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)
The book and the narration came together splendidly.
I must admit, I kept waiting for Mr. Ripley to trip up. Whether he did, or not, I will not say...I don't want to spoil the read for others.
First Kenerly experience.
My reviews are rather simple but only because I want to convey my impressions of a story. I leave summaries to the publisher. LOVE Audible!
Years ago, I saw the movie starring Matt Damon based on this novel. I really like the movie when I saw it but I loved the book. Tom Ripley has an uncanny ability to mimic people. Is he a psychopath? Sociopath? All of his actions have clear rational - to him. You almost start to feel sympathetic toward his character as he experiences emotions of inferiority but yet his acts are so monstrous you can't help but see how sick he is.
I honestly can't say that I understand why this book has such a high rating. If it weren't for my policy to never give up on an audiobook, I can honestly say that I would never have finished this one. IT WAS SO BORING! I kept waiting for it to get better, but it stayed completely dull until the bitter end.
Maybe this genre just isn't my cup of tea, but I did not enjoy this book. Frankly, my own life is more interesting and I expect way more than that to be entertained.
I bought this book some time ago when it was on sail for $5. If I had paid a full credit, I might have been a little dissapointed. It was howeve worth what I paid for it. Although it is a little slow at times, it is still a decent read.
I just achieved App Master!! I never thought I would make it this far!! Thanks Audible
What a great book,I liked the movie and I loved the book. I put this book off a couple times but I finally made my way to it,then I couldn't put it down.. I didn't know they were three more books in the series and I can't wait to get to them. Mr Ripley will keep you on the edge of your seat!! The crazy thing is you know Ripley is a bad guy but you keep rooting for him. At every turn and corner he is about to be caught but always finds his way out!!
Short book but a great read!!! Must read!!!
The narrator does a very nice job. The story is understated, carrying the chill of Tom Ripley's lack of empathy and connection very well. I look forward to listening to other books in this series.
I would not recommend it. The 'protagonist' is a very nasty person. It is hard to be sympathetic with or relate to such a person as Mr Ripley, such a capable liar and self-serving cheat. All through, I wanted him to be found out and brought to an accounting of his terrible actions.
The point of this book is that sometimes bad people are rewarded for bad behavior. Life is not always fair.
Hard to have a favorite character. Tom Ripley dominates this book, and he is contemptable.
Yes, as a 20th century classic, it was worth the time investment.
12 step program please. I am addicted to Audible! I love trashy sexy books, award winning novels and everything between. Bring it!
I plan to re listen to the first half of the book, at least the first two hours because this is where we meet Tom, a con man with a broken past and an unhappy childhood. Clearly I am naive because just a con man couldn't be farther from the truth. Ripley is a narcissistic young man looking to get ahead and make it big time by lying, forgery and committing murder. I want to re listen to it because I wasn't expecting to listen to the tale of a full blow psychopath. This audio was slow, soft and dangerous. I have never watched the movie and now I will.
I especially like that this was a book written in the 50's because this era evokes this false illusion that America was sweet as pie and Ripley's character is just the opposite of that. Ripley plays the part of a well bred, sweet, caring man all the while he is waving his arrogance in front of the reader and HE expects to be caught but no one wants to see what is right in front of them - a deadly poser.
I read a review that mentioned that they had to remind their self not too sympathize with him because he is in the end a calculating killer. I found myself doing the same at times. I got sucked into his story of parasitic survival. Tom Ripley is the American Psycho.
I really enjoyed this audio and plan to continue the series. It had glamour, suspense, travel, murder and youthful naivete all on its side.
I am a lifelong lover of books. I got my degree in English & worked in the publishing business for many years. Now I work with wildlife.
I'd seen the excellent film when it came out, but had never read the book. I know Patricia Highsmith is a highly regarded author and so thought I would give this a try. What a good read. I had no idea that there were several Mr. Ripley books and now I have added them to my wish list. It's a bit disconcerting to see someone get away with murder, but I suppose it happens every day.
Listening and Reading
In the Audible.com's "The Talented Mr. Ripley" I have two pleasures united: the mundane but gripping Highsmith writing style and Kevin Kenerly's alluring performance of Highsmith's words. It's Kenerly's voice, much what I'd imagine Ripley would sound like, that has me buying the entire Ripley series. Bravo.
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