Friday, November 9, 2012

the last book I ever read (The Talented Mr. Ripley, excerpt one)

from The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith:

'Have you Henry James' The Ambassadors?' Tom asked the officer in charge of the first-class library. The book was not on the shelf.

'I'm sorry, we haven't, sir,' said the officer.

Tom was disappointed. It was the book Mr. Greenleaf had asked him if he had read. Tom felt he ought to read it. He went to the cabin-class library. He found the book on the shelf, but when he started to check it out and gave his cabin number, the attendant told him sorry, that first-class passengers were not allowed to take books from the cabin-class library. Tom had been afraid of that. He put the book back docilely, though it would have been easy, so easy, to make a pass at the shelf and slip the book under his jacket.

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