The exhilarating and gripping novel The Talented Mr Ripley by famous lesbian author Patricia Highsmith is set in 1950’s America. This unique crime novel is full of sinister and dark twists and is guaranteed to keep you reading from page to page.
Twisted character “Tom Ripley” is an antihero, but you desperately don’t want him to get caught by the police. Through Highsmith’s ingenious use of third person limited narration the author slyly persuades her readers to sympathise with Ripley and understand the motives that lie behind his most devious deeds.
One important fact about Tom, which goes some way to explaining his actions, is his homosexuality. Ripley is forced to live a lie because the society that he lives in refuses to accept him for who he really is. The novel’s central themes of homosexuality and homophobia might not have gone down well with readers in the 1950s but they add another intriguing dimension to Tom’s character and his predicaments, and give us an insight into the prejudice that existed only half a century ago.
All in all The Talented Mr Ripley is an exhilarating read: an action packed psychological thriller that is impossible to put down.
Mark T. Burrell