Patricia Highsmith, whose centenary is celebrated this year, was one of the first authors to tell her stories from the "villain's" point of view. Her most iconic villain is Tom Ripley, a pennyless adventurer who shows enormous talent when crime is involved. Ripley grabs any opportunity to get what he wants – and to get away with anything, even murder. When hired by the wealthy Mr. Greenleaf to go to Italy and bring his spoilt son Dickie home, Ripley grows to love the good life too well to give it up. Being the talented Mr. Ripley means Tom finds ways to achieve his dream of wealth and leisure. And since the classic thriller was written by the talented Miss Highsmith, this suspenseful, expertly plotted novel keeps the reader spellbound from the first to the last page.
At the end of the course we shall watch Anthony Minghella's film version with Matt Damon and Jude Law.
Participants are requested to read parts of the text at home as preparation for the discussion in class (reading the short chapters 1-6 for the first evening would be useful).