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Month in review

Reviews:
The Alarming Letters from Scottsdale by Warner Law
Brother by James Fredericks
Bubbles Betrothed by Sarah Strohmeyer
Bunny Modern by David Bowman
Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grille by Steven Brust
A Day With My Dad by Lance Waite
Dirt: An American Campaign by Mark LaFlamme
Divine Freefall by Beth Wiseman
50/50 by Dean Karnazes
Game Widow by Wendy Kays
Gateway by Frederik Pohl
How the Day Runs Down by John Langan
If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond
Jim the Boy by Tony Earley
Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore
Margarettown by Garbrielle Zevin
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
Memphis: Objects, Furniture & Patterns by Richard Horn
The Minutemen's Witch by Charles Coleman Finlay
The New Writer's Handbook by Ted Kooser
One Crossed Out by Fanny Howe
The Once and Future Celt by Bill Watkins
Peter Hatches and Egg by Louise Bienvenu-Brialmont
Raindrop Plop! by
Ripley Under Water by Patricia Highsmith
A Skeptical Spirit by Albert E. Cowdrey
Smash Trash by Laura Driscoll
Sunsets and Shooting Stars by Rick Seidel
The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White
Uh-oh, Calico! by Karma Wilson
We Come Not to Praise Washington by Charles Coleman Finlay
Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
What Makes a Rainbow? by Betty Ann Schwartz
Zodiac by Neal Stephenson

Don Quixote:
Book 3
Book 4: Chapters 28-37
Book 4: End of Part 1

Miscellaneous:
Top Ten Lists

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for Ripley Under Water

Ripley Under WaterRipley Under Water: 12/18/08

Two and a half years ago I read The Mysterious Mr. Ripley, an omnibus containing the first three Tom Ripley novels by Patricia Highsmith. Ripley Under Water is the fifth and final book in the series coming just four years before Highsmith's death in 1995.

When Tom Ripley was first introduced in The Talented Mr. Ripley, he was young, unbalanced and quick to anger. He also had a big ego and no scruples when it came to getting ahead in life.

By Ripley Under Water, he's older and happy with the life he has stolen, killed and lied for. He had a nice wife, a housekeeper and a home in France. He's basically retired. All of that is interrupted by a pair of annoying Americans who begin poking into his life and worse — his past! Young Ripley wouldn't have bothered with trying to figure out what the Americans wanted; he would have offed them as a matter of course and then gone about convincing their relatives that he was a long time friend and recently written into their will.

Old Ripley, though, doesn't want to risk things. He doesn't get angry. Instead he travels all over Europe and down to Northern Africa, more scared than anything. I appreciate that people might change or fall into new routines but Ripley's temper and amoral take on life is the main appeal of the series.

Had it just been Ripley's swan-song, I would have enjoyed the book just for closure on a series I have enjoyed (I still need to read book 4: The Boy Who Followed Ripley). Unfortunately, the poor editing got in the way. As the book progresses, Tom's name gets used more and more. I counted one sentence that used his name five times and he was the only person in the scene. "He", "him" and "himself" would have worked so much better. I don't remember the earlier books having this problem.

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