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 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.
I knew that the movie was set in the 1950's, but I didn't know that it was based on this book which was written at that time, or that the book is the first in a series.
Same characters, but many substantial differences in the plot of the book vs. the film. I won;t hint at what they are but if you have seen the movie you still have many surprises coming. First rate suspense .
Wine, food and travel writer, editor, and aspiring novelist.
Highsmith is known for her wonderful command of the language and a creepy mind. Her sociopaths (Ripley, as well as Bruno from Strangers on a Train) could be characterized as asexual misogynists or repressed homosexuals, depending on your viewpoint. That they don't understand the nuances of male/female relationships enrages them and ultimately drives them to murder. Highsmith writes beautifully, and though Kenerly's narrative tone carries the appropriate sense of underlying malice, I was several times startled out of an emersion in the story by his mispronunciation of Italian and French words, and by the hard "g" that he gives to such words as "ring" and "long." If that weren't bad enough, he often turns statements into questions with a rising inflection at the end of a sentence.
The main character seemed to have no redeeming characteristics.
Did not find one I liked
I thought the narrator did an acceptable job.
Perhaps if a friend had told me it was going to get better I would have stayed with it.
Yes, the narrator is intoxicating
Mr. Ripley's true thoughts about Marge were hilarious to me
No I wouldn't have wanted to listen to it in one sitting because there are alot of details about Ripley's scams and it is a little too much information and becomes boring.
Love Tom Ripley's character. I started off with the movie many many years ago and always loved it. Finally read the book and don't regret it. Never knew it was a trilogy.
It was such a twisted story but my sympathy remained with Ripley, sort of hoping he'd get away with it yet knowing that if he did, it was wrong.
I couldn't believe that I could have sympathy for a murderer and someone as selfish as Tom.
Pick any of the suspense ones where he was sure he'd be found out and then gets away with it.
It is a film.
I bought it on a whim and am delighted I did.
I've read a lot of "criminal" protagonist novels but never about one that lives in the same reality as I do. Kevin Kenerly delivers a though provoking calm to the narrative. Looking forward to this series and other stories by Patricia Highsmith.
Classic story, entertaining and read well. Perfect for listening rather than reading. Engaging and does not require 100% focus, so this was a good book for listening to while doing laundry, cooking etc. Recommended.
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