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Showing 1-10 of 37 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 51 reviews
on February 16, 2017
I was sitting watching this movie on Paytv one day and noticed the story line to this "A Kind of murder" movie was the same as the novel "Blunderer" I was reading. Yep, it was the novel in theater form. I had a double dose of this plot and it was great. The protagonist did silly things to cast suspension upon himself for murder. Did he comity murder? Watch it or read the novel; very suspensions!
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on May 9, 2016
I am a big fan of Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley, so I was looking forward to reading this novel. What a letdown and a disappointment! Not only was there very little suspense, but nothing much happened that couldn't have been predicted. Now I'm reluctant to read her other novels that have also been highly rated.
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on October 15, 2015
The Blunderer might seem a little slow to some readers, but Highsmith's strength is her ability to let the psychological turmoil of her protagonists develop slowly as a quasi-natural response to external events. Here our blundering anti-hero is first seen in a fairly everyday life, but the psychological pressures and the disappointments mount. The process by which Highsmith turns this average Joe into fodder for the newspapers seems credible and even inevitable. Few genre writers I know of are so adept at depicting the steady deterioration of a person's character and values, a process that kmight unfold slowly in this book. But don't take my world for it. I'm over 70 and don't, as they say, even buy green bananas.
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on August 31, 2017
Well written, but a little frustrating. The protagonist IS such a blunderer that it kind of sticks to ones craw.
Still, recommended for the imaginative beginning.
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on March 13, 2016
This was not my favorite Highsmith novel, but her disdain for humanity was never more evident. By that measure it's a great book. But, plot makes little sense and the characters are over the top. Walter, the blunderer, lives up to distilling. His two adversaries, a murderer named Kimmel and a ruthless, violent police officer named Corbett, are hateful to the extent they have not one redeeming quality. While the overall plot fails to hold together, Kimmel's murder scheme is truly inventive. However, the murder comes early in the book and the rest of the book doesn't lo
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What does the title mean? Without giving away any critical clues, the reader quickly sees that a blundered is someone lacking an Ethical Core. What happens when a blunderer and a psychopath come together in a complicated drama? Find out in this page turning masterpiece. Watch out though as you might find that discovering how a distorted mind perceives people is terrifying.
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on October 22, 2013
It is difficult for me to say anything negative about Patricia Highsmith's work. I am a inveterate fan: I enjoy everything that she wrote and am especially fascinated by her sociopaths. This novel is an excellent example of her ability to infuse apparently ordinary people with extraordinary neurotic actions and thoughts. In this case really bad luck complicate (and wrecks) the copycat's life. It is almost on the level of my favorites, the books of the Ripliad--that's why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5, although as a crime story, it deserves a 5. The characterization of the bitchy wife is superb!
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on June 11, 2007
I read The Blunderer after reading the better known and more highly regarded Strangers On A Train. To my surprise i found it was the better novel.Strangers is more cleverly plotted but it's less "HIGHSMITHIAN".I think it's safe to say that Highsmith went through some changes as a writer and a person between writing her first and third novels.In Strangers Highsmith still identifies with society to a striking degree.Bruno is the villan and he is a creep.Anne and her family are good and admirable.Guy doesn't want to do bad things and wouldn't but for Bruno.In THE BLUNDERER you know very quickly your in another world.The villan of the piece is not the murderer Kimmel.It's the police detective Corby.Corby is a genuinely vile character.That's interesting because Corby is trying to bring a couple of men he thinks are murderers to justice.The good people have disappeared.At first you think the protagonist Walter has tried and true friends and business associates.He has a charming new girlfriend.They all abandon him quite quickly once Corby starts to talk to them.This despite the fact that there is no compelling case against Walter.Some friends!Some girlfriend!In The Blunderer Highsmith has written a remarkably compelling tale of pettiness,cowardice and conformism.Walter does himself no favors by his blundering but it's the nearest and dearest who do him in by perversely empowering the moral cretin Corby.Alas Corby is also the novels weak link.What's a Philladelphia police detective doing in Allentown investigating a suspected suicide?Why is his department allowing him to run all over new york and new jersey to investigate crimes unconnected to philladelhia?Why does the newark police department cooperate with him?This is not plausible and winds up being annoying.Highsmith does have a certain weakness for all powerful detectives that gets the better of her.Had she resisted that here i think The Blunderer would have been one of her best novels.As it is it's quite good.
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on August 14, 2013
What an enormous disappointment. I was a Highsmith fan based on the movies made from her works and thought it was time to actually read one of her books. Given the encomiums here by some readers - see the first couple of reviews - I tried "The Blunderer." It turned out to be an exasperating book to struggle through because it had a protagonist who was so unbelievably stupid - emphasis on both unbelievable and stupid - that I could not care about him and when you don't care about the protagonist you don't really want to go on reading.

On top of that, the author kept pushing plot points in ways that strained credulity. As the story went along it descended into an unbelievable mess.

This is the story of a man who has a harridan of a wife whom he once loved but finally realizes he must divorce. He arranges to do so, planning a trip to Reno (this is the 1950s). So why, then, does he follow his wife's bus when she travels to visit her dying mother? His wife promptly kills herself at the first bus stop where he is trying to find her. Why? Because the author is manipulating the plot. Our hero (?) has seen a newspaper article about a woman who was killed under mysterious circumstance at a bus stop while she was on a trip away from her husband. The reader knows that the woman was killed by her husband and this echoing makes absolutely no sense except as a plot manipulation. Our protagonist has shown no indication of being violent, of wanting his wife dead - in fact he saved her life when she tried to kill herself earlier in the story. So why the insane - and completely unbelievable - pursuit of the bus?

And that's only the beginning. He befriends the husband of the murdered woman he read about, he cuts off contact with his friends, he fumbles around when a policeman starts pursuing him - and he's a lawyer who doesn't know he needs legal representation when the cops are after you. The whole thing degenerates from one unbelievable situation to another. I did finish reading the book to its contrived ending. I don't know why.
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on June 4, 2016
some people might say that all Patricia Highsmith books r all the same but not I, they r all different & very good. The blunderer is in the same category. I could not put it down. it took me 2days to read it.
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