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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.

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

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Liked it more than I expected

What made the experience of listening to The Talented Mr. Ripley the most enjoyable?

I saw the movie several years ago and can't remember the ending. I am assuming it is similar to the book. Sometimes when you see a movie before reading the book, it can be disappointing because the movie was altered too much or it is too close there isn't additional background story to be gleaned from reading the book. The book is right there in between. I am looking forward to reading the others in the series to see what dastardly deeds Mr Ripley is up to next.

What about Kevin Kenerly’s performance did you like?

I thought Kevin Kenerly's performance was kind of eerie. The somewhat soft-spoken, even tone seemed to fit the dysfunction and mindful calculations of Tom Ripley to not let emotions trip him up.

Any additional comments?

Even though the book was written about 60 years ago, it does not feel dated.

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Mastermind meet the rich

Where does The Talented Mr. Ripley rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book was excellent, the characters were enchanting, and the skeems were amazing.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Talented Mr. Ripley?

The best moments dealt with Ripley's skeems to cover up his crimes and walk away with everything.

Which scene was your favorite?

Although graphic, the murder sceens were amazing.

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

When Ripley murders Dickey.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Amazing sociopath

Where does The Talented Mr. Ripley rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The book and the narration came together splendidly.

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

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.

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

First Kenerly experience.

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Talented Indeed

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.

Great listen.

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  • Rebecca
  • Cookeville, TN, United States
  • 06-09-13

Bleh

Would you try another book from Patricia Highsmith and/or Kevin Kenerly?

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.<br/>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.

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  • Hunter
  • Huntsville, AL, United States
  • 04-12-13

As good as the movie!!!

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!!!

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Understated

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.

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  • Debbie
  • Sacramento, CA
  • 03-04-13

Really?

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

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.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The point of this book is that sometimes bad people are rewarded for bad behavior. Life is not always fair.

Which character – as performed by Kevin Kenerly – was your favorite?

Hard to have a favorite character. Tom Ripley dominates this book, and he is contemptable.

Was The Talented Mr. Ripley worth the listening time?

Yes, as a 20th century classic, it was worth the time investment.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Mon
  • San Francisco, Ca
  • 02-22-13

American Psycho

Would you listen to The Talented Mr. Ripley again? Why?

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.

What did you like best about this story?

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.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

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.

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed this audio and plan to continue the series. It had glamour, suspense, travel, murder and youthful naivete all on its side.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Cathleen
  • Phoenix, AZ, United States
  • 02-16-13

Loved it.

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!

2 of 4 people found this review helpful