Monday, October 25, 2021

The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

Rating: 3 of 5 stars 
Pages: 320 pages
Published: 1955

The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith is the first book in a series featuring the titular character. In this first installment, Tom Ripley manipulates his way into Dickie Greenleaf’s life by way of his father. A chance meeting in New York with the senior Greenleaf results in an expense-paid trip for Tom to Italy to convince Dickie to come back stateside to be with his ill mother. 

Once Tom arrives by sea, he quickly meets Dickie and his female companion, Marge. Tom is swept into the lifestyle of the well-to-do in Europe and finds a way to not only get involved in Dickie’s life but take it over. As the plot progresses, the readers wonders how far will one man go to achieve what he deems success? 

Mr. Tom Ripley evolves into a sociopath reaching far beyond the bounds of normal social behaviors. The book is fast-paced. I finished it in a just a few days, and it left me questioning what is right and who is right. I read this book for my monthly in-person book club discussion, and overall, I enjoyed it. The additional discussion made the book more meaningful. Highsmith’s style of writing definitely matches the time (~1950s) in which the book was written, and her personality and personal life shine throughout the story. I would suggest reading an eBook copy of this novel as there are several Italian sentences, and an eReader should offer the opportunity to translate it, thus giving the story more meaning. 

Recommendation: This book is a classic. I intend to see the 90s movie now that I finished it. As always I would recommend reading the book before seeing the movie, and I would encourage readers to read this book with someone as the discussion enhances the experience. 

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.


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