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Eaux Profondes

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  1,698 Ratings  ·  178 Reviews
The great revival of interest in Patricia Highsmith continues with this work that reveals the chilling reality behind the idyllic facade of American suburban life.

In Deep Water, set in the small town of Little Wesley, Vic and Melinda Van Allen's loveless marriage is held together only by a precarious arrangement whereby in order to avoid the messiness of divorce, Melinda

Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Livre de Poche (first published 1957)
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Jr Bacdayan
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A stunning psychological thriller, Patricia Highsmith's Deep Water serves a delicious tale of infidelity, jealousy, while dancing between the boundaries of human propriety and probing the psyche of a suffering husband at the end of his tethers. This appealed to me from the get go, a more congenial anti-hero I cannot remember reading. It has the same kind of quivering bite that people found fascinating in Gone Girl, and to a lesser extent in the Girl on the Train only with more restraint and refi ...more
Confucius Say: "A relationship is the opportunity to do something you hate with someone you love." Here that something is dancing, or not dancing.

Vic and Melinda have a very unconventional marital arrangement.  He hates to dance and she loves it, so he encourages her to dance at parties with all the men she likes.  Keeps her quiet and content. Confucius would not approve.

Dancing is definitely not all she's  doing, though, if you catch my drift.  It's all very out in the open, and he is very co
Nancy Oakes
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"...I don't waste my time punching people on the nose. If I really don't like somebody, I kill him."

So sayeth Victor (Vic) VanAllen, the main character in Deep Water, although he says it in jest.

According to Highsmith, (as related by Andrew Wilson in his biography), Deep Water explores " 'the sniping, griping ambushing,' that can exist between people who are supposed to love one another, locked together 'in a ballet of the wearing of the nerves.' " Frankly, that phrase describes this book perfe
Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery

Those who have read The Talented Mr. Ripley , are already acquainted with this master (actually mistress) of psychological suspense. Apparently, in 1950, when her first novel Strangers on a Train, was published, she had previously encountered resistance in America as an outspoken author on controversial themes. Deep Water is one of Highsmith’s early works and reveals her uncanny talent to capture the essence of a diabolical, treacherous personality.

Vic and Melinda VanAllen’s marriage is , simp
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2016
Try reading Highsmith and not start to feel like killing a man is the most obvious solution to a if he had it coming, and you are so smart that no one will even know you did it. And if someone does start snooping around, well, it's just darn annoying, really. How dare they accuse you? Don't they realize that you're a pillar of the community? Even the garbage men vouch for you, for crying out loud! Highsmith loves to turn a murder story on it's ear by getting you inside the mind of ...more
Karolyn Sherwood
I consider Patricia Highsmith to be one of my "literary idols." So, when Gillian Flynn picked DEEP WATER as her Wall Street Journal book club book, I bought it immediately. Yeah, I should have known: I didn't love GONE GIRL, therefore, I am not surprised that I didn't love DEEP WATER.

Written in 1957, DEEP WATER is the story of Vic and Melinda Van Allen, an unhappily married couple living in Massachusettes. Melinda has one affair after another, right under Vic's eyes. He is, on the surface, compl
May 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: five-star-rated
Patricia Highsmith is a master of suspense. Deep Water shares with her other books a certain remarkable slowness. Highsmith's characters unhurriedly attend to the minutiae of their lives. They entertain friends and admire artwork and do the gardening, they take drives and prepare supper. Very often it seems that nothing is happening in her books; and yet, as the pages turn, the reader becomes more and more tense, wondering when precisely the axe will fall--for it certainly will fall. By the end ...more
Jun 09, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Giada De Laurentiis

