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The Price of Salt (1952)

by Patricia Highsmith

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,466854,885 (3.82)1 / 125
A chance encounter between two lonely women leads to a passionate romance in this lesbian cult classic. Therese, a struggling young sales clerk, and Carol, a homemaker in the midst of a bitter divorce, abandon their oppressive daily routines for the freedom of the open road, where their love can blossom. But their newly discovered bliss is shattered when Carol is forced to choose between her child and her lover. Author Patricia Highsmith is best known for her psychological thrillers Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley. Originally published in 1952 under a pseudonym, The Price of Salt was heralded as the novel of a love society forbids. Highsmith's sensitive treatment of fully realized characters who defy stereotypes about homosexuality marks a departure from previous lesbian pulp fiction. Erotic, eloquent, and suspenseful, this story offers an honest look at the necessity of being true to one's nature.… (more)
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» See also 125 mentions

English (81)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (85)
Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)
Can't wait for the movie! ( )
  leahsusan | Mar 26, 2022 |
I must confess, I read the book after seeing the film. As I am a huge fan of Cate Blanchett and the film version of the book, I felt the need to read the book as well. The author's name, Patricia Highsmith, is probably familiar to many. Though, after the film version of "The Price of Salt" called "Carol", it was on everyone's lips again.

The story follows 19-year-old Therese, who meets Carol Aird and is completely captivated by her. Although Carol is much older and married, the two begin a romance.

The first half of the book felt slow and very detailed. Also, I found Richard, Therese's boyfriend, absolutely deadly annoying. He is the epitome of toxic masculinity on all levels. However, I thought people were generally rude to Therese for no reason, Carol included.

The second half was much better, and of course, the ending was beautiful! Primarily because of the following famous quote: "It would be Carol, in a thousand cities, a thousand houses, in foreign lands where they would go together, in heaven and in hell."

By the way, as so often in the film, they changed some things from the original book. Nevertheless, I would recommend the book to anyone who loves the film as much as I do and who would like to know more details about Therese and Carol's story.

~~~
Find more reviews on my blog. ( )
  wordsandfiction | Mar 5, 2022 |
Patricia Highsmith can write! A slow burn will often lose me, but not when a good writer hooks me in a thousand little ways. This had me on the edge of my seat. Emotional and intense, with a lot of twists, turns, and surprises. Big recommend. ( )
  zoegreenfeld | Mar 4, 2022 |
To settle a debt of social etiquette a young woman begrudgingly mails a sausage from Pennsylvania to New York City. She is rewarded with a very nice thank-you note.

Some other stuff happens, I suppose, but I doubt I shall remember anything but the sausage, as I find Highsmith's prose style dull and hard to follow. I can see why it would be considered a landmark in LGBTQIA+ literature, but it mostly makes me grateful for all the wonderful stuff available today.

I'll probably still try the movie sometime soon. I hope they keep the sausage scene. ( )
  villemezbrown | Dec 12, 2021 |
No idea what went wrong with this book for me. I was really enjoying it and then decided that I just couldn’t be bothered finishing it.
No idea.
First few chapters were lovely :) ( )
  mjhunt | Jan 22, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (44 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patricia Highsmithprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lefkow, LaurelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stromberg, KyraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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People/Characters
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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.
I don't mean people like that. I mean two people who fall in love suddenly with each other, out of the blue. Say two men or two girls ... I suppose it could happen, though, to almost anyone, couldn't it?
They're not horrid. One's just supposed to conform. I know what they'd like, they'd like a blank they could fill in. A person already filled in disturbs them terribly.
Remember what you said about physics not applying to people? ... Well, I’m not sure you’re
right ... Take friendships, for instance. I can think of a lot of cases where the two people have nothing in common. I think there’s a definite reason for every friendship just as there’s a reason why certain atoms unite and others don’t—certain missing factors in one, or certain present factors in the other—what do you think? I think friendships are the result of certain needs that can be completely hidden from both people, sometimes hidden forever.
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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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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English (3)

A chance encounter between two lonely women leads to a passionate romance in this lesbian cult classic. Therese, a struggling young sales clerk, and Carol, a homemaker in the midst of a bitter divorce, abandon their oppressive daily routines for the freedom of the open road, where their love can blossom. But their newly discovered bliss is shattered when Carol is forced to choose between her child and her lover. Author Patricia Highsmith is best known for her psychological thrillers Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley. Originally published in 1952 under a pseudonym, The Price of Salt was heralded as the novel of a love society forbids. Highsmith's sensitive treatment of fully realized characters who defy stereotypes about homosexuality marks a departure from previous lesbian pulp fiction. Erotic, eloquent, and suspenseful, this story offers an honest look at the necessity of being true to one's nature.

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Book description
Arguably Patricia Highsmith's finest, The Price of Salt is the 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.
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W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

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