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Ripley Underground | [Patricia Highsmith]

Ripley Underground

The Buckmaster Gallery is staging another Derwatt exhibition, but now an American collector claims that the expensive masterpiece he bought three years ago is a fake. It is, of course, and he wants to talk to Derwatt, but Derwatt, inconveniently, is dead. Ripley needs the perfect solution to keep his role in the fraud a secret and his reputation clean, but not everyone's nerves are as steady as his. Especially when it comes to murder.
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Publisher's Summary

The Buckmaster Gallery is staging another Derwatt exhibition, but now an American collector claims that the expensive masterpiece he bought three years ago is a fake. It is, of course, and he wants to talk to Derwatt, but Derwatt, inconveniently, is dead. Ripley needs the perfect solution to keep his role in the fraud a secret and his reputation clean, but not everyone's nerves are as steady as his. Especially when it comes to murder.

©1970 Patricia Highsmith. 1993 by Diogenes Verlag AG, Zurich (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (203 )
5 star
 (54)
4 star
 (83)
3 star
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2 star
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Overall
3.9 (166 )
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Story
4.2 (173 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 12-17-12
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 12-17-12

    A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "When gods made Highsmith, they broke the plates."

    While I don't believe 'Ripley Under Ground' is quite on the same level as 'The Talented Mr Ripley' it is still amazing to think about on how many levels Highsmith is writing. This novel reminds me a lot of Peter Carey's novel 'My Life as a Fake'.

    Both novels explore ideas of art, authenticity, fakery, artistic isolation and basic counterfeits of all forms. What happens when the poseur becomes a greater poet/painter than the original? How do we measure art? How thin is the line between truth and fiction?

    Anyway, Highsmith deserves to be recognized not just as a hard-boiled crime writer, but as a literary/genre example of Gresham's law. When the gods of fiction made Highsmith, they broke and buried the plates.

    16 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelin Asheville, NC, United States 02-04-12
    Kelin Asheville, NC, United States 02-04-12 Member Since 2011

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    6
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    "am I crazy?"

    Why do I like Tom Ripley? I find myself rooting for this strange murderer. I think the gift of this series is it gives us a chance to look at our own morals and belief systems. And it's so intriguing to try to figure out his. Great reader. I am all for not having endings wrapped up neatly but this ending still, this book feels like it stopped in the middle of a sentance. So much fun though - I look forward to the next one

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Victoria, BC, Canada 01-07-13
    Christopher Victoria, BC, Canada 01-07-13
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    "not quite as satisfying as original"

    Overall a good listen. I found the story less plausible than the original, but still believable enough to be enjoyed. Only problem I have with this story is the degree to which Ripley relies on the witlessness of others...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mordechai SUNNYVALE, CALIFORNIA 03-19-12
    Mordechai SUNNYVALE, CALIFORNIA 03-19-12 Member Since 2011

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Top Entertainment"

    Superb entertainment. Very good story, brilliantly told. Pure excitement that leaves you with the wish of more.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janels 03-12-12
    Janels 03-12-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    124
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    "Addictive Ripley; but this has no real ending"

    As disconcerting as it is for me to simply adore the murderer Thomas Ripley, I can't stop reading the entire series. As is my pattern, I often read a series backwards; most recent to first. I have made peace with the fact that, not only do I find the murderer delightful; but compassionate and reasonable, in his own way. This book was no exception, and does explain some of the vagaries of Highsmith's later works; but, unlike the others I have read, this one startled me when the "end of book music" started playing. You don't really know how it really turned out. Knowing Ripley (and the fact that I have read his subsequent novels), I assume he gets out of it without hurting his rather magnificent lifestyle, in what I assume is a fictitious town south of Paris, Ville Peres. The reason I assume the town is not real, is that I am quite familiar with that area of France, and have stayed in and near the magnificently beautiful and tranquil Moret-sur-Loing, of which he often speaks, and where he often goes, and simply can't find any village of a similar sounding name.

