Since his debut in 1955, Tom Ripley has evolved into the ultimate bad boy sociopath, influencing countless novelists and filmmakers.
In this first novel, we are introduced to suave, handsome Tom Ripley: a young striver, newly arrived in the heady world of Manhattan in the 1950s. A product of a broken home, branded a "sissy" by his dismissive Aunt Dottie, Ripley becomes enamored of the moneyed world of his new friend, Dickie Greenleaf. This fondness turns obsessive when Ripley is sent to Italy to bring back his libertine pal, but he grows enraged by Dickie's ambivalent feelings for Marge, a charming American dilettante.
A dark reworking of Henry James's The Ambassadors, The Talented Mr. Ripley—immortalized in the 1998 film starring Matt Damon, Jude Law, and Gywneth Paltrow—is an unforgettable introduction to this debonair confidence man, whose talent for self-invention and calculated murder is chronicled in four subsequent novels.
©1955 Patricia Highsmith. Copyright renewed 1983 by Patricia Highsmith. (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
"One of the great crime novels of the 20th century, Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley is a blend of the narrative subtlety of Henry James and the self-reflexive irony of Vladimir Nabokov. Like the best modernist fiction, Ripley works on two levels. First, it is the story of a young man, Tom Ripley, whose nihilistic tendencies lead him on a deadly passage across Europe. On another level, the novel is a commentary on fictionmaking and techniques of narrative persuasion. Like Humbert Humbert, Tom Ripley seduces readers into empathizing with him even as his actions defy all moral standards." (Amazon.com review)
"[Highsmith] has created a world of her own - a world claustrophobic and irrational which we enter each time with a sense of personal danger." (Graham Greene)
"One of our greatest modernist writers." (Gore Vidal)
I enjoyed this story. However, the voice of the voice of the narrator was not as strong as I would have liked. I was waiting for something to happen any moment to reveal the "bad guy". I was secretly happy with the end!
Audible should ensure that anyone hired to narrate a book that includes words and sentences in a foreign language knows how to pronounce that language or is at least coached in the pronunciation. Presumably Mr. Kenerly claimed to be able to read the substantial amount of Italian accurately when he accepted the assignment, but in fact he mispronounced the majority of the Italian words, even words that one expects anyone, Italian speaking or not, to know: "pizzeria," "Via Veneto," for example. It was such an irritant that I came close to abandoning the book a couple of times.
Mr. Kenerly's narration was acceptable as long as he was speaking English, so if you don't speak Italian, you'll probably enjoy it. If you do speak Italian his rendering will be like fingernails on a blackboard.
Patricia Highsmith does an amazing job of developing complex characters in beautifully described settings. She keeps a taut thread of tension throughout the entire novel. She does such a good job of "seeing" through the protagonists eyes that I did not realize the author was not a man until I was almost finished with the book!
The narration was spot on. There is very little graphic violence, no sex and no foul language. I was sorry when this story ended. I highly recommend this book, it is my favorite listen so far!
she is a master storyteller. Narration is amazing. Fantastic characters and makes you feel like you are traveling in Italy and France I've missed a cleverly conceived tale of murder, lies, and greed
Spanish Norman Horses
The narrator was absolutely perfect. His tone and inflection set the mood at every turn exactly. The tension and anxiety as the story progresses is almost palpable and you can hear it in his voice, feel what Tom Ripley feels. I made the mistake of listening to this book in my car each day and getting so caught up in the story that I actually felt nervous when a police car passed me!
This is a look at a man with zero compassion or concern for anyone other than himself and his own desires. A look at the interior thoughts and machinations of a selfish, narcissistic, lazy young man who wants the easy, carefree life style of the sons of wealth around him. He spends his days mooching off the rich social set, over staying his welcome & over stepping until they run him off. Greed and humiliation compel him finally, to murder and assume the identity of these young, rich playboys.
I loved the mid 1950s setting and view of Italy. The descriptions are gorgeous and the writing quite simply sweeps you away to another time and slower, gentler place. The movie with Matt Damon is a mere sample of the story when compared to the book. I will add the sequel to my to be purchased list.
What a gripping narrative and I loved the narrator Kevin Kenerly.
The author, Patricia Highsmith, did an excellent job describing and letting us be a part of Tom Ripley's logic. The experience listening to this audible was fantastic.
I can't wait to get the next book in the series, Ripley Under Ground. I see that it is read by the same narrator, Kevin Kenerly. Can't wait to continue the story of the talented Mr. Ripley and his homicidal choices!
A great fan of stories and audiobooks. Good ones.
Not knowing if he would get away with it or not, the entire time.
Something like a W. Somerset Maughn novel, or F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Tom, the dastardly villain.
Tom, so I could get him into a state where he tried to stab me with a fork, just because I would know it was coming, and could stop him.
I liked it, and found it very difficult to not keep listening for hours and hours on end.
This book is right up my alley! I love a story where the hero is also the villain! ... And in this case, a psychopath! A most unusual and entertaining read, written with intelligence and wonderfully narrated!
Very entertaining, if unusual, storyline. I have never read or listened to a book with the primary character anything like Mr. Ripley I don't think.
Different and surprising, but that is the allure that caused me to get another in the series.
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