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The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith
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The Price of Salt (original 1952; edition 2004)

by Patricia Highsmith, W. W. Norton

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1,047248,051 (3.75)52
Member:almigwin
Title:The Price of Salt
Authors:Patricia Highsmith
Other authors:W. W. Norton
Info:W.W. Norton & Co. (2004), Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library (inactive)
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Tags:novel, lesbian fiction

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The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith (1952)

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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
i really like what patricia highsmith does here - the writing is tight and sharp, but more than that the story is told through a naive (not unreliable, but young and so not entirely reliable) narrator. the story is compelling and believable and the holes in it are there because our narrator, therese, doesn't have the information to fill them in. (there are no point of view mistakes in this book where some may have been welcome; i often found myself wanting to know more about carol and what was driving her or what she really meant. but therese didn't know, or assumed, and led us down a similar path of thought.)

i found therese's honesty throughout to be really refreshing, and even though i don't feel like people tend to be so true with each other, somehow it felt realistic to me. her relationship with richard rang so true, and her slow understanding of what was missing. (the scene with the actress at the cocktail party, where we're almost rooting for therese to go ahead and explore this other possibility, was perfect in it leading her back to carol, and also manages to show her growth, and readiness, and her real self.)

the growing up that therese does at the very end of the book casts carol in an entirely different light, and makes me want to reread the entire book right away, to see if i misunderstood carol from the beginning, or if i was just seeing her through the naiveté of therese. i love this. this feels so real to me, that i can be led to misunderstand someone so easily by relying on someone else for information about her, and just not allowing her to reveal herself. certainly it's possible that all that carol went through changed her, too, significantly, but i think it's therese's maturing that allows us to see carol in a different, softer, light. by the end, what we're shown isn't whimsy or infatuation, it's real, and it allows the two of them to be their real selves as well. or for therese to see carol's real self (and so allow us to see carol's real self). and that last moment where we're shown carol in that way, makes me doubt her presentation in the entire rest of the book. and i think this is absolutely brilliant. it'll keep me thinking on this book for a while. and i think the longer i sit with this book, the more i'm going to like it. ( )
  elisa.saphier | Jan 3, 2015 |
I cried at the end. ( )
  lesindy | Nov 1, 2014 |
I have been looking forward to reading "Carol" for years and I was even quite excited by the style when I started but it was pretty slow going all the way through. I still don't really understand either Therese or Carol, except for in very particular moments (moments from which I cannot see how they get to their next thought/action most of the time). Insightful at times but for me, mostly too abstruse. ( )
  Evalangui | Aug 22, 2014 |
Library Thing prediction was absolutely correct. I did not like this book. Read the first one hundred pages and then, it was all a repetition of the same conversations, etc. ( )
  sogamonk | Jul 12, 2014 |
It's more of a 2.8 review.

The Price of Salt was ahead of its time. It was a realistic and mature look of a same sex relationship between a slightly naïve 19 year old, Therese Belivet and the older newly divorced Carol Aird.

After falling in love at practically first sight after helping her find a particular doll, Therese decides to send Carol a Christmas card. Carol replies to the gesture by taking her out to lunch. As they get closer and the more Carol's divorce takes its toll, the two decide to go on a cross country trip that ends up being more therapuetic and revealing than the two would ever expect.

It was difficult for me to really like this book. Its pace was slow which probably contributed to it but I did not mind it. I actually did not like Carol. She was too cold and distant for me to empathized with her. I should have felt bad especially over her dilemma over her divorce and losing custody of her daughter but I didn't. Highsmith really tried to make her a sympathetic character but I didn't buy it.

I did feel bad over Therese's treatment over Richard. He was slightly controlling but I thought Carol was much worse. He seemed to be a good guy and she was very distant and dismissive towards him. I hated that Therese fell helplessly in love with Carol and was sort of a puppet until the last 30 pages of the book. That was the redeeming quality of The Price of Salt. ( )
  Y2Ash | Apr 16, 2014 |
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To Edna, Jordy and Jeff
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The lunch hour in the co-workers' cafeteria at Frankenberg's had reached its peak.
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:48 -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)

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