Strangers on a Train

Strangers on a Train

Patricia Highsmith Bronson Pinchot / Feb 28, 2020

Strangers on a Train In Patricia Highsmith s debut novel we encounter Guy Haines and Charles Anthony Bruno passengers on the same train But while Guy is a successful architect in the midst of a divorce Bruno turns out

  • Title: Strangers on a Train
  • Author: Patricia Highsmith Bronson Pinchot
  • ISBN: 9781504647632
  • Page: 388
  • Format: Audio CD
  • In Patricia Highsmith s debut novel, we encounter Guy Haines and Charles Anthony Bruno, passengers on the same train But while Guy is a successful architect in the midst of a divorce, Bruno turns out to be a sadistic psychopath who manipulates Guy into swapping murders with him As Bruno carries out his twisted plan, Guy is trapped in Highsmith s perilous world where, uIn Patricia Highsmith s debut novel, we encounter Guy Haines and Charles Anthony Bruno, passengers on the same train But while Guy is a successful architect in the midst of a divorce, Bruno turns out to be a sadistic psychopath who manipulates Guy into swapping murders with him As Bruno carries out his twisted plan, Guy is trapped in Highsmith s perilous world where, under the right circumstances, anybody is capable of murder The inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock s classic 1951 film, Strangers on a Train launched Highsmith on a prolific career of noir fiction and proved her mastery of depicting the unsettling forces that tremble beneath the surface of everyday contemporary life Listening Length 9 hours and 41 minutes

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    About "Patricia Highsmith Bronson Pinchot"

      • Patricia Highsmith Bronson Pinchot

        Patricia Highsmith was an American novelist who is known mainly for her psychological crime thrillers which have led to 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 1927 but returned to live with her grandmother for a year in 1933 Returning to her parents in New York, she attended public schools in New York City and later graduated from Barnard College in 1942 Shortly after graduation her short story The Heroine was published in the Harper s Bazaar magazine and it was selected as one of the 22 best stories that appeared in American magazines in 1945 and it won the O Henry award for short stories in 1946 She continued to write short stories, many of them comic book stories, and regularly earned herself a weekly 55 pay check During this period of her life she lived variously in New York and Mexico.Her first suspense novel Strangers on a Train published in 1950 was an immediate success with public and critics alike The novel has been adapted for the screen three times, most notably by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951 In 1955 her anti hero Tom Ripley appeared in the splendid The Talented Mr Ripley , a book that was awarded the Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere as the best foreign mystery novel translated into French in 1957 This book, too, has been the subject of a number of film versions Ripley appeared again in Ripley Under Ground in 1970, in Ripley s Game in 1974, The boy who Followed Ripley in 1980 and in Ripley Under Water in 1991.Along with her acclaimed series about Ripley, she wrote 22 novels and eight short story collections plus many other short stories, often macabre, satirical or tinged with black humour She also wrote one novel, non mystery, under the name Claire Morgan, plus a work of non fiction Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction and a co written book of children s verse, Miranda the Panda Is on the Veranda.She latterly lived in England and France and was popular in England than in her native United States Her novel Deep Water , 1957, was called by the Sunday Times one of the most brilliant analyses of psychosis in America and Julian Symons once wrote of her Miss Highsmith is the writer who fuses character and plot most successfully the most important crime novelist at present in practice In addition, Michael Dirda observed Europeans honoured her as a psychological novelist, part of an existentialist tradition represented by her own favorite writers, in particular Dostoevsky, Conrad, Kafka, Gide, and Camus She died of leukemia in Locarno, Switzerland on 4 February 1995 and her last novel, Small g a Summer Idyll , was published posthumously a month later.Gerry WolstenholmeJuly 2010


    1. 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 conversationbut 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 of [...]

    2. When Guy Haines and Charles Anthony Bruno meet on a train, they discover they have one thing in common: each of them has someone they would be better off without. When Haines' estranged wife winds up strangled, he finds himself caught in Bruno's psychotic, alcoholic webYeah, that makes the book sound really gripping. It wasn't. The Hitchcock film Strangers on a Train is legendary so I thought I'd give the book that inspired it a shot. I would have been better off watching Throw Mama From the Tra [...]

    3. Find all of my reviews at: 52bookminimum/In order to prove that NO, I DON’T ONLY READ PORNOS THANK YOU VERY LITTLE I begged Steve to pull me out of my downward spiral and buddy read this one with me. When my husband asked his nightly question “what are you reading????” I was so very proud to say a classic rather than smut. I also jumped at the chance to say it was a book written by the author of The Talented Mr. Ripley and that this novel became one of my favorite Hitchcock films. It was a [...]

    4. “My mistake was telling a stranger my private business.” — Guy HainesThis is my first Highsmith book, which is a shame because I have seen most movie adaptations of her novels. Throw Mama from the Train is one of my all-time favorite movies, and now I’ve finally read the book that the movie is loosely based on.The book itself is far from comedic. Written in 1950, this gritty noir novel is mostly set in New York. Guy Haines, an up and coming architect, meets Charlie Bruno on a train bound [...]

    5. Everything has its opposite close beside it.Why don't people write thrillers like Patricia Highsmith anymore? This, her first novel, boasts an iconic plot, gruelling tension, characters with psychological complexities, and plenty of intellect to balance out murderous actions. Plus, a psychopath. She's so good at the psychopaths.I'm not surprised Alfred Hitchcock found this book worthy inspiration for his 1951 film. It's clever. Two men meet on a train journey. Guy, our 'hero', on his way to secu [...]

