The Collaborators!: “Strangers on a Train” by Patricia Highsmith

As you all know, it was my turn to pick the book for this month’s Collaboration.  I’m sure that some of you were waiting with bated breath: What would she make Erica read?  Maybe a romance novel?  Would she force Erica to slog through the long-awaited sequel to Wideacre, with its promise of yet more craziness and also incest?  Or maybe would she pick a book in the middle of a series, knowing how Erica has to read series from the beginning?

If the theme song isn't stuck in your head, I don't know what you're even doing.

Dudes, I’m not evil; just occasionally misguided.  So when it came time to choose, I looked at what I’d been reading (a bunch of historical fiction) and what I wanted to read next (violence violence VIOLENCE), and decided that I would ask Erica if she was okay reading something with some violent tendencies:

I went home, looked at my bookshelves, and had a list of about twenty books I wanted to read.  Then I eliminated half of them because they were parts of a series (I will be reading the next J.D. Robb book shortly … as soon as I can figure out if I have it already or if I have to find it). Then I eliminated another three books because I’ve already read them, and (at this juncture), we’re committed to reading books neither of us have ever read before.

That left us with:

  • Strangers On A Train by Patricia Highsmith
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John Le Carré
  • 1st To Die by James Patterson
  • Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler

I got through tweeting all of those titles and she jumps up and says “STRANGERS ON A TRAIN!”

There you have it, folks: our scientific process of choosing.

Strangers on a Train

I had bought Strangers on a Train years ago, after I read The Talented Mr. Ripley (which is now so long ago that I feel I should re-read that in the near future.  Maybe).  And unlike a lot of movies, I actually have seen the classic Hitchcock adaptation of the book, but I’ll admit it’s been a few years since I’ve watched it last.  I know it involves two strangers that meet on a train, and then they agree to kill each other’s people that they hate the most: for one it’s his mother; for the other, his girlfriend.  One actually goes through with the murder, and when the other backs out, he becomes the next victim.  And then someone dies on a carousel.

(Seriously, it’s been years since I’ve seen this movie.)

So here’s where I’m at: I’m a little over a hundred pages away from finishing the book I’m reading now, and if the weekend goes nicely I should be able to finish that in time for our scheduled Collaboration on Monday.  Of course, I still have Water For Elephants out from the library, and that’s been renewed twice and it’s due on the 31st….

Looks like I’ve got more overdue fees coming my way!  Hooray?

 

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