Reading progress update: I've read 130 out of 278 pages.

A Game for the Living: A Virago Modern Classic (Virago Modern Classics) - Patricia Highsmith

‘So now Ramón is staying with you.’

‘Yes.’

‘Tsch-tsch. It is scandalous, Teo.’

‘What is scandalous?’

‘Our courts of justice. Our police force and their psychiatrists.’ Her large dark eyes, full of feminine wisdom and quite devoid of logic, glanced around the room impatiently.

 

Ouch. Is this Highsmith writing or Theodor? If it's "Teo", it kinda fits in with his other preconceptions, I still can't quite make him out.

 

Incidentally, I took to Andrew Wilson's biography of Highsmith to read up a little bit about the background to the book and found this:

Later, Highsmith came to regard A Game for the Living, published in November 1958, as one of her worst novels. ‘The murderer is off-scene, mostly,’ she said, ‘so the book became a “mystery who-dunnit,” in a way – definitely not my forte.’46 She concluded that the book, which she said was ‘the only really dull book I have written’,47 lacked the elements which she thought were vital in her novels – ‘surprise, speed of action, the stretching of the reader’s credulity, and above all that intimacy with the murderer himself . . . The result was mediocrity.’

From Andrew Wilson's Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith (Bloomsbury Lives of Women)

 

I'm intrigued how this book will end, and what will happen to Teo and Ramon in between now and the end, but I can see that this book presents some difficulties that other Highsmith books haven't got (apart from Stangers on a Train). 

 

I did, however, like the way that Teo interacts with his cat, Leo, and imagines the following dialogue:

There was a pen-and-ink drawing of himself hectically feeding Leo in the kitchen, setting a broiled and split lobster before the cat with one hand and with the other pouring melted butter from a pitcher, and below it their dialogue:

 

LEO: Where have you been, damn you! Don’t you know it’s after midnight?

T: I told you I’d be late coming home, and I’m sure Inocenza gave you a little something at five o’clock.

LEO: She did not.

T: Don’t lie, Leo. And here’s a fine broiled lobster. Smell it!

LEO: R-row! If you think this makes up for waiting six hours!

T: I promise not to do it again.

LEO: You will. You’re lucky I stay around at all, because you don’t deserve me.