The Talented Mr. Ripley By Patricia Highsmith

I have seen the movie The Talented Mr Ripley starring Matt Damon and Jude Law lots of times. It's an entertaining movie, and also quite shocking. I've been meaning to read the book for a long time and never got around to it, so I thought it was about time I did. Here's what I thought about The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith.

About The Talented Mr. Ripley


Tom Ripley is struggling to stay one step ahead of his creditors and the law, when an unexpected acquaintance offers him a free trip to Europe and a chance to start over.

Ripley wants money, success and the good life and he's willing to kill for it. When his new-found happiness is threatened, his response is as swift as it is shocking.

Thoughts on The Talented Mr. Ripley

I saw the movie before the book, but it's been a while since I saw the movie. The book is shorter than I expected which was a nice surprise.

Tom Ripley is an intriguing character right from the start. Most of the story covers thoughts in his head as well as how he's interpreting events and you really get to see how his mind is working. From the first time he meets Dickie Greenleaf to the end of the book you're left wondering if Tom Ripley is a good or a bad guy - and I think that's part of the magic. He is trying to better himself, sometimes at the expense of other people, but you can't quite work out if he's a bad guy.

The characters within the story are mostly wealthy, apart from Tom, but whether the characters were rich, like Dickie, or poor, like Tom, they felt real. When speaking about trips they'd taken or simply laughing with friends you see it through Tom's eyes, which makes it all feel very real especially given his quips about characters. 

...you can't quite work out if he's a bad guy.

N. E. Ellis

Having watched the movie I knew what was coming but that didn't mean I got bored. Despite expecting the main event I was still surprised when it happened because it's not quite the same as in the movie. After the main event there wasn't much action, in fact there's not much action in the entire book, but that's not a bad thing - surprisingly. Reading about Mr Ripley and being in his head was more interesting than you might expect.

Classic books tend to have great reputations for being brilliant stories but sometimes can be disappointing when reading. All the hype makes people believe they should enjoy a classic but when they try to read it they find it hard going. The Talented Mr. Ripley wasn't like that at all - at least not for me. I vaguely remembered the story from the movie but still enjoyed reading and seeing it from Tom's point of view was a great read. I would highly recommend reading - even if you've been put off classics in the past!

Have you read any classic books?

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