I love a great story.
I love hating myself for loving a book about a sociopath and murderer. Thank you, Patricia Highsmith for writing a thoroughly entertaining and original book!
Live on edge of National Forest with lake, birds & wild animals. No more perfect place to indulge life-long love of reading.
Having a sociopath as the main character of a book is a new experience for me. However the idea really did grow on me -- in very large part due to the wonderful narration of Kevin Kenerly. This book has a definite plot, but it is there mostly as a supporting structure to enable the complex character development of Tom Ripley. There is a rather dark fascination in getting to know this disturbing character.
Kenerly provides an excellent portrayal of a psychopathic psyche through his pacing and tone. The combination of Highsmith's prose and this excellent narration is almost musical.
My 4 stars for the story is strictly based on the fact that in real life I would not want to live next door to the main character -- and my suspicion that if I did, he would probably be able to fool me. That's a little chilling.
This quietly riveting, stunning, masterful piece was one I had actually resisted reading or listening to for years, partly because I already loved the lush film. But this poetic suspenseful anti-hero tale turned out to be one of my favorite audiobooks of all time to date.
The Talented Mr. Ripley is a crime classic and the hard, almost vicious style of Highsmith really brings to life the darkness of Tom Ripley. The only thing that detracted from the audio book was the narrator.
There's no con man quite like Ripley, but I would compare it to another Highsmith, Strangers on a Train. The reason why is that there's a real sense of claustrophobia around the characters as the net draws to a close.
It was about as good a job as I myself could have done. There's no real variation in voices and frankly, he just doesn't sound at all like I imagined Tom Ripley. His voice is too upbeat or something. It took me right out of the whole thing.
Highsmith seems to have an incredible understanding of her subject. I absolutely believed every minute, every thought, every word. The deranged thinking and emotions of Tom Ripley, the self-pity, the false & fleeting guilt, all the justifications...how could she come up with this and be of sound mind herself? She's amazing! I was absolutely mesmerized. And the narrator does a fantastic job of conveying Ripley's inner states. The blithe tone he often uses to articulate incredible immoral and inhumane plans perfectly conveys to us Ripley's utter lack of conscience. Just FANTASTIC, all around. One of the best Audible listens ever.
Tom Ripley and DIckey Greenleaf.
The book is incredibly slow-paced and I found it pretty boring.
The voices could have been differentiated more clearly.
Ms. Highsmith could have had more action sooner than later and a better ending. I would've also preferred a more masculine, secure, and confident Mr. Ripley. Overall, I didn't find the story to be as clever as I initially imagined.
There's no specific narrator in mind; I just would've opted for a more masculine voice.
I thought the questioning of Tom's sexuality was pointless. I don't see how the plot benefited from it.
Avid reader and blogger
The Talented Mr. Ripley is unlike anything I’ve read before. It was entertaining and nerve-racking, yet somewhat underplayed and even slow at times. It’s a damned interesting story, but also one of the most unpleasant reads ever. You know that feeling when you’re watching a movie where someone breaks into a house and then the person who lives there comes home and the intruder has to hide? It’s unbearable in a squirm-around-in-your-seat-kind-of-way, right? That’s how it felt reading The Talented Mr. Ripley. If I hadn’t listened to the audio, I don’t think I ever would have been able to finish. There was one particular scene that made me gasp loudly (while I was at the gym – not embarrassing at all!!! No no …) where Tom Ripley slips and is nearly busted. Insufferable!
The brilliant thing about this book is that you kind of get to like Tom Ripley, even if he is a creepy psycho. I actually found myself rooting for him – I wanted him to get away with murder. What’s even worse: there were times I could identify with him! That scared the shit out of me. It was just little observations on life and people. Like this quote:
Anticipation! It occurred to him that his anticipation was more pleasant to him than the experiencing.
That could just as well have been something I had said. Don’t get me wrong, I would never murder someone and steal their identity. Unless that person had a really awesome book & shoe collection.
I can't say I liked this book, but I had a hard time putting it down when I started it. The story line left me disturbed and strangely compelled to keep listening.