    6. 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 [...]

    7. [7/10] 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 [...]

    8. 3.5 stars. After reading The Talented Mr. Ripley, I confess I really did want to like this book more. But, given this was her debut novel it's pretty darn good and does make one think: Could a manipulative psychopath really drive one to this kind of evil by the arousal of fear?? A seemingly normal “Guy” and psychopath Bruno are strangers on a train whose secrets revealed lead to Bruno suggesting they create the “perfect murder". Guy doesn’t take him seriously, just wants to be rid of him [...]

    9. “People, feelings, everything! Double! Two people in each person. There's also a person exactly the opposite of you, like the unseen part of you, somewhere in the world, and he waits in ambush.” ― Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a TrainI put off watching the great Hitchcock's take on this Highsmith classic until I actually read it. The book 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 [...]

    10. Possibly I have been reading too many Cornell Woolrich and Jim Thompson gutter noir novels, tightly constructed, no waste, down and dirty, but I thought this was both elegant and about 1/3 longer than it needed to be. Patricia Highsmith imo gets high marks for this book that Hitchcock made into a classic movie, but it is also full of too many rather dull and sophisticated suburbanites. And yes, I am also reading #34 of Agatha Christie’s Hercules Poirot so I have a fairly high tolerance usually [...]

    11. Since I haven't seen this movie, I wasn't aware that this book was the inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1951 film with the same title until after I finished reading this book. Published in 1950, this book is remarkable in the sense that it has a modern, contemporary tone. Guy Haines, the architect, and Charles Anthony Bruno, the wealthy shiftless wanderer, meet on the train and share personal details.From the blurb:Guy is a successful architect in the midst of a divorce, Bruno turns ou [...]

    12. ***ALL SPOILERS HIDDEN***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, Strang [...]

    13. "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 [...]

    14. 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)[Bruno [...]

    15. 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 [...]

    16. 3.5 starsStrangers on a Train is one of those novels that I constantly kept hearing about. I knew it was an older novel and that it is considered a classic thriller, but that was about the extent of my knowledge. It’s no secret that I love a good psychological thriller, but I’ve only read recent books from within this genre so I decided to broaden my range.Strangers on a Train tells the story of Charles Anthony Bruno and Guy Haines, two men that meet while they are on the same train. As the [...]

    17. 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 [...]

    18. Two men meet  on a train ride to Texas, worlds collide, and their lives  are changed forever.  Charles Bruno is a spoiled rich kid grown up now into a wealthy young man wanting more. The only path he can see to "more" is for his father to die. Bruno has never had a job and feels such a thing is not necessary for him.  He is a lazy, slovenly lush. Despicable.  Insane. And then some.Guy is the poor sap Bruno lays his murder  plot out on. Having learned that Guy is separated  from his wife, [...]

    19. 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.

    20. 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 [...]

    21. 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- psycholog [...]

    22. 2 bored stars.Buddy read with Kelly (and the Book Boar).This is the source material for the classic 1952 thriller of the same name in which director Alfred Hitchcock and script-writer Raymond Chandler greatly improved upon Patricia Highsmith’s first novel. I’m not sure what I was expecting, perhaps a lot more suspense and a lot more thrills, but not the back-and-forth banter, the dragging on and on and on with the exceedingly weird, almost perverse, relationship between Guy and Bruno. This w [...]

    23. It is one of those books where the writer brings the reader inside of the characters’ minds very quickly. The picture there is not a pleasant one. The two strangers who accidentally meet on a train one night, Charles Bruno and Guy Haines (I believe the plot is well- known, if not from the novel, then from the Hitchcock’s film), are both conflicted personalities, although it seems from the start that it is only Bruno who is a disturbed man. As the story progresses, it becomes more obvious tha [...]

    24. 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 worm [...]

    25. I've liked other Highsmith books more than I liked this one, but I still thought this book was good, although some parts of it definitely could have been shortened. I listened to the audiobook and that may be why my chief impression of Bruno is that he was a whiny, self-pitying drunk. Maybe the narrator did too good a job. Bruno was nothing like the charismatic sociopath that Highsmith created in her Ripley series. I saw the movie based on this book eons ago and all I remember is that both actor [...]

    26. I was mesmerized by this creepy, suspenseful story of a sociopath (Bruno) and how he gets a fellow train passenger (Guy) to swap murders with him, i.e each will kill a person the other would like out of his life, so there will be no apparent motive for the murders.After reading this novel, I watched the Hitchcock movie based on it. I don't want to introduce any spoilers, so I'll just say that in the book, I didn't find what Guy did credible. The movie was more believable in this respect, and for [...]

    27. This is one of those books that lingers. You finish it and you realize that what might have seemed like a simple whodunnit on the surface really had quite a bit more to say than you anticipated. Don't get me wrong Patricia Highsmith turned out quite the classic thriller with this book, Alfred Hitchcock clearly thought so anyway. But there was so very much more here.Two men meet on a train. Total strangers who slowly realize they're each caught in similar no win situations. One is the Ne'er–do [...]

    28. Some decent prose aside, I detested this novel so intensely—its eye-rollingly predictable plot, a short story's worth stretched thin and ponderous—that by the end I was considering approaching indiscriminately homicidal strangers on the train myself, begging them to please please please put me out of my misery.

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