Thanks, Mr B,
The film version of The Talented Mr Ripley from 1999 did a lot to bring some attention back to the works of Patricia Highsmith. By the time of her death in 1995, she had done a lot to drive people away from herself (read Joan Schenkar’s biography to get a vivid picture of the author’s demons). Her pet snails probably didn’t help either. While her own demons may have drowned her, her novels live on with surprising strength due to her keen psychological insight.
Tom Ripley was by all accounts her favourite character, one she identified with to the extent that she signed a letter to a friend “Pat H, alias Ripley” and claimed that he was writing his own adventures through her. He’s an intriguing character: one who wants the good things in life and will go to great lengths to obtain them—including murder. But I’m always…
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