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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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  • Oliver
  • New York, NY, United States
  • 12-16-12

Fantastic

Any additional comments?

The great film of the same name doesn't even come close to doing this book justice. I was moved to cheering by the end. That it was for a psychopathic killer is why you must read this book. <br/><br/>Highsmith is superb<br/>Kenerly nails the narration.

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  • Sharon
  • Pittsburgh, PA, United States
  • 11-29-12

Brillant, well written, excellent performance!!

This is simply put, a great book. Patricia Highsmith creates a well drawn and deeply flawed character. This author creates a world that is compelling and captivating. The performance is also excellent. This is a must read!!

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A quick, precise review of Mr. Ripley

I've never seen the movie. So glad I got the book. Imagine Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye killing someone and going on the run in Italy. I loved every minute of this book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mary
  • Ashland Ohio
  • 05-07-12

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.

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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

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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

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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

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  • daniel
  • Hamlin, WV, United States
  • 02-27-12

great book great movie

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

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Audible Delight

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

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.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • jaye
  • GREENWICH, CT, United States
  • 05-30-12

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 3 people found this review helpful