Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Very Talented, Indeed

Finished The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith yesterday.

A tense, taut thriller. I had seen the film, so knew the outcome of the novel, but really, seeing the film didn't make the novel any less suspenseful or colorful or enjoyable.

Tom Ripley is a great anti-hero - insecure, malevolent, conniving, clever. His distaste for boring, rich, inane and vapid society people leads him to commit the acts that he does. I didn't condone his actions, but I did not feel an anger or disgust for what he did either.

Tom survives by fooling others to the best of his ability, and it is this ability to deceive that keeps him alive, or at least one step ahead of the others.

There is a constant air of menace throughout the entire novel...the reader doesn't know from page to page if Tom will be caught for his crimes. I felt as if I was along for the wild ride that Tom takes throughout Europe, with the knowledge of what he had done, and secretly hoping that he would get away with it. For what's the fun in getting caught?

A great book - I look forward to more of Highsmith's work.

Next up: Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco.

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