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The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith. New York. 1955. Coward-McCann. 252 pages. hardcover.

 

Tom Ripley is my favorite psychopath. Even though he is frighteningly amoral, I still find myself somehow rooting for him as he murders his best friend, engages in art forgery (and commits murder to cover it up), plays with the lives of others (and murders some of them of course) simply because he feels he was snubbed, indulges in a lot of sexually ambiguous behavior, and never hesitates to play a game of cat-and-mouse with anyone who crosses his path.

 

talented mr ripleyFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

He was young and handsome with expensive tastes and no money. But he had a latent talent for crime and one summer in Italy he thought he saw a way of turning his skill into a tidy little fortune. It was a small matter of murdering his best friend; then assuming his identity and along with it, his carefree, money-cushioned life. A beautifully simple foolproof plan. it worked perfectly without a single hitch. Until one day one woman began to suspect the truth. And the talented Mr. Ripley learned that murder was just the bare beginning of evil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Highsmith PatriciaBorn in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1921, Patricia Highsmith spent much of her adult life in Switzerland and France. Educated at Barnard College, where she studied English, Latin, and Greek, she had her first novel, STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, published in 1950 and saw it quickly made into a movie by Alfred Hitchcock. Despite receiving little recognition in her native land during her lifetime, Highsmith, the author of more than twenty books, won the O. Henry Memorial Award, The Edgar Allan Poe Award, Le Grand Prix de Littérarure Policière, and the Award of the Crime Writers’ Association of Great Britain. She died in Switzerland in 1995, and her literary archives are maintained in Berne.

 

 


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