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Silver Travel Book Club - Book of the Month - July 2017

Many thanks for the clarification which was desperately needed and perfectly explained by your good self.


i had obviously totally misunderstood the purpose. meanwhile, i’m sure other members will also be pleased to get a clearer explanation, so thanks for that @debbie

Hi @Pink – if I could just step in here, we had a low number of entries for the July book club prize draw and so it was decided that we would award two prizes on this occasion. I am pleased to say that we will be awarding three prizes for the August prize draw, and hopefully we can maintain and build on this in the future.

It is a new venture for us, and we are grateful for all the support from our Forum members as well as welcoming all feedback.

The purpose is to build interest and discussions about reading travel fiction about destinations (as opposed to guidebooks), as well as to have a book prize each month. We are not asking people to buy the book – simply to tell us about their memories or stories about the destination as an entry into the competition.

We’ll learn more each month about what works and what doesn’t, and hopefully our members will enjoy the destination choices around the globe. Next month: New York!


Good questions @Pink I am sure that @andrewmorris will answer them


AndrewMorris wrote:

five copies of July’s Book of the Month, as planned, but for various reasons we felt able to give only two as prizes

hi @andrewmorris
are you able to tell us why you felt only able to give out two books?
as you mentioned, this book club is in its infancy and we, the readers (of the books and the threads) need to know more.

and on the topic of infancy and learning more ~ it seems to me that we need a little more clarification generally. each month is apparently divided into two purposes: the first to wax lyrical on the geographical setting of this month’s book, in the hope of winning one; the second is to read the book and then wax lyrical on what we enjoyed or didn’t enjoy about it. presumably we are supposed to sit out the first month before trotting down to our local library or book shop. and presumably we are supposed to avoid spoiling things for slower readers during the second month.
maybe we could have some guidelines?

Thanks for also putting it on the ‘What Are You Reading’ thread @applegroupie where it will be read by more people.


Thanks @applegroupie for your insightful review of the very talented Mr. Ripley.

I agree, this is very much a character-driven novel and although the Italian locations – real and imagined – add a certain glamour and purpose to the plot development, they are not as important in the author’s mind or our eyes as young Tom.

Perhaps we should issue a belated SPOILER ALERT to Grey-Wolf and other readers at this stage….

As you say, we leave Tom in Greece with a couple of murders behind him, Dickie’s wealth and a troubled conscience. Ms Highsmith wrote three more books involving Tom….have you read any of them? I wonder how his character evolves over time?

@AndrewMorris I left Tom Ripley in Greece yesterday with his conscience, fearing for arrest at the sight of policemen.

I was quite surprised that the book is only 258 pages, practically a novella, even though I have not had the time to count the words. But then Patricia Highsmith did not “go to town” with the description of Rome, Venice or San Remo. If she had padded it out, it would have been a travelogue and not concentrated on Tom. In fact, her fictitious Mongibello was more intriguing, kept me guessing where it could be between Naples and beyond Sorrento.

Tom Ripley, a young man in New York in the 1950s struggling to make a living but had to resort to sycophancy. He is an original “hanger-on” who is on the outside looking in at the American dream. I actually felt sorry for him at the beginning. Brought up by his cruel aunt Dottie, undermined by her at every turn. One wonders if this sowed the seeds to Tom’s sociopathic tendencies.

Class, jealousy, identity and latent homosexuality are rife in the book. Tom’s envy of Dickie, his jealousy of Marge, his assumed identity of Dickie after the latter’s murder and Marge’s accusation of Tom’s desire for Dickie.

The murders of Dickie and Freddie were just the means to an end for Tom. He would not have got away with them now, not with CCTV cameras everywhere and DNA profiling.

I do read a lot of crime fiction and enjoy all the high tech forensics that are so prevalent in 21st century novels so The Talented Mr Ripley was too “tame” for me. Tom Ripley literally got away with murder. Would the Italian detectives not have explored other revenues or delved deeper into Tom Ripley had Patricia Highsmith not written the script?

(This is also posted on the What Are You Reading? thread).

Last Edited by applegroupie at 15 Aug 10:58

Thanks @pink for taking the time to comment on this thread.

We would love to have sent out five copies of July’s Book of the Month, as planned, but for various reasons we felt able to give only two as prizes.

Please be patient. The Silver Travel Book Club is still in short trousers, and we are working hard to give it more prominence in Silver Travel Advisor newsletters, around the website and on social media. In time, we hope to have a lot more engagement on this Forum and elsewhere, and to be able to give away more free copies for lovers of literature and travel who enter into the spirit of the Silver Travel Book Club.

Your support is appreciated.

Happy reading and happy travelling.



Good question @Pink

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