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Austen to Zafón

Reading widely since 1972.

Currently reading

A London Family, 1870-1900: A Trilogy
Molly Hughes
The Cellist of Sarajevo
Steven Galloway
Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher
Lewis Thomas
All the Names
José Saramago, Margaret Jull Costa
A History of the World in 100 Objects
Neil MacGregor
Down the Garden Path
Beverley Nichols
Virtue Betray'd, Or, Anna Bullen
John Banks
Year of Wonders
Geraldine Brooks
Swallows and Amazons
Arthur Ransome
Illusion in java
Gene Fowler
The Price of Salt - Patricia Highsmith The movie version of Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley has caused a resurgence of interest in her other books, which is a happy circumstance for me because I find her writing riveting and I've been glad to be able to get newer, easy-to-find copies of her books. When this was published in 1952, it was pedaled as "the novel of a love society forbids." I haven't looked, but I bet it had a pulp mystery cover with pointy bras and tight sweaters. But this isn't pulp. Based on some of Highsmith's own experiences, this story of a young woman working a dead-end job in a department store who becomes obsessed with a an older, unhappily married woman, is as tense and dark and tightly written as her Ripley novels. Of course there's stalking; what Highsmith novel doesn't have stalking and/or peeping toms? Also, anxiety, the hunters and the hunted, and forbidden desires. But it almost feels like Highsmith has more tenderness for these characters, gives them more latitude to be ordinary people rather than psychopaths.