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.
This is a great listen. I don't know where to rank it among all my listens, however, because pretty much everything I've listened to on audible has been relatively great on the same level.
It definitely did. Towards the end the book became so riveting that I almost wanted to quit listening or pause it because I was legitimately frightened at what would happen next!
He was great with accents and bringing the foreign characters to life. If I had read it by myself I most likely would've forgotten to give them accents. Also, his narration of Tom Ripley was very fantastic. He was good at Tom's change in dialect when he would go between being himself and being Dickie Greenleaf. If I'd been reading I would've forgotten ton change his voice/dialect in my mind.
Definitely, and toward the end I stayed up at night to finish it because it was so exciting.
The book is outstanding - the film doesn't even come close, good as it is - but it's the narrator that lifts it to the next level. The nuanced interpretation is perfect; the cadence smooth - perfectly pitched to the various scenes and situations.
Highly recommend. Great book read by outstanding narrator. Win/win.
Kept my interest, but this is one of the most unrealistic books I've ever heard. Mr. Ripley would not be talented if anyone he encountered was average. Pretty silly, but I wanted to know how it played out. I have to give it a fair rating for entertainment value, but for reality it would get zero stars.
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, 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.
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