The Glass Cell (novel)

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First edition

The Glass Cell (1964) is a psychological thriller novel by Patricia Highsmith.[1]

Plot summary[edit]

A dark and disturbing novel about the effects of wrongful imprisonment, the story sees Philip Carter, a sweet natured and naïve young man sentenced to six years in jail for fraud, a crime he did not commit. Upon his release, those who knew him best are shocked by the complete change in his personality; the gentle man they once knew has become a violent, drug-abusing depressive, so much so that restoring his faith in humanity could prove a struggle.

Literary significance and reception[edit]

Even now, over forty years after its initial publication, the themes of this novel are disconcertingly relevant. Highsmith employs strong overtones of Russian writers including Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the work was immensely well received by critics from across the spectrum.[2]

A German film adaptation by the same name was nominated for the 51st Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (1978).


  1. ^ "The Glass Cell at Norton Books catalog". Norton Books. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  2. ^ "The Glass Cell at Norton Books catalog". Norton Books. Retrieved 2009-04-02.