The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith****

30 August 2015 | ,

Reading dates: 05 – 31 August 2015

As I was finishing the edit of my new book Make Me Yours, I came across the chapter that discusses Tom Ripley, so I thought I would re-read the Ripliad. My experience of the first novel in the series was similar to the first time I read it, if not better. The Talented Mr. Ripley is a mediocre book to begin with, a little ruthless in its treatment of women, a little hateful, but which turns sublime about mid-way though. I don’t know why I like it so much. The writing is not extraordinary and I am sure other novels depict Italy more vividly. Yet, there is something about Tom Ripley’s insanity that I find so compelling … This is not identification, or perhaps it is, at an unconscious level. I, too, would like to get away with the worse.

2 thoughts on “The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith****

  1. It’s just so darn stylish. Feels almost like an Existentialist novel. The writing verges on minimalism, which to my mind is good writing: the opposite of florid.

    The main characters give women short shrift, don’t they? But I don’t think we’re supposed to ride with them. I feel the book ultimately comes down quite firmly on the side of women. A woman is the true hero of the sequel too.

  2. I agree with you on the women thing. It is only a little ruthless and, given the theme, necessary too. I am looking forward to re-reading the whole Ripliad, although I am not sure I can take the next one straight away …

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