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    Desire and impersonation

    Tom Ripley is a shy young man who desires to be dynamic and popular. He is approached by Mr. Greenleaf, a wealthy man, who remembers that Tom had visited his house a few years ago with his son, Dickie. Tom and Dickie were barely acquaintances, but Tom is interested when Mr. Greenleaf asks him to go to Italy to bring Dickie home, all expenses paid. Tom is delighted to travel first class, and with $600 in traveller's cheques (this book is set in 1955). When he arrives in Mongibello, Italy, he finds Dickie on the beach with his friend Marge. Dickie doesn't really remember Tom, but invites him to his house, and within a few days, Tom is living there. They become great friends, and Tom is jealous of the time Dickie spends with Marge. He imagines being Dickie, wealthy and stylish, and on a trip to San Remo, he makes it so.

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