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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 (712 )
5 star
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Overall
3.9 (618 )
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Story
4.1 (614 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Diane Gulf Coast 07-26-13
    Diane Gulf Coast 07-26-13 Member Since 2011

    Diane

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    44
    39
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    Story
    "I think I expected more"

    I have not watched the movie, nor did I know about the story. The narration was very good, the story, so so...I just really expected more.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Honolulu, HI, United States 05-14-13
    Peter Honolulu, HI, United States 05-14-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I didn't like this at all."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Macabe, disjointed


    What was most disappointing about Patricia Highsmith’s story?

    How it ended...I am not sure. I only finished it to say I did.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    I bought two of the trilogy and I have yet to get myself interested enought to even try the second book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RoseMary Montgomery, AL, United States 02-21-13
    RoseMary Montgomery, AL, United States 02-21-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    167
    4
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    "Wonder if it improves?"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I do not like the apparent premise of this book. Maybe the serial books improve, but I do not see how!


    Would you ever listen to anything by Patricia Highsmith again?

    Questionable whether I will try this author again.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Nothing to use the adjective, favorite, with.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Cant think of a redeeming feature.


    Any additional comments?

    None

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard United States 02-11-13
    Richard United States 02-11-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
    ratings
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    43
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    "Porca miseria"
    Would you try another book from Patricia Highsmith and/or Kevin Kenerly?

    I would certainly try another Patricia Highsmith book but if the setting were Italy I would avoid Kevin Kenerly who seems unfamiliar with the Italian language. One would think that the producer of the recording would have either found someone who could speak Italian or have given the narrator some tips. It was the same as finding a printed text full of typos.


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

    Strangers on a Train or any of her stories are worth a try.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Kenerly's a fine reader, except for his Italian. This was just a bad match.


    Could you see The Talented Mr. Ripley being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    It was a film.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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