The Blunderer

Patricia Highsmith


The Blunderer

The Blunderer

  • Title: The Blunderer
  • Author: Patricia Highsmith
  • ISBN: 9780393322446
  • Page: 446
  • Format: Paperback



For two years, Walter Stackhouse has been a faithful and supportive husband to his wife, Clara She is distant and neurotic, and Walter finds himself harboring gruesome fantasies about her demise When Clara s dead body turns up at the bottom of a cliff in a manner uncannily resembling the recent death of a woman named Helen Kimmel who was murdered by her husband, Walter fFor two years, Walter Stackhouse has been a faithful and supportive husband to his wife, Clara She is distant and neurotic, and Walter finds himself harboring gruesome fantasies about her demise When Clara s dead body turns up at the bottom of a cliff in a manner uncannily resembling the recent death of a woman named Helen Kimmel who was murdered by her husband, Walter finds himself under scrutiny He commits several blunders that claim his career and his reputation, cost him his friends, and eventually threaten his life The Blunderer examines the dark obsessions that lie beneath the surface of seemingly ordinary people With unerring psychological insight, Patricia Highsmith portrays characters who cross the precarious line separating fantasy from reality.NB The title in England was changed to Lament for a Lover.


Recent Comments "The Blunderer"

Here is Highsmith with one of her very best. Walter Stackhouse is a sympathetic protagonist as is his girlfriend Elli. You like him, root for him, even feel compassion for Kimmell who really has killed his wife (Stackhouse is suspected in what looks to be a copycat murder). It's Corby, the young, ambitious police detective that you begin to hatewith his strong arm tactics and bulldog ways. Highsmith understands all too well the terrain of marriage gone bad, and the interplay between detective, m [...]

Nobody does psychological suspense better than Highsmith. People who overestimate their own intelligence are left twisting in a maze of stupid blunders, lies, half truths and both real and hypothetical crimes. For Walter Stackhouse, innocence is no protection when his life is unraveled by the actions of a jealous and vindictive murderer and a dogged detective. The narration by Robert Fass of the audiobook was very good.

This novel is absolutely vintage Highsmith. It starts with a murder and ends with a murderous debacle. The atmosphere of the novel is claustrophobic throughout with the stage getting smaller and the options more limited as the action progresses. It is a novel of guilt and violence with some truly nasty moments.

As I posted in a status update yesterday afternoon on (at page 209),"I just love Patricia Highsmith's work. I'm sitting here reading this today, and my tension level has been ratcheted up more than a few times throughout this story. I so want to peek at the end to make sure everything comes out all right, but this is Highsmith, so I know it won't."and as things turned out, I was right. But that's Highsmith for you: things don't always go the way you think they should in her books. She often doe [...]

Ah, the mid-20th century. When you come down with the flu, your wife assembles around you everything you will "need:" Cigarettes, matchesThe doctor pays house calls and will pump your stomach in the comfort of your own bedroom.Completely middle class people have servants who fix their dinner and lay out their clothes on the bed so they can pack for trips.Suicide is a crime. If you survive your suicide attempt, you could be in trouble with the law!As with most Highsmith, there's a big "ick" facto [...]

Reading about an idiot has never been more infuriating, but in a good way. I kept turning the pages in the hopes the protagonist would acquire some common sense from somewhere. Anywhere. The book made me want to scream at the protagonist. I pulled out some of my hair in frustration. I think I had an arterial infarc in my brain, which I can't afford to let happen. The Blunderer is all that and more but not in a funny way; In an incendiary way to be sure. Not for those with heart conditions or hig [...]

I wrote a fabulous review and GR lost it. Boo!!! This happens a lot and always with what I think are my best reviews! :-( I've learned my lesson, but tonight decided to write on the site. Never again!Just know I have fallen head over heels for Patricia Highsmith and am so glad she has a huge backlist. I just hope I don't read them too quickly!

