The Talented Mr. Ripley
Why this book?
Highsmith’s detached, keenly observant prose is the perfect vehicle to explore a complicated man like Tom Ripley. Ripley stands in the shadows just outside the sun-drenched world of Dickie Greenleaf, the son of a wealthy industrialist, and wants in. What begins as fascination with Dickie’s lavish and carefree lifestyle turns into murderous obsession. Through cracks in Highsmith’s beautifully controlled prose, Ripley implicates us. We are invited into his vulnerabilities, his anxiety about his social position, and his desire to live well. We appreciate his artistic sensitivities, his cleverness. Soon this carefully constructed charisma falls away to reveal a cool, remorseless rage. But it’s too late, we’ve already been seduced.