Somewhere between page 10 and page 185, my reading of this book changed from mild and somewhat disinterested to riveted.
I have not seen the movie that is based on this book so I didn't have any idea what I was getting into. Honestly, I didn't care for Tom at first. It wasn't that I didn't like him but more that there wasn't enough to his personality to like or dislike. Not to say that it was a fault of the writer.
Oh no, this book is spectacular.
To keep it spoiler free. Crime novel/psychological thriller. A bit dated but fantastic all the same.
The critical praise and prestigious awards heaped on this book led me to expect that this would be a terrific story, a classic literary mystery. I was sorely disappointed.
Ripley was little more than an unlikeable con man, conning people who probably deserved to be taken. The situations were unbelievable, the characters just ciphers, drifting aimlessly through self-indulgent lives. The prose was adequate but rambling and incredibly long-winded, given such a slight story. After not too many pages, I decided I didn't care about any of Ripley's alleged talents, and skimmed along to the unsatisfying ending.
Tom Ripley is sent to Italy with the commission to coax Dickie Greenleaf back to his wealthy father.But Ripley finds himself very fond of this young american. He wants to be like him, exactly like him, and he stops at nothing to accomplis his goal.
I went in search of this book because of the movie. I must say that I found the book to be just "okay." Ms. Highsmith's Ripley was not an interesting character apart from being a pure sociopath. In my never to be humble opinion the movie took the somewhat dull elements and plot of a somewhat boring book and fleshed them out to add much more intrigue and tension. It was the book Ms. Highsmith would have written if she were a better writer. I don't recommend the book to fans of the movie. Sorry.
One of the great crime novels of the 20th century, Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley is a blend of the narrative subtlety of Henry James and the self-reflexive irony of Vladimir Nabokov. Like the best modernist fiction, Ripley works on two levels. First, it is the story of a young man, Tom Ripley, whose nihilistic tendencies lead him on a deadly passage across Europe.
On another level, the novel is a commentary on fictionmaking and techniques of narrative persuasion. Like Humbert Humbert, Tom Ripley seduces readers into empathizing with him even as his actions defy all moral standards.