Strangers On A Train
Author: Patricia Highsmith
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Genre: Classics, Thriller, Mystery
Release Date: July 7th 2015
(first published 1950)
Length: 9 hrs 41 mins
Strangers on a Train is one of those novels that I constantly kept hearing about. I knew it was an older novel and that it is considered a classic thriller, but that was about the extent of my knowledge. It’s no secret that I love a good psychological thriller, but I’ve only read recent books from within this genre so I decided to broaden my range.
Strangers on a Train tells the story of Charles Anthony Bruno and Guy Haines, two men that meet while they are on the same train. As the men start to get to know one another, and more alcoholic beverages are consumed, secrets start to come out. Guy reveals that he is angry with his ex-wife for sleeping with another man and becoming pregnant with his child. Bruno admits he hates his father immensely. That’s when Bruno comes up with an idea…what if he murdered Guy’s ex-wife and what if Guy were to murder Bruno’s father? Of course, Bruno was just joking around…wasn’t he?
I enjoyed that the story alternated between both Guy & Bruno’s perspectives. It provided a pretty interesting and dynamic insight into how both men reacted differently to the same scenarios. Both men could not be more different from one another. On one hand, we have Guy, an architect who is pretty well-off thanks to his own professional success. He is set to be married again soon and his life seems well put together. Then we have Bruno, a younger man who comes from a rich family due to his father’s profession. He is whiny, and quite frankly, really annoying and almost conceited. He is spoiled and becomes upset when things don’t go his way. The narrator within this audiobook did a good job of changing his performance based on which character’s perspective he was reading from. While he was reading as Bruno, he would get extremely whiny and would yell a lot which was slightly unpleasant when listening through headphones.
I was quite entertained while listening to this story and I was really excited to see how each character reacted to their decisions as the story continued. I really enjoyed listening to Strangers on a Train until about the last half hour or so. Things really slowed down and the last little chunk of the story almost felt unneeded. There was also a moment that felt very sudden and that wasn’t explained with a lot of detail. It kind of happened and that was that. Although the ending died down a little for me personally, I did like the last 5 minutes or so of the story…although it did leave me wanting a little more.
Although Strangers on a Train was published back in 1950, it felt really modern and that it could still be relevant to psychological thriller fans today. I barely even realized that there was no mention of cellphones or the internet, the story and the writing style were that well done.
I would recommend Strangers on a Train to those who like to read thrillers and mysteries. Strangers on a Train has a very film noir feel to it and if you are in to that style, this novel is perfect for you!