Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

A Game for the Living

by Patricia Highsmith

In this taut psychological thriller from legendary writer Patricia Highsmith, the bond between two very different men is tested when the woman they both loved is found brutally murdered.

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 336
  • Publication Date November 11, 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2222-3
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $16.00

About The Book

Ramón, quick-tempered and devoutly Catholic, fixes furniture in Mexico City, not far from where he was born into poverty. Theodore, a rich German expatriate and painter, lives a calm life in his mansion and believes in nothing at all. You’d think the two had nothing in common. Except, of course, that both had slept with Lelia.

The two men form an unlikely friendship—until Lelia is found brutally murdered in her apartment. Both become suspects, and each suspects the other. Caught in an excruciating limbo, Ramón and Theodore seize on the possibility of a third man, a thief seen at Lelia’s apartment. Their hunt for the possible murderer takes the pair on a frantic chase from Mexico City to sun-drenched Acapulco, and to a small colonial mountain town where Theodore gets the uneasy feeling that his every move is being watched.

Originally published in 1958 and last reissued in 1994, A Game for the Living is a thrilling, psychologically complex novel—Highsmith at her best.


“Classic.” —USA Today

“Highlight[s] the strangely unsettling talents of an expatriate American whose spare yet expressive style and expert understanding of psychology have earned her a wide following in Europe.” —Alida Becker, Chicago Sun-Times

“Who dunnit? Who cares? An Agatha Christie would sweep all this evil up with brisk moral fortitude, certain that justice prevails and wrongs always get righted. Highsmith sees a messy, amoral universe” The result, inevitably, is an upended mystery. If it’s also more horrifying, and honest, than any formula writing, that’s the payoff for Highsmith’s purely cynical vision.” —Raphael Kadushin, Capital Times (Madison, WI)

“A coolly analytic study of friendship, neurosis, and grief.” —Mystery News

“Patricia Highsmith is often described as a mystery or crime writer, which is a bit like calling Picasso a draftsman. The statement contains a measure of truth, but what it leaves out is almost everything. . . . An elegant and psychologically sophisticated morality play in which cosmic questions of good and evil work themselves out against the guilt or innocence of its characters. ” All of it reveals Highsmith to be in fine form.” —Janice Harayda, Cleveland Plain Dealer