O melhor livro policial de Patricia Highsmith que li até ao momento. (O melhor livro da autora que já li é o volume 'Pequenos Contos da Misoginia', que é hilariante.) Prende-nos do princípio ao fim. Mais do que um policial, é um thriller psicológico com personagens muito, mas muito, bem desenhadas.

Lo de Highsmith es una cátedra de construcción de personajes. Todos son necesarios y cada uno es más humano que otro. Mención especial al tratamiento y reacciones que provoca el alcohol en cada uno de sus personajes. El 'background' de la escritora hizo que fuera mi obsesión a lo largo de la lectura. Mi único reparo es el investigador del caso, pero que igual logra su cometido. Buen manejo de la tensión y la intriga.

I love Patricia Highsmith! She is such a great writer and so good at making you empathize with the seedier characters in life.This was a page turner and easy read that I really enjoyed about a murderer and a non-murderer who causes a lot of problems for himself when he reads about a murder in the paper.The plot is interesting and suspenseful and moves really quickly. The characters are realistic and fully developed and you really feel like you know them. That's what I love about Highsmith: she's [...]

BOOK SIX: Mid 20th Century American Crime Readathon: UPDATE: There is no doubt writers read much of other author's works. And Highsmith gives Chandler a big ol' slap for his ridiculous plot idea of a lending library for porn books in his "Big Sleep" novel. And she does is perfectly with a singular line having nothing to do with the plot: she simply writes of a book store owner who discretely gets whatever books his clients want, but he'll sell them only on par with the energy taken to track down [...]

This one I really liked the story of the guy accused of being a copycat killer. Almost felt sorry for him

There is something about my obsession with Patricia Highsmith that is itself downright Highsmithian, made up as it is of equal parts fascination and revulsion. The rational mind wants to turn away, to move on to other landscapes, but the lizard brain keeps coming back for more. This kind of obsession resides right in her wheelhouse: The sticky idea that clings against one’s will and better judgment, the toxic idea that damages the mind in which it dwells. The Blunderer sounds that theme, as it [...]

Me encantó leer a Patricia Highsmith, me puse a revisar sus otras obras y con sorpresa vi que está tras Carol (The Price of Salt), El Talentoso Mr. Ripley, entre otras. Siempre me han gustado las historias de suspenso, a pesar de la tensión es una lectura entretenida para mi, y El Cuchillo me enganchó desde la primera hoja. La manera de relatar los sucesos y generar emociones me cautivó.****Spoiler Alert****Un matrimonio de papel, era el de Walter y Clara. El personaje de Clara llega a ener [...]

This was engrossing and I really enjoyed it and tried to drag it out. But sadly, toward the end, I lost interest. It kind of reminded me of the end of "Rear Window," in that it was exactly what you would think would happen, and not particularly interesting anymore by the time you get there. My reaction to the end was sort of, "Yep, that sure sucks." While it seems like almost any ending would have been better and more creative (i.e. there was no murder, it was all a misunderstanding! OrI don't k [...]

Another enthralling journey of suspense from Patricia Highsmith.She employs the unusual device of describing two entirely unrelated sets of circumstances, leaving the reader to wonder how they will come together.They do indeed converge, in an increasingly sinister manner - with the threat of murder lurking in the shadows of almost every scene.To some extent she offers a choice of protagonist, presenting the reader with reasons to identify with both of the main characters and the cop that pursues [...]

I haven't read much Highsmith, I'm afraid, and have often been told that's a big mistake.This book may surely be used as evidence against me, as it shows a mastership of the art on every level: meticulously structured, with an ever increasing pace, and wonderfully imaginative, it's a perfect example of a thriller that isn't clichéd at any point.

Another great Highsmith novel. Three protagonists, Stakehouse, Kimmet and a young policeman goading them to 'admit' the truth. I am still replaying the end in my mind. I am still relatively new to her books. She is an incredible writer and takes you right into the minds of the main characters.

