12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A dark farce - so cool it makes you shiver,
This review is from: The Talented Mr. Ripley (Paperback)
At times this Highsmith thriller is so chillingly real that it really gives you the creeps. The characters and situations all build a sense of foreboding, fragile egos and relationships create an intense moody atmosphere and as the tension in the plot grows to unbearable levels it is wonderful to see how the author prevents the whole house of cards from falling down round Tom Ripley. It is hard to spot the moment (if indeed there is a moment) when Ripley consciously decides to take his fate in hand and there is a brilliantly delicate balance between approval and abhorrence as the reader connives at his actions. Highsmith is a masterful writer of the psychological thriller, with the equally unsettling Strangers on a Train under her belt at this time. Amazing that Hitchcock didn't also pick up this story for a film. As a suspense story I cannot recall another so good although Barbara Vine has come close. "Hero" Tom Ripley is a fascinating study in neurotic behaviour and the book will leave you delighted but with a profound sense of unease. Perfect.