The Buckmaster Gallery is staging another Derwatt exhibition, but now an American collector claims that the expensive masterpiece he bought three years ago is a fake. It is, of course, and he wants to talk to Derwatt, but Derwatt, inconveniently, is dead. Ripley needs the perfect solution to keep his role in the fraud a secret and his reputation clean, but not everyone's nerves are as steady as his. Especially when it comes to murder.
©1970 Patricia Highsmith. 1993 by Diogenes Verlag AG, Zurich (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.
While I don't believe 'Ripley Under Ground' is quite on the same level as 'The Talented Mr Ripley' it is still amazing to think about on how many levels Highsmith is writing. This novel reminds me a lot of Peter Carey's novel 'My Life as a Fake'.
Both novels explore ideas of art, authenticity, fakery, artistic isolation and basic counterfeits of all forms. What happens when the poseur becomes a greater poet/painter than the original? How do we measure art? How thin is the line between truth and fiction?
Anyway, Highsmith deserves to be recognized not just as a hard-boiled crime writer, but as a literary/genre example of Gresham's law. When the gods of fiction made Highsmith, they broke and buried the plates.
Why do I like Tom Ripley? I find myself rooting for this strange murderer. I think the gift of this series is it gives us a chance to look at our own morals and belief systems. And it's so intriguing to try to figure out his. Great reader. I am all for not having endings wrapped up neatly but this ending still, this book feels like it stopped in the middle of a sentance. So much fun though - I look forward to the next one
I am a D-Bag.
For a sequel this is a pretty good book. Rarely do I ever rate a performance higher then a book but there is something I enjoyed about Kenerlys reading. It fits well with Ripleys cocky voice. I look forward to book three.
Overall a good listen. I found the story less plausible than the original, but still believable enough to be enjoyed. Only problem I have with this story is the degree to which Ripley relies on the witlessness of others...
Tell us about yourself!
Superb entertainment. Very good story, brilliantly told. Pure excitement that leaves you with the wish of more.
As disconcerting as it is for me to simply adore the murderer Thomas Ripley, I can't stop reading the entire series. As is my pattern, I often read a series backwards; most recent to first. I have made peace with the fact that, not only do I find the murderer delightful; but compassionate and reasonable, in his own way. This book was no exception, and does explain some of the vagaries of Highsmith's later works; but, unlike the others I have read, this one startled me when the "end of book music" started playing. You don't really know how it really turned out. Knowing Ripley (and the fact that I have read his subsequent novels), I assume he gets out of it without hurting his rather magnificent lifestyle, in what I assume is a fictitious town south of Paris, Ville Peres. The reason I assume the town is not real, is that I am quite familiar with that area of France, and have stayed in and near the magnificently beautiful and tranquil Moret-sur-Loing, of which he often speaks, and where he often goes, and simply can't find any village of a similar sounding name.
I understand that these books were written in the 70s and 80s; but one of the few things that strikes an unrealistic note about Ripley is his American heritage, all the British speech patterns to the contrary. In fact, Highsmith (an American herself, I was surprised to discover) generally portrays "other" Americans as gruff and crude. Ripley, however, refers to "ringing" someone, thinks metrically, enjoys tea, says "cheers", calls men "fellows", wears a "mac" instead of a raincoat, and is the essence of outward civility. All, don't get me wrong, add to his endearing character; but usually appear to be British mannerisms, rather than American.
In any event; as usual, this was a thoroughly enjoyable psychological non-thriller, and it is always fascinating to see Ripley play mind games with himself and others. He is delightfully deluded, and wouldn't have it any other way. But, it would have been a bit more satisfying if it had a decisive ending. That is the only reason I withheld a star.
I will parrot Christopher from B.C. in his review...the plot should be more plausible.
Kenerly has a great ability to voice specific affect.
Yes...but I hope the next installment will be a 'tighter' storyline.
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