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Strangers on a Train
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CLASSICS Reviews 2016 > Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith - 5 stars

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Lara (llevinson) | 115 comments Mod
Since this book was published in 1950, I figured it could in the Classics category...


Everyone’s heard of this one, right? Two men meet on a train and decide to swap murders with each other. Well, not quite.

Guy Haines is traveling from New York to Texas on the train in order to finally procure a divorce from his wife with whom he’s been separated for several years. Charles Bruno is on the same train heading for New Mexico to meet up with his mother for a vacation. They meet on the train and Bruno, who is for some reason taken with Guy, invites him to join Bruno in his private room for dinner that evening. There Bruno proceeds to go on and on about his idea for “exchanging murders” with Guy. Bruno could kill Guy’s wife, and Guy would murder Bruno’s father. Guy of course thinks this is just drunk talk and wants nothing to do with Bruno. When he finally gets off in Texas he is relieved that he’ll never have to see that man again. But Bruno has other ideas. Suddenly, Guy’s wife is murdered, but it all just has to be a coincidence, right? It couldn’t possibly have been Bruno. But then, when Bruno gets in contact with Guy about killing his father, Guy realizes this situation has gotten out of control and he doesn’t know what to do.

This novel is a modern classic for a reason. Bruno is such a wonderfully complex character. I could see why Guy was both drawn to and repulsed by him. At times I actually felt more sorry for him than I did for Guy. While it sounds like an exciting book full of action, the real delight for me was the psychology of it all. Bruno ate away at Guy like a slow burn. I could actually feel Guy coming apart at the seams. And then, of course, there was Bruno’s own self-implosion. I couldn’t put the book down for the last 100 pages because I needed to know how it ended! I definitely recommend this to anyone who is at all interested in the human psyche, and those that just like suspense novels in general. Great read!

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 217 comments Mod
I've never read this ... I don't think. Reading your review, I think I should add it to my tbr.

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