Thursday, November 17, 2011

Book Reviews: The Talented Mr. Ripley


The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

     Tom Ripley calculated murder like a mathematician solving a difficult proof; with painstaking precision he scratched to uncover his way into a power.  He imagines someday being tied to the power brokers.   Then the unexpected happens, a rich man with a favor sends Tom packing to Europe.  As Shakespeare said, “Some are born with it; others are propelled into by life’s allegiances and currents.”(Paraphrased for Emphasis)  Tom was the type that has been pushed forward by his unexpected involvement with the rich expatriates hanging out in the 1950’s Post-War Europe.   A perfect place for those seeking exile outside of the policed 1950’s U.S.A.

  Will he get away from the swift and shocking events that have propelled his life forward?  Patricia Highsmith asks the moral questions: “Does life deal out just desserts?   Do we get what we deserve; is there a law of karma?

   I enjoyed this book a lot.  Although at times I had a hard time suspending disbelief. I do not think that Tom would find it today so easy to cover up his steps.   This disbelief kept me from enjoying it to the fullest.

   The book also reminded me a lot of a modern adaptation, “American Psycho” by Brett Easton Ellis.   I wonder if Tom Ripley is one of the sources for Ellis’s character Patrick Bateman.

The Talented Mr. Ripley  is a classic example of the Anti-Hero in American Literature. #27 in my Top 100 List.
The Talented Mr. Ripley (Ripley, #1)


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