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Publisher's Summary

The great revival of interest in Patricia Highsmith continues with this work that reveals the chilling reality behind the idyllic facade of American suburban life.

In Deep Water, set in the small town of Little Wesley, Vic and Melinda Meller's loveless marriage is held together only by a precarious arrangement whereby in order to avoid the messiness of divorce, Melinda is allowed to take any number of lovers as long as she does not desert her family. Eventually, Vic tries to win her back by asserting himself through a tall tale of murder - one that soon comes true.

©1985 Patricia Highsmith (P)2013 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Highsmith is crime fiction's most lethal existentialist.... [She] simultaneously makes the subconscious smile and the skin crawl." (Ed Siegel, Boston Globe)

"So good and utterly addictive." (Megan Abbott, author of You Will Know Me)

Featured Article: All the Best Literary Screen Adaptations to Stream in 2021


There is so much to look forward to in film and TV this year—and so much audio to make you the ultimate insider. You may be surprised by how many movies and TV shows were adapted from excellent audiobooks. Get ready to dig in, because this covers just about every great adaptation for 2021, and then some. Find something great in this guide whether you listen before you watch or take a deep dive after the credits roll.

What listeners say about Deep Water

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Classic Highsmith

Subtly haunting and quietly horrifying story full of subtle dark humor. Like all of Highsmith's best works, the psychological horror is understated almost (almost!) to a fault, leading to the constant feeling of being taken off guard by the full extent of what the author wishes to communicate. The reader is drawn to sympathy for the "protagonist" as he descends into a sort of coldly rational madness, making one wonder about the depths of their own repressed rage. And there is a definite Dostoevskian bent to the narrative, quietly but forcefully posing the question of confirmity vs. extraordinariness and the limits of both. Don't miss this one.

11 people found this helpful

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Classic Highsmith: Dark and Deadly

Very happy with story and narrator. One never knows how her novel will end. Now on to her next novel.

5 people found this helpful

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Another can't miss from Patricia Highsmith

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

while the story is from 1957, it still seems contemporary.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Deep Water?

The different levels of deceit by the characters was fascinating.

4 people found this helpful

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A classic psychological thriller

I’ll confess: I think DEEP WATER is much better than Highsmith’s more famous work (Ripley, Strangers on a Train). Vic is a disarmingly attractive psychopath, and somehow, like all his neighbors, we want to like him, and look down on Melinda. But on my second go-through, I realized that the narrator himself is unreliable, especially when reporting Vic’s self-reflections.

My view of Vic’s relationship with his daughter, Trixie, was recast this time through the lens of “Clark Rockefeller”’s relationship with his daughter, “Snooks”. I think this story goes well with “The Man in the Rockefeller Suit”, a work of true crime.

(And given “Rockefeller”’s close identification with Hitchcock — he even masqueraded as Cameron Crowe — Deep Water may have, in fact, informed “Clark”’s relationship with his own daughter. What a creep.)

2 people found this helpful

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Too Long and Not Compeeling

This book will put you to sleep - at least it worked for me for several nights.

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One of Her Best

Would you consider the audio edition of Deep Water to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print edition. But Patricia Highsmith's books are always good, and this is a fine production of this one.

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I was rooting for Victor Van Allen

I love the way the story was read. I really wanted Vic to get away the murders including his wife's. She deserved to die. Patricia Highsmith did a great job writing this and Paul Boehmer is a great reader.

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A very solid Highsmith.

This is a great slow burn story. It has all the character depth you would expect with a Highsmith.

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Was great but could have been perfect.

This book was great I really enjoyed it, the story was engaging and it made me really excited to know what was going to happen in the next chapter. But the biggest critique is The narrator who reads this book. And normally that doesn’t bother me but in this kind of a story where the woman is supposed to be this in enchanting and charismatic individual he made her sound whiny and unlikable completely. This story would’ve benefited much more if it was a man and woman were reading it. But the story is very exciting and the reason why I download it in the first place was from seeing the movie deep water

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Interesting read but worth it

This was a really good read. I originally decided to read this book because I wanted to watch the movie. I think the movie is a modern adaptation compared to this 1957 I believe book. Excited to watch the movie now!

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