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.