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The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith
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The Price of Salt (1952)

by Patricia Highsmith

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1,777615,796 (3.83)102
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Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
Mientras se consagraba como una gran promesa de la novela negra por su obra 'Extraños en un tren' (no olvidemos que se trata, ni más ni menos, que de la escritora de 'El talento de Mr Ripley'), Patricia Highsmith atravesaba una mala época. Sufriendo una crisis económica personal bastante grave, comenzó a trabajar unas Navidades en unos grandes almacenes, puesto en el que tan sólo duró unos días pues una terrible varicela la achacó sin piedad. Ese efímero trabajo, sin embargo, dejó en ella la semilla de 'Carol' (cuyo título original era 'El precio de la sal'): en un momento determinado, atendió a una atractiva mujer que llevaba un abrigo de visón que se golpeaba la mano con un guante blanco. Su única relación real con ella fue el intercambio de una transacción, la venta de una muñeca.

Este cotidiano e insignificante hecho, el encuentro de Patricia Highsimith con una mujer desconocida, nos regala una de las novelas de amor más poderosas e intensas de la literatura universal. La escritora, que por aquel entonces todavía luchaba por hacerse un hueco en el mundo editorial, escribió 'Carol' en el más absoluto secreto, como ella misma dice, dominada por una fiebre de inspiración y locura. La historia de amor intergeneracional entre dos mujeres no era el 'marketing' más adecuado para los años 50.

Debido a que su editor le dio la espalda por la temática de la novela, Patricia se vio obligada a publicarla bajo un seudónimo. Sin embargo, el éxito que desató fue apabullante. Poco después, reeditó la obra y la publicó firmada por ella misma. La hipocresía, supongo.

¿Qué es 'Carol'? Una novela tan cargada de hermosura que sobrecoge. Una obra tan real, tan apabullante, tan inteligente, tan mística, que seduce. Seduce desde el inicio y se apropia de los deseos de el lector como un insecto gigante. Y sus garras, sus dolorosas garras, arrancan el gusto y pueblan nuestros sentidos del más hondo deseo del amor y de enamorarse. ¿Y qué importa que se trate de dos mujeres? Therese (nuestra protagonista de diecinueve años) es débil y enternecedora. Carol es cinismo y fuerza. Los diálogos entre ambas son sublimes, pero sus movimientos en su entorno, su comportamiento tan verosímil y bien marcado, demuestran que estamos antes una maestra de las letras como pocas se han leído jamás.

Obligatoria, sin lugar a duda. Inédita y original. Astuta y desgarradora. Un clásico imprescindible. Una joya literaria que enamorará, que prendará, que será eterna. ( )
  MiriamBeizana | Dec 3, 2018 |
Okay. So. I liked it. I wished I liked it more but it was a pretty solid 3 star read for me. What I loved: the setting. Duh. The description of the fashion and social trends were, as many others stated, wonderful to read. There's lots of booze and cigarettes contemplation-of-one's-existence. I loved reading what is arguably the first happy ending in literature for a lesbian couple. Serious kudos to Highsmith, it is something we are still trying to see more of in media today. What I didn't love: the characters. And as a character-driven reader, I gotta love the characters in order to love the story. The story is told almost exclusively from one POV and I really love a two POV romance meself. That being said, I would not say this is a romance. It is more of a love story. Yes, there is a difference. I think Highsmith wrote exactly what she wanted to, how she wanted to and I wouldn't change anything per se (not that I can), but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to romance readers or try to sell it as such. Was it worth the read? Yes, absolutely. A lot of readers really enjoyed this and just because I didn't doesn't mean you won't. ( )
  EliseLaForge | Nov 20, 2018 |
A swift read. I liked the first half better than the last. In the beginning it wasn't quite so obvious how melodramatic and childish Therese is. Carol was sort of aloof and mysterious. At the end, I gained more respect for Carol and lost all respect for Therese. She seemed very spoiled to me. I get that she is oppressed and in love, but her love wasn't that convincing to me. It was selfish, since she seemed to have no regard for Carol's love for her daughter. So I give it a "like" instead of "really like", I just didn't appreciate Therese's narrative. ( )
  CassandraT | Sep 23, 2018 |
I had really high hopes for this one, as being the lesbian story that so influenced Lolita. But, I don't know. It didn't hold out all the way for me. I understood Teresa's feelings, but not Carol's. The drama didn't hold for me. It was interesting to read a book about something that taboo from that era (1952?), but I didn't really feel Teresa's love. Maybe I wasn't supposed to. I understood her disappointment, with everything that did and didn't happen, and her sex and the lust for youth and apathy. I don't know if I'd suggest it to everyone, but some people would really like it. ( )
  adaorhell | Aug 24, 2018 |
There is a depth of feeling in this writing that is really great. I found it powerful. The story, however, is dragging on in such a way that I feel mired in deep mud. I'm going to abandon this book after reading 40% of it.
  ajlewis2 | Jul 11, 2018 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
To Edna, Jordy and Jeff
First words
The lunch hour in the co-workers' cafeteria at Frankenberg's had reached its peak.
Quotations
Happiness was like a green vine spreading through her, stretching fine tendrils, bearing flowers through her flesh.
She had seen just now what she had only sensed before, that the whole world was ready to be their enemy, and suddenly what she and Carol had together seemed no longer love or anything happy but a monster between them, with each of them caught in a fist.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Carol was first published in the USA under the title The Price of Salt, 1952, and the author's pseudonym of Claire Morgan.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393325997, Paperback)

Now recognized as a masterwork, the scandalous novel that anticipated Nabokov's Lolita.

"I have long had a theory that Nabokov knew The Price of Salt and modeled the climactic cross-country car chase in Lolita on Therese and Carol's frenzied bid for freedom," writes Terry Castle in The New Republic about this novel, arguably Patricia Highsmith's finest, first published in 1952 under the pseudonym Clare Morgan. Soon to be a new film, The Price of Salt tells the riveting story of Therese Belivet, a stage designer trapped in a department-store day job, whose salvation arrives one day in the form of Carol Aird, an alluring suburban housewife in the throes of a divorce. They fall in love and set out across the United States, pursued by a private investigator who eventually blackmails Carol into a choice between her daughter and her lover. With this reissue, The Price of Salt may finally be recognized as a major twentieth-century American novel.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:19 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

From the Publisher: "I have long had a theory that Nabokov knew The Price of Salt and modeled the climactic cross-country car chase in Lolita on Therese and Carol's frenzied bid for freedom," writes Terry Castle in The New Republic about this novel, arguably Patricia Highsmith's finest, first published in 1952 under the pseudonym Clare Morgan. Soon to be a new film, The Price of Salt tells the riveting story of Therese Belivet, a stage designer trapped in a department-store day job, whose salvation arrives one day in the form of Carol Aird, an alluring suburban housewife in the throes of a divorce. They fall in love and set out across the United States, pursued by a private investigator who eventually blackmails Carol into a choice between her daughter and her lover. With this reissue, The Price of Salt may finally be recognized as a major twentieth-century American novel.… (more)

» see all 12 descriptions

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