    I understand that these books were written in the 70s and 80s; but one of the few things that strikes an unrealistic note about Ripley is his American heritage, all the British speech patterns to the contrary. In fact, Highsmith (an American herself, I was surprised to discover) generally portrays "other" Americans as gruff and crude. Ripley, however, refers to "ringing" someone, thinks metrically, enjoys tea, says "cheers", calls men "fellows", wears a "mac" instead of a raincoat, and is the essence of outward civility. All, don't get me wrong, add to his endearing character; but usually appear to be British mannerisms, rather than American.

    In any event; as usual, this was a thoroughly enjoyable psychological non-thriller, and it is always fascinating to see Ripley play mind games with himself and others. He is delightfully deluded, and wouldn't have it any other way. But, it would have been a bit more satisfying if it had a decisive ending. That is the only reason I withheld a star.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    daniel Hamlin, WV, United States 03-19-12
    daniel Hamlin, WV, United States 03-19-12 Member Since 2010

    I am a D-Bag.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
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    "Not as good as the first one"

    For a sequel this is a pretty good book. Rarely do I ever rate a performance higher then a book but there is something I enjoyed about Kenerlys reading. It fits well with Ripleys cocky voice. I look forward to book three.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy F. Sierra Foothills, Northern CA 09-26-14
    Nancy F. Sierra Foothills, Northern CA 09-26-14 Member Since 2007

    Live on edge of National Forest with lake, birds & wild animals. No more perfect place to indulge life-long love of reading.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dichotomous"

    I had opposing thoughts about almost all of the elements of this book.

    Story line: I thought it dragged; yet, it had a mesmerizing pace that I wouldn't have wanted changed.

    Characters: They were all in the range from full-on sociopath (only the lead character) to amoral to just completely uncaring about anyone but themselves; yet, I wanted to know what happened to them ... in someway I can't explain, I actually cared about how they fared.

    Plot premise: It was about the forging of some only slightly noteworthy paintings, as in "why do I care about this?"; yet, I became interested in the nuances of forgery detection and actually was hoping the forger would get away with it.

    The ending: In no sense of the word was there an ending, or any sense of closure on the story line; yet, it somehow poetically worked with all the rest of the book.

    I kept wondering why I was continuing to listen to this book; yet, I did all the way to the end. And I'm glad I did.

    My only non-dichotomous opinion was about Kevin Kenerly's narration: it was superb!

    Strangely enough: I recommend this book ... but only if you are committed to this series. As a standalone book I'm pretty sure you would find your credit wasted.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn 07-20-13
    Carolyn 07-20-13 Member Since 2012
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    "another great one from the Ripley series"
    What made the experience of listening to Ripley Underground the most enjoyable?

    the writer and the narrator made the entire experience wonderful.


    What does Kevin Kenerly bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    his intonations and pace brings life to this slightly twisted character


    If you could rename Ripley Underground, what would you call it?

    don't know.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teri San Francisco, CA United States 07-10-13
    Teri San Francisco, CA United States 07-10-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loving the Ripley series"
    Any additional comments?

    I'd read that some didn't care for the second book in the Ripley series as much, but I completely enjoyed it. I'd been introduced to Ripley from the Talented Mr. Ripley movie, and enjoyed the book almost as much (yes, I actually liked the movie more than the book); but enjoyed it enough to move on to book two. And I liked it more I think because there was nothing I was comparing it to. Seeing how Ripley is evolving was interesting and the story itself kept me engaged. I'm definitely looking forward to Highsmith's next books in the Ripley series - he's a great character, and these stores make for great audible listens.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Norrdeke United States 04-28-13
    Norrdeke United States 04-28-13 Member Since 2012

    Norrdeke

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    "A lot of holes in the story..."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I will parrot Christopher from B.C. in his review...the plot should be more plausible.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Patricia Highsmith again?

    Yes.


    What does Kevin Kenerly bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Kenerly has a great ability to voice specific affect.


    Was Ripley Underground worth the listening time?

    Yes...but I hope the next installment will be a 'tighter' storyline.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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