The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

3 out of 5 stars 

The book, The Talented Mr. Ripley, laying on a pile of green ivy and brown sticks.

This book was on the sale table at Barnes and Noble and with a cover the color of murder, it caught my eye. I knew very little about the storyline other than a vague memory of the trailer for the late 90s version of the movie based on the book. 

I think having little knowledge of the storyline is the best way to experience this classic psychological thriller. The Talented Mr. Ripley gives readers a glimpse into the mind of a sly, manipulative psychopath. The book starts slowly and, for the first 80 pages or so, it’s hard to tell where the book is going. However, it quickly takes a turn and we see Ripley repeatedly display the full array of his “talents” for the rest of the book.

Written in the 50s, the tone of the book doesn’t feel modern, but the storyline holds up. I found it interesting to think about how the events would have played out differently if it was set in the present time with the technology available today.

While I did enjoy the book, I was frustrated by the way Marge’s character was written. As the main female character, I didn’t love that she was portrayed as so weak with very little growth. I kept rooting for her to wisen up but it never happened.

Although I’m glad I read this classic, I don’t see myself rushing out to read the rest of the books in this series anytime soon. I don’t feel the need to spend any more time in the mind of Tom Ripley.

One thought on “The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

  1. I agree giving the female lead some fight would have made for some stronger twists. And I absolutely agree, no more time needs to be spent in the mind of Tom Ripley 🙂 It’s a dangerous place to be!

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