Moopy Book Club (June '20): Patricia Highsmith - "Carol" (aka 'The Price of Salt')

Suedey

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Apologies for the delay posting this thread!

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From Goodreads :

Patricia Highsmith's story of romantic obsession may be one of the most important, but still largely unrecognized, novels of the twentieth century. First published in 1952 and touted as "the novel of a love that society forbids," the book soon became a cult classic.

Based on a true story plucked from Highsmith's own life, Caroltells the riveting drama of Therese Belivet, a stage designer trapped in a department-store day job, whose routine is forever shattered by a gorgeous epiphany—the appearance of Carol Aird, a customer who comes in to buy her daughter a Christmas toy. Therese begins to gravitate toward the alluring suburban housewife, who is trapped in a marriage as stultifying as Therese's job. They fall in love and set out across the United States, ensnared by society's confines and the imminent disapproval of others, yet propelled by their infatuation. Carol is a brilliantly written story that may surprise Highsmith fans and will delight those discovering her work.

This authorized edition includes an afterword by Patricia Highsmith. Previously titled The Price of Salt.
 

Tisch

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Yay!

I'm actually getting through this with some speed (for me). I'm on chapter 7 already!

Her increasing feelings for Carol are so well written. No twee-ness, no cliche, no meandering descriptions about a "long swan-like neck" or such, and no overt sexuality (yet). Just a real longing for her company and security around her.

I can really feel her coldness towards Richard versus her complete desire for Carol that she doesn't quite realise is a sexual feeling yet. Genuinely interested to see it blossoming and I'm rooting for them straightaway from their first meeting.
 

Sheena

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Oh I've read this and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's very good.
 

Suedey

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I may give this one a miss because I'm compelled to read more Toni Morrison in this current climate, and have just started Beloved.

I will still read this but perhaps later in the year and will contribute to the discussion then.
 

Tisch

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Well I'm on chapter SEVEN and still thoroughly enjoying it. :disco: I like how she isn't having an internal fight with herself about being gay, but simply about being in love with Carol. It makes sense to her and to me as the reader alike.
 

RaspberrySwirl

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Oh I see. I mean I’d love to keep supporting local bookstores but the prices for English books are much higher.


And now I can justify my sudden and stupid need to buy and collect all those fancy Vintage Classics book series. :disco:
 

RaspberrySwirl

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After an excellent first chapter with that scary night at the colleague’s place, this has turned into a very slow nothing. I hope it picks up soon.

I kept wondering how the hell they made Cate Blanchett play 19-year-old Therese and Judi Dench Carol... now I looked it up on IMDB and turns out I was thinking of Notes on a Scandal. *facepalm*

I was looking forward Judi Dench being an evil lesbian or something. Let’s see where this leads to...
 

Tisch

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I know what you mean about it being a bit nothing but I'm enjoying the slow burn! However I'm halfway through and there hasn't even been any finger banging yet so I will need something to happen soon.
 

RaspberrySwirl

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Two thirds in and still not much happening. Unless someone dies very soon, I doubt I’ll be able to finish this anytime soon.
 

RaspberrySwirl

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Sorry, this was a huge disappointment. Being a Highsmith novel, I expected a thriller. This wasn’t; I kept waiting for something exciting to happen but it never did. The romance wasn’t engaging at all, and I found Therese rather insufferable. 2/5
 

Tisch

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So I finally got to them ACTUALLY getting it on after pages and pages of seemingly nice stares across the room at each other.

It was really quite sexy! Got me slightly aflutter. <Goes off men>

Now there's some actual finger bobbing going on I'm hoping I'll be more interested and can finish it quickly now. I've genuinely really enjoyed the slow burn of it all. If I was to describe to someone what happens in the book it's difficult to say because it really is a whole lot of nothing. But that omnipresence into Therese's entire thoughts really transports me back to being a gay 19 year old and working out what that actually MEANT for me.

Will rate when finished! Coming 2022.
 

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