classic Trash: * Strangers on a Train: In Progress (No Spoilers) 2 11 May 13, 2013 04:05PM  
Help Me Find the Next Great One! 4 38 Apr 23, 2013 12:19PM  
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Patricia Highsmith was an American novelist who is known mainly for her psychological crime thrillers which have led to more than two dozen film adaptations over the years.

She lived with her grandmother, mother and later step-father (her mother divorced her natural father six months before 'Patsy' was born and married Stanley Highsmith) in Fort Worth before moving with her parents to New York in
More about Patricia Highsmith...
The Talented Mr. Ripley (Ripley, #1) The Price of Salt Ripley's Game (Ripley, #3) Ripley Under Ground (Ripley, #2) The Talented Mr. Ripley, Ripley Under Ground, Ripley's Game

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“I know you have it in you, Guy," Anne said suddenly at the end of a silence, "the capacity to be terribly happy.” 27 likes
“How easy it was to lie when one had to lie!” 19 likes
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