The Talented Mr. Ripley
At the urging of Mr. Greenleaf, Tom Ripley travels to Italy to attempt to convince his son Dickie to come back home. Once there Tom is determined to make a new life for himself in Europe and goes about doing so in an extraordinary manner. He kills Dickie and assumes his identity.
Patricia Highsmith’s novel is a mystery, not for the reader but for Dickie’s family and friends. For the reader it is an interesting look into the mind of a murderer who must manage the difficulties of being two individuals. It’s a character study, and Tom is unlike any character I have ever read about. He has a strange ability to create a fiction for himself which alters his entire personality. He is not happy unless he’s playing out some invented drama.
The novel’s key weakness is its sometimes dry focus on detail. While it is fascinating to see how Tom Ripley plays out his deception, there are sections in the novel where nothing much happens. However, The Talented Mr. Ripley was certainly a worthy read, simply for Mr. Ripley alone.