A recommendation for a winter read from LitHub: The Talented Mr. Ripley

December 4, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: books, fiction, journalism, writers, writing.

As we head into the depths of winter — don’t worry, Christmas will be over soon, and then we’ll find ourselves there — Emily Temple, a senior editor at the excellent LitHub.com website has a good reading recommendation: Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley.

It is, in my opinion, the perfect winter holiday book. It’s acrobatic and addictive reading, the prose sharp-edged and wry and sometimes quite pretty, and also it’s about warm weather and beautiful people, at least one of whom is decidedly amoral but perplexingly sympathetic. This, of course, is Tom Ripley, a small-time con-man who stumbles into a new life—one he will literally kill to keep. Source: A Close-Reading of The Talented Mr. Ripley as Coming of Age Story | Literary Hub

Even if you have seen the 1999 movie, which is packed with Matt Damon and other Hollywood stars, Temple says you should read the book to get the full impact of the author’s talent. Temple’s argument is well worth reading.

Patricia Highsmith created a character in Tom Ripley that outlived the end of the novel. She went on to write four more novels with Ripley as the main character. He is charming, attractive, and utterly amoral, and he always gets away with his murders. The five novels of Tom Ripley are today known as The Ripliad.


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