S.'s Reviews > The Price of Salt

The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith
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's review
Sep 02, 2010

it was amazing

Slinky 1950's couture, lesbian chic, unfiltered cigarettes and bottomless highballs have reappeared in the American zeitgeist and perhaps that style cycle is responsible for this sleek creature finally clawing its way out of confinement. It saddens me to think this book has been stuffed into a musty box labeled "lesbian romance" and left to molder for over fifty years.
It is a dark and forceful account of erotic obsession. It is a terrifying fairy tale told beside a phalanx of glass-eyed dolls. It picks you up in the middle of a tantrum and plops you down in a theater set where the beautiful sparkling ice queen feeds you oranges and warm milk and then tucks you into bed without a kiss. It is the sunlit long drive when you had mommy all to yourself and you sat in the front seat and she told you how much she loved you and you knew you were her favorite. It is perfectly reasonable to believe that Nabokov's imagination was shaped by this book.
I'll never lock eyes with a stranger again without wisps of this story seeping up under my mental doors and floating into awareness.Perhaps the novel's pivotal, transformative energy is the real reason why so many were so eager to slip it into a box with a reductive label and stow it away in our collective attic.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
September 2, 2010 – Shelved

Comments (showing 1-16 of 16) (16 new)

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message 1: by Jemma (new)

Jemma I just had to say - you should be a writer yourself if you aren't already! What a beautifully worded review.... We are about to read this for book club and I have to say that my initial impression was - oh no a lesbian romance, waaay outside my comfort zone (no I'm not a homophobe, it's just uncomfortable reading about it) - so your review has certainly opened my mind to it more! Thanks :)

Bonnie This review is amazing.

message 3: by Sketchbook (new)

Sketchbook Also amazing is "Carol," the 2015 movie version -- don't miss.

message 4: by H (new)

H Hypnotizing review!

message 5: by S. (new) - rated it 5 stars

S. Thanks, everyone!

Holly Kinney My goodness, your review is illuminating.

Sandra wow who are you?

message 8: by Nancy (new)

Nancy J. The movie was so awesome I can't wait to read the book.

message 9: by Rita (new) - added it

Rita I have to agree with several people here. Who are you and where can I read you? Magical text

Geraldine Excellent and beautiful review of a , for me, profoundly affecting book. I've not quite finished it, and so a dark cloud of sorrow and dread smacks me now and again.

message 11: by Lena (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lena Love your review. Thanks!

Catarina Carreira Thank you for your review, I loved to read it. It's so amazing how each one reads it's own book in the same book. I never thought about that age difference while reading it. I mean, I knew Carol was a lot older, but I never thought about that in that way, it didn't mean that much to me.
Now that I have read your review I can think both ways, and understand in a diferent way Carol's behaviour. For example, I read a translation of the book because I am portuguese (Sorry for the bad english!), and Therese treats Carol in a formal way. Now I can realize that maybe that age gap that is not important for me today, was huge back then.
Thank you for making me think about that!

message 13: by Shayna (new) - added it

Shayna Acuff You have a true craft with words. That's a gift. Don't waste it! Would love to hear more from you!

Steve Perceptive as hell. Indeed, this book is so much more than a lesbian love story. The way in which Highsmith captures the nebulous illusion of love that spans every sub-category of humanity is pure brilliance. I defy anyone with an ounce of self-awareness to not see themselves hauntingly reflected in both characters.

Penelope Carter A superb review. As poetic and hypnoticas the book itself. "Carol" demands a re-read. Thanks.

message 16: by SunRise (new) - added it

SunRise  NewEarth Ms Highsmith is that you! Beautiful play on words just beautiful

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