Deep Water, a slow-paced psychological thriller, is set in a Cheeveresque, Updikesque New England town in the 1950s, where drinks are downed nearly all day long, and dinner and pool parties frequent. Melinda Van Allen is a horrible mother and an inadequate wife; she stopped having sex with her husband Vic years ago and is frequently drunk. Today we would call her an alcoholic. Vic Van Allen is a calm man, literate, with hobbies like snail breeding, a great father, loving with their daughter Trix
Cecily Kyle
Jul 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: towers
I picked this book up because it fit a challenge I was participating in. I wasn't expecting to like it too much but it was better than I predicted. I liked how you couldn't help but sympathize with Vic because his wife was a nightmare but at the same time you can see why she is a nightmare if he is able to do the things he does in this book and still be "normal."
Decent read but a bit predictable.
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While this doesn't rank up there with Ripley, The Price of Salt, or Strangers on a Train, it's still Highsmith and that puts it far above most twentieth-century American authors. Slow-building dread in suburbia, this one made me think of George and Martha from Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Only a lot more lethal...
Sep 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to the Tournament of Books, I discovered the great podcast So Many Damned Books. On a recent episode with Meagan Abbott, Drew and Christopher discussed Deep Water. Patricia Highsmith wrote terrific suspenseful novels. Hopefully, someone will develop this into a film.
Gavin Armour
Oct 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
DEEP WATER , erschienen 1957, war Patricia Highsmith fünfter Roman. Sie hatte enormen Erfolg gehabt mit STRANGERS ON A TRAIN und auch ihr ein Jahr zuvor erschienener Roman THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY, der die Figur des Tom Ripley eingeführt hatte, war gut aufgenommen worden. Doch wollte sich die Schriftstellerin nicht auf die Zeichnung rein amoralischer Figuren festlegen und entwarf für den vorliegenden Roman ein vollkommen anderes Setting mit komplett anderen Voraussetzungen. Ein freundlicher Mann, ...more
Isaac Cooper
Apr 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The winter’s going to be even more boring – without a break somewhere,” he said.

“Oh, I don’t think it’s going to be boring,” she said.

He smiled. “Is that a threat?”

“Take it the way you like.”

“Are you going to put arsenic in my food?”

“I don’t think arsenic could kill you.”

A famous nobody once said that a good book is opening to a random page and being immediately interested, wanting to keep on reading from the random page. The above conversation fits into this saying nicely. It’s an awesome co
Apr 10, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
Δεύτερο βιβλίο της Πατρίσια Χάισμιθ που διαβάζω, μετά το πολύ καλό και κλασικό "Ο ταλαντούχος κύριος Ρίπλευ" που διάβασα τον Αύγουστο του 2013. Σαφώς και δεν είναι το ίδιο γνωστό και πολυδιαβασμένο, όμως σίγουρα είναι πολύ καλό. Δεν θα το χαρακτήριζα αστυνομικό, μου έκανε περισσότερο με ψυχολογικό δράμα/θρίλερ με λίγο από έγκλημα, με μικρές και ενδιαφέρουσες νότες σασπένς και έντασης (ειδικά στο τέλος!).

Ο Βικ είναι ένας διανοούμενος τυπογράφος με πολλά χόμπι, παντρεμένος με την όμορφη Μελίντα, π
Oct 30, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of psychological fiction
Shelves: books-from-1957
Highsmith does it again in this disturbing story of a suburban marriage gone awry. The setting and circumstances are so in tune with the late 50s but she adds a chill all her own.

Little Wesley is a small town north of New York City. Vic Van Allen lives off a trust fund left by his father and publishes small runs of exclusive books. He has his own press and practically handcrafts the books. In fact, he is an extremely ordered and industrious individual with several odd hobbies, such as raising
Bruce Beckham
Oct 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yet again Patricia Highsmith has me allied with the Bad Guy!

I found this a typically engrossing study – a flirtatious and unfaithful wife, a patient and long-suffering husband.

It’s not difficult to take sides – and no less so as the husband begins to take revenge upon a string of disagreeable lovers!

I guess a great talent of the author is her ability to present you with a scenario that offends your sense of justice. From the outset, you take a stance.

Then comes the challenge: your adopted protag
Rick Homan
Dec 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First-rate Highsmith -- as good as the best of the Ripley novels. She is supreme when it comes to creating psychopaths who pass unnoticed among us.
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Till Death Do Us Part

Deep Water is a classic Highsmith tale of Vic, un urbane, intelligent book loving sociopath and his wife Melinda, a sexual predator who has affairs with a succession of young men under the eyes of her husband and their friends and neighbours.