It seems a bit churlish to be irritated by the blunderings of a character in a novel called "The Blunderer" - but seriously Walter, get it together! So it's pretty infuriating and the end is rather throw-away but it's a Highsmith, and so exerts a strange fascination on the reader. Even at her most outrageous moments, when things strain credulity, she stares you straight in the eye and dares you to call her a liar. This is in no way a 4 star book, but she gains extra points for how strangely comp [...]

It's a good story about what could have happened to a suspect in a pre-Miranda era. The two male suspects, whose wives died similarly, are put through mental torture by an overzealous detective. How it affects one suspect's life in particular is both riveting and realistic. I liked the story, but it wasn't exactly a stay up all night read.

Most murder mystery/thriller stories, no matter how well-written, usually lead to a cat-and-mouse game between the cop and the killer where the killer either gets caught or gets away, after much paranoia, plotting, close-calls etc. This book has several themes worthy of an entire novel that doesn't revert to murder and cops, and a writer capable of developing them, but doesn't. The poisonous marriage of Walter and Clara is powerfully rendered in their dialogue,some of the best I've ever read on [...]

Patricia Highsmith’s old-school suspense novel “The Blunderer” opens with the perfect crime. A thoroughly up-to-here husband buys a movie ticket, seeks out a familiar face to acknowledge his presence, then sneaks out the back door of the theater. His wife is off to visit her mother and he intercepts the bus at a midway stopping point. He coaxes her away from other passengers and murders her, leaving her in the grass next to the highway. Then he winds his way back home, secure that his tick [...]

THE BLUNDERER. (1954). Patricia Highsmith. ****1/2.The lives of two men become conjoined when both are accused of murdering their respective wives. The story opens with the depiction of a brutal murder of a woman who has disembarked from her bus at a rest stop. She is lured to a remote spot by her (presumably) husband, and violently done to death. We don’t know who they are or any more about the murder scene. The next chapter introduces us to Walter and Clara, a married couple who are going th [...]

“The Blunderer” está uno o dos peldaños abajo de la calidad de “Extraños en un tren” o “El Talentoso Sr. Ripley”. En mi opinión, la autora dejó la vara muy alta con estas historias y esta vez no colmó mis expectativas.Patricia Highsmith nos cuenta tempranamente los sucesos delictivos y las muertes pertinentes del caso, porque su intención esta vez no es elaborar una trama policial, misteriosa ni de suspenso. La novela refleja más el drama del protagonista, su angustia, sus mi [...]

What a good, good story. I loved the edginess! I had no idea how this was going to end!

Dark novel of a would-be murdererContains Spoilers!The Blunderer is a man named Walter whose wife is such a shrew that the reader would forgive him for doing away with her. He doesn’t but thinks about it and that’s enough for this twisted morality tale. Walter furtively follows a man who did what Walter dreams of and pays the price as if he did the deed himself. Highsmith’s characters are well drawn and believable and—typical of Highsmith—unbalanced. From sadistic policemen to compulsi [...]

I guess I am alone in not really enjoying this book. Walter was an idiot in my mind and the plot dragged on. Do not recommend, sorry.

Brutal, unpleasant story of a bookseller who kills his wife and appears to get away with it until a lawyer reads about the woman's murder in the paper and considers using the same means and method to get rid of his wife. Like a riff on Highsmith's earlier Strangers on a Train. She spins her wheels a bit and things bog down in the middle, but the first and last thirds are compelling, and the character of the sadistic cop is memorable.

Really great story writing. So far what I've read of Highsmith I really like. Not sure if I'll ever do the Ripley series butThis is a well crafted story about how a little curiosity, a bad marital situation and a few little lies can get way out of hand. H. does a great job inflaming your anger - there were several parts of this book where I just wanted to hit somebody - like in a good way though ;-)

Enthralling. Completely noir. The opening scene is one of premeditated violence and then we cut to a fairly ordinary guy in a marriage seemingly gone sour. It's not until later that lives intertwine and with the help of dubious police methods spiral out of the control of the two main protagonists. High smith on top form.


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    Posted by:Patricia Highsmith
    Published :2018-09-14T20:25:44+00:00