April 17, 2011

The Talented Mr. Ripley

By Patricia Highsmith

This is my third or fourth reading this remarkable book.  Each time is better than the last. I’ll admit to seeing Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law and the disturbing Philip Seymour Hoffman as Freddie Miles. And yet, yet, with the movie version(s) we are observing, wondering how Tom will get out of this one as compared to the book where we (like the alienated lesbian author living in Europe) become the central character. Don’t we deserve a better life? Wouldn’t we, under the right circumstances, claim it? More than money, class or popularity, it is an attitude (you, poor slob, are reading a book to feel it) that we deserve what life has to offer.

     Ripley has a history of deceit. This isn’t about homosexuality. Marge’s distrust of him reinforces Tom’s feeling of inferiority and prods him to move. Sure, we have to take responsibility for our choices. But act. The author Erica Jong (who I once met years before she was famous, through her husband, Dr Jong, a dentist in the Army when I was stationed in Heidelberg) said, “If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.” The talented Mr. Ripley understands that.  Do you?

Buy this directly from amazon for $11.16. Click here: The Talented Mr. Ripley


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