This is a precise, almost clinical tale of the deconstruction of a marriage and the feelings that lurk under the outwardly calm exterior of Vic who finds the sexual cominglings of snails more absorbing than relations with his adulterous
Jun 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews

What genre is Deep Water? It teeters between thriller and crime, has Poe flavours and a Hitchcock air, but altogether it seems to be something quite unique. What is certain is that I will be reading more Patricia Highsmith. Deep Water has all the qualities of a good novel and great thriller, but its magic is in how Highsmith creates such strong sympathy and admiration for the protagonist, who also happens to be a killer.

Victor van Allen is a model husband, loving father and pillar of the communi
Kaushani Bhattacharya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Literature lovers of slow build suspense
Recommended to Katie by: Me (via other Patricia Highsmith books I've read)
Patricia Highsmith does it again! I've never read another author who makes me root for the bad guy the way she does.

Vic is married to Melinda. She's a bitch who cheats on him, treats their small daughter like a non-existent entity, and drinks heavily and sloppily. Melinda flaunts her affairs at neighborhood BBQ's and cocktail parties. It's suburban New England in the 1950's, so these little get togethers are frequent.

Vic is a neighborhood favorite. He's neat, he's pleasant, he cooks, he dotes on
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deep Water isn’t a typical mystery/thriller, it is deeply psychological, suspenseful and subtle. Highsmith forces us to side with a murderer, against all his potential victims. Somehow, we see their faults before his, feel his frustration, wanting him to succeed, against our reason.

“Vic didn’t dance, but not for the reason that most men who don’t dance give to themselves. He didn’t dance simply because his wife liked to dance. His rationalization of his attitude was a flimsy one and didn’t fool
Aug 31, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
After reading this book and Revolutionary Road and watching Mad Men, I am ready for a dread-free depiction of the early 1960s where the couple is happily married and emotionally fulfilled. In this book, sociopath Victor Van Allen has worked out an arrangement with his wife, the wild and petulant Melinda, where she can take the occasional lover as long as she doesn't leave him. I know, what could possibly go wrong?

Highsmith's portrayal of evil lurking beneath banal exteriors has been replayed by
Margot McGovern
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Highsmith was prolific, and her novels almost always deliver her unique brand of skin-crawling suspense. Deep Water is no exception. In fact, if you’re already well-acquainted with Ripley, this is a great place to start exploring Highsmith’s larger body of work (I also highly recommend The Cry of the Owl (1962)). However, if Highsmith is new to you, you absolutely must get your hands on a copy of The Talented Mr Ripley.

Read my full review here:
May 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: third-book-club
Read for book club - had a great discussion. I'm still thinking about the characters. The writing is so fluid and evocative - I learned so much about the characters just from the opening lines: "Vic didn't dance, but not for the reasons that most men who don't dance give to themselves. He didn't dance simply because his wife liked to dance." Fantastic.
The residents of a wealthy suburban New England town witness the slow deterioration of the marriage of one of their neighbors. This is a dark, psychological suspense story about loyalty, jealousy, revenge, madness and murder in which there are no winners. Sad and depressing.
Jose Moa
Patrcia Highsmith makes a analitic disection of the mind of psicopaths with so detail over his frustrations,yearnings and motivations that the reader feels empathy for them happening a ethic inversion and guilt inversion so that the guilt becomes victim and the victim in some way guilty.

This is so in this novel where the devotion and love that feels Vic by Melinda go gradually transforming in a love-hate relation,loss of self steem and shame of Vic by cause of Melinda affairs,relation that ends
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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...

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“There were many times when logic was of no comfort.” 4 likes
“There was something demoniacal and insuperable about typographical errors, as if they were part of the natural evil that permeated man's existence, as if they had a life of their own and were determined to manifest themselves no matter what, as surely as weeds in the best-tended gardens.” 3 likes
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