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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 (1002 )
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4.2 (878 )
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Performance
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  •  
    jaye GREENWICH, CT, United States 05-30-12
    jaye GREENWICH, CT, United States 05-30-12 Member Since 2012

    AUDIBLE MAKES READING POSSIBLE AND EASY FOR ME...I AM VISUALLY IMPAIRED. I WISH THEY HAD ALL THE BOOKS I WANT I WOULD SNAP THEM UP!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "enjoyable read."
    If you could sum up The Talented Mr. Ripley in three words, what would they be?

    liar, dreamer, murderer


    What did you like best about this story?

    ripley's constant finagling.


    Have you listened to any of Kevin Kenerly’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    different parts moments that were particularly enjoyable. it is hard to choose one. i think i found the tension that was going on when freddie figured out what was going on particularly satisfying. tom thought he could fool them all.


    Any additional comments?

    i saw the movie. i knew i would like the book and i did.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Columbus, OH, United States 05-07-12
    Mary Columbus, OH, United States 05-07-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Not my favorite"
    Where does The Talented Mr. Ripley rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I enjoyed the story, although the narrator drags down the rating a bit for me. I must admit that, of all the audiobooks to which I've listened, I enjoyed this one the least.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I never saw the film, but the author's writing is so precise and so evocative, I felt like I saw the story evolving in my head as I listened.


    What aspect of Kevin Kenerly’s performance would you have changed?

    All of it. Mr. Kenerly's overly-affected speech often distracted me from the story. He should stick to Shakespeare.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Nice guy ends up head first in the Mediterranean; and bad guy is incredibly lucky.


    Any additional comments?

    This must have been a real page turner in its time. In 2012, the tax cheat, Thomas Ripley, would have been caught before he ever left New York for Italy, but then there would have been no opportunity for such a fanciful story taking us on a tour of Europe.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret United States 04-24-12
    Margaret United States 04-24-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Plodding pace, unlikable protaganist"

    Ripley - a neurotic sociopath - is not an engaging character. And the pace and narration of this story plods along. The other characters are wan and tepid, not the sparkling but damaged children of privelege that the movie demonstrates. You don't really care what happends to anyone in this story.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    daniel Hamlin, WV, United States 02-27-12
    daniel Hamlin, WV, United States 02-27-12 Member Since 2012

    I am a D-Bag.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great book great movie"

    Hard to believe this series was wrote when it was. Hard to believe it got published. Great book.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Tel Aviv 02-20-12
    Amazon Customer Tel Aviv 02-20-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "High standard entertainment."
    What did you love best about The Talented Mr. Ripley?

    The very well told story.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Even though I read the book and saw the movie, the story still caught me.


    If you could take any character from The Talented Mr. Ripley out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Dick


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Bakersfield, CA, United States 02-20-12
    David Bakersfield, CA, United States 02-20-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Excellent story"
    Would you listen to The Talented Mr. Ripley again? Why?

    Yes, It was intriguing watching Tom grow into the his role.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The development of Tom


    Have you listened to any of Kevin Kenerly’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HIII 03-25-12
    HIII 03-25-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Rip up Ripley"

    Mr Ripley moves through this book with the maudline self pity of an F Scott Fitzgerald drunk. I selected to listen for 2 reasons the first the different perspective of listening to the story from the 'bad guys' point of view and the second the other reviews. I remove myself from the crowd with this listen. Ripley is looking for a hand out, he uses or kills everyone who does anything remotely nice for him, he is a true taker. While it would be interesting to listen to more of the series to see if and how he is finally caught it is not worth the time or the $$.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clairnelle LaGrange, Georgia, United States 03-14-13
    Clairnelle LaGrange, Georgia, United States 03-14-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Clairnelle"

    AWFUL!!!! Made myself listen hoping the story would get better. Never did! Finally gave up on it.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gulf Coast 07-26-13
    Gulf Coast 07-26-13 Member Since 2013
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    "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 Lincoln, RI 02865 05-14-13
    Peter Lincoln, RI 02865 05-14-13 Member Since 2011
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    "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

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