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The Talented Mr. Ripley | [Patricia Highsmith]

The Talented Mr. Ripley

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (974 )
5 star
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4.2 (855 )
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Performance
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  •  
    JOHN Plantation, FL, United States 02-11-12
    JOHN Plantation, FL, United States 02-11-12 Member Since 2003

    Audible Member Since 2003

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Anti-Social Protagonist"
    Any additional comments?

    This was an interesting book and of the genre that doesn't normally attract me. However, it passed the simplest true test for me - it made me look forward to listening more and more.

    Although narrated in the third person, it is told as if the author is just over the shoulder of Tom Ripley. It is a subtle seduction where the reader/listener, observing this character soon gets the notion that something isn't quite right with this guy. He engages in some bizarre behavior, that at first might seem to be harmless mischief, but hints at some deeper psychosis. Before long, we are given glimpses into Ripley's thought processes, and any doubts about his sanity are erased.

    Tom Ripley travels to Europe at the request of the wealthy father of one of his

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dal CARY, NC, United States 01-28-12
    dal CARY, NC, United States 01-28-12 Member Since 2015
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    "The celebration of psychopathy."

    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.

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Connett SOUTH PASADENA, CA. USA 02-02-12
    Robert Connett SOUTH PASADENA, CA. USA 02-02-12

    RS Connett

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    "LOVE IT!"
    Any additional comments?

    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!

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C Mack Lewis Phoenix, AZ, United States 02-16-13
    C Mack Lewis Phoenix, AZ, United States 02-16-13 Member Since 2011

    I love a great story.

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    "Loved it."

    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!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dogs & Horses 07-18-15

    Spanish Norman Horses

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Tightly wound tension & anxiety you can feel"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wes 06-18-15
    wes 06-18-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Great classic"

    I loved it; there is not a lot of action, of course, but it was great. I usually don't get into character development very much, but this novel is an exception. Tom Ripley is one twisted guy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl Douglasville, GA, United States 06-04-15
    Cheryl Douglasville, GA, United States 06-04-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The ultimate bad boy sociopath!"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wenderric 04-08-15
    Wenderric 04-08-15 Member Since 2013

    Wenderric

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    "Disappointing Narrator"
    What did you like best about The Talented Mr. Ripley? What did you like least?

    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.


    What other book might you compare The Talented Mr. Ripley to and why?

    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.


    What didn’t you like about Kevin Kenerly’s performance?

    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.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Twinmasks 02-16-15
    Twinmasks 02-16-15 Member Since 2015
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    "not a fan"

    I really apparently am not a big fan of this author. that is really it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Raele Austin, TX, United States 02-04-15
    Raele Austin, TX, United States 02-04-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Blockbuster Story! Creepy & Chilling & Believable"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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