Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Review: The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith


The Talented Mr. Ripley is my third 1% Well Read book. It’s a completely absorbing masterpiece of crime fiction, in which Tom Ripley, age 25, goes to Italy to persuade his acquaintance Dickie Greenleaf to come home, at the behest of Dickie’s father. Once in Italy, however, Tom becomes obsessed with Dickie and his companion, Marge Sherwood. Tension arises, which leads to Tom killing Dickie and appropriating his identity.

I hate calling The Talented Mr. Ripley a classic, because it might turn people off from reading an extremely enjoyable book. The thrill is not so much in the crime itself, but in Tom’s emotional and psychological state and whether or not he will get caught. The story is told from Tom’s point of view, so we almost feel sympathy for him and not necessarily shocked at his actions. However, the reader must never forget that his perceptions are far different from the reality around him. The premise of the book is nearly unbelievable in and of itself, but somehow Highsmith managed to make it believable. And her writing style is completely engaging.

5 comments:

Lezlie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lezlie said...

I need to go back to this one. I started it many years ago, but was bored. My tastes have changed a lot since then. Thanks for the reminder!

Lezlie

PS I reposted for a spelling error. I hate when I do that! :-)

Literary Feline said...

My husband read a book by this author not too long ago and enjoyed it. I saw the movie to this one last year. Hopefully I will get the chance to give Highsmith a try. She sounds like a good writer.

Lenore said...

I loved this one when I read it a few years ago. Strangers on a Train was too painful to read though!!

Michelle said...

Hmm. I admit I've seen the film but had no interest in reading the book until now. I think I might give a try, thanks for the review.

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