Talented Mr. Ripley is a twist on An American Tragedy

Finished Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley last night and I am now thinking about the parallels between this book and other novels where the protagonist commits murder in the first act. The grandfather of all books like this is Crime and Punishment, which it just so happens I am reading at the same time … Continue reading

The Murder of Dickie Greenleaf

God only knew how deep the water was… [Nobody] could see anything they did here… he could have hit Dickie, sprung on him, or kissed him, or thrown him overboard. Talk about your options. If Freud was looking for a poster child for the clashing instincts of Eros and Thanatos he need look no farther … Continue reading

“I’m not queer.”

This is the follow-up to yesterday’s post on The Talented Mr. Ripley‘s complicated central relationship between Tom Ripley and Dickie Greenleaf. The scene is millionaire heir Dickie Greenleaf’s Italian villa where he has just walked in on his housemate Tom Ripley dressed in his clothes, imitating his voice. Dickie’s reaction? “What’re you doing?” They have … Continue reading

Tom Ripley and Dickie Greenleaf: Just Friends?

In Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley, our morally and sexually ambivalent hero Tom Ripley meets the man he’s been sent to recall home to New York from Italy, Dickie Greenleaf, on page 47. [SPOILER ALERT] He kills him 54 pages later. In a book of less than 100,000 words, these two young men spend … Continue reading

Ripley asks “Will you be my friend?”

What do some of these books have in common: Charlotte’s Web, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Bridge to Terabithia, Beverly Cleary’s Ramona books, Holes, Maniac Magee, and just about every one of the American Girl books. Two things right off the bat come to mind. First, they are all children’s or young adult fiction. Second, they … Continue reading