Skip to Content
Defector Reads A Book

Defector Reads A Book Has Its Pick For August

Two American boys reading comics in the company of a pet spaniel, circa 1955.
Photo: FPG/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Thanks to the DRAB community for discussing The Big Sleep with us this month! We enjoyed reading through comments from those of you who loved it and those who hated it (but were still kind enough to chime in!). And if you did like it, the detective fiction fans in the chat had some good tips for tackling the rest of Chandler's work. In August, DRAB is sticking to crime. We'll be reading Patricia Highsmith's 1955 thriller The Talented Mr. Ripley, the first book in her "Ripliad" and the basis for a 1999 movie adaptation that stars a very, ah, handsome Jude Law.

The movie is a favorite of mine—I love its gorgeous coastal Italian world—so reading Highsmith's novel felt pretty overdue. It's about identity and impersonation, the way wanting someone and wanting to be someone can be confused.

To get the book, we recommend borrowing it from your beloved library, swinging by your local independent bookstore, or placing an online order from After you’re done reading, join us here on Thursday, September 2 to debrief in the comments. We’ll send a couple reminders in The Cipher, our daily newsletter for all Pal-and-up subscribers. Kelsey is on a well-deserved vacation this month, so Barry will be joining me and Giri again!

If you liked this blog, please share it! Your referrals help Defector reach new readers, and those new readers always get a few free blogs before encountering our paywall.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter