Patricia Highsmith’s highly successful first book, the story of the anti-hero Tom Ripley, is set in 1950s America. The book has also been portrayed as a movie, with Mr Ripley’s character being acted by JohnThe Talented Mr Ripley Malkovich, Alan Delon, Dennis Hopper and Matt Damon alongside Jude Law.

Highsmith’s ability to force a reader to sympathise to a psychopath and a cold-blooded killer, using a range of linguistic devices creatively, always makes you agree to Tom’s often amoral decisions.

Highsmith’s character Tom is very unique: he has had a very tough childhood and his homosexuality is hinted to at various points in the novel. His background may have been the reason for the roots of his amoral behaviour; his quest for the perfect life may also fuelled by his homosexuality, which he tries to hide to avoid being marginalized by the homophobic ideology of the 1950s.

Tom’s motivation to kill is shocking and at he is certainly a depraved character, but it’s easy to feel that he’d change that impression if you ever met him. Highsmith writing, with her thrilling plot coupled with creative linguistic techniques, brilliantly manipulates the reader’s ideas. Simply amazing!

****

Elton Cas

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7 responses »

  1. Miss Thomas says:

    Excellent review Elton, I like the fact you identify the way readers of the novel are almost forced into complicity with Tom.

  2. guyman120 says:

    Your grammar is slightly skew, but moulding together key ideas is no easy task. The way that you identify and analyse the fact that it is almost mandetory to empaphise with the protagonist is terrific. Congratulations!
    Tarik.

  3. William Bradford says:

    An excellent review Elton, It really encapsulates the book.Very interesting to see some background information about the homophobic opinons of the 1950’s.It is interesting to see how the book controls the readers opinons so carefully.

    P.S: I like YOUR book, we studied it in English.
    “The Talented Mr Ripley By Elton Cas”

  4. lbarcomorgan says:

    I agree William, a very well written review and the extra information is very insightful. However when Elton used the title as “The Talented Mr Ripley By Elton Cas” I can assure you he meant that the review is by him, not the book itself. We will be more careful about possible misinterpreted titles in future

  5. BinAbu says:

    I like the way you gave a short summary of the book. It really is descriptive! Well Done.

  6. Rooman says:

    I am reading the second book.

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