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The Price of Salt Paperback – December 17, 2014
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''A document of persecuted love -- perfect.'' --The Independent
''About the pursuit of love, and true happiness . . . It has characters who laugh, and who laugh without scorn or illusion . . . very recognizably Highsmith, full of tremor and of threat and of her peculiar genius for anxiety.'' --The Sunday Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
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.
Dover (2015) republication of the edition originally published by Bantam Books, New York, 1953.
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Top customer reviews
Slight spoiler alert!!!!!
This story is great since it was one of the first, perhaps THE first?, that didn't have the lesbian lovers crash and burn. The buildup to them confessing to attraction, to love, was right up my alley. I'm so glad they're making a movie of this - this books deserves it!
Carol is worldly and not easy to like. All that sophistication yet she is drawn to a teenage store clerk and wannabe set designer. They couldn't make an odder couple and yet. And yet. The scenes and dialogue between these too are so vibrant, so double edged that the rest of the world they are travelling through falls away. Secondary characters like Richard and Harge seem pale and lifeless. Therese's world without Carol is a cold and grey place.
There were moments, especially in the first half of the novel when you feel like you are watching a rather dry play put on by some local actors.
Patience by the reader is rewarded with a technicolor ride and I suppose this contrast is what impressed me the most about this novel.
Much like the Wizard of Oz, Therese and her life are transformed when she recognizes and accepts who she is and who she loves. The writing is gorgeous. I had to stop listening to the novel and slow down and read the words on the page just to savour Highsmith's talent. She captures that incredible rush one feels when you fall in love for the first time.
"How was it possible to be afraid in love, Therese thought. The two things did not go together. How was it possible to be afraid, when the two of them grew stronger together every day? And every night. Every night was different, and every morning. Together they possessed a miracle." pg. 173
" Once they came upon a little town they liked and spent the night there, without pajamas or toothbrushes, without past or future, and the night became another of those islands in time, suspended somewhere in the heart or in the memory, intact and absolute." pg 177
Big sigh. Picturing Cate Blancett and Roona Mara in the starring roles of the soon to be released Carol? Wow. Can't wait.
Even when Carol is a love story, very different from her other crime themed novels, you can still tell it's a Highsmith's work.
This time writing about falling in love for the first time, she sorta shows the parallels between the criminal and the amorous mind. A universal feeling. Amazing character development (Therese). And finally, not a catastrophic ending.
I would recommend reading this and then watching the film to have a full perspective on both characters.
After the movie ended, all I wanted to do was to lock myself in my room to reminisce every single scene. (Cate Blanchett as Carol? Rooney Mara as Therese? Yes please!!) This compelled me to buy the book and.. It was the best decision ever.
Although it was slightly different from the movie, I found that the book's story plot was actually more intriguing as compared to the movie (In the movie, Carol always being so far away and hardly seemed to be 'in the moment' whenever she was with Therese).
I felt confusion, suspense and breathtaking moments that I could not simply put down the book!
I am head over heels obsessed with Carol and I'm hoping and praying that there will be a sequel. Though... I highly doubt there would be. But I can always dream, right?