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Ripley Under Ground by Patricia Highsmith

Ripley Under Ground (original 1970; edition 2008)

by Patricia Highsmith

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1,0332012,226 (3.67)52
Title:Ripley Under Ground
Authors:Patricia Highsmith
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (2008), Edition: Norton Ed, Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library

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Ripley Under Ground by Patricia Highsmith (1970)

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English (18)  Spanish (2)  All languages (20)
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
“Honestly, I don't understand why people get so worked up about a little murder!”

This is the sequel of 'The Talented Mr Ripley' and picks up Tom's life six years later. He's in his early 30s, married and living in a grand villa outside of Paris paid for by his wife's family money. Tom spends his time pottering about, gardening, painting and improving his French. This is the life that he believes he was born for and deserves.

However, Tom is also involved in a lucrative scam selling forged paintings. When an American threatens to expose the scam Tom decides to take matters into his own hands to resolve the situation. Initially by persuasion but when that fails murder.

Anyone who has read the first book will not be surprised to hear that there is a death in this book also so I'm not giving too much away by saying so. In fact there are two. There is a certain black comedy to the first death or perhaps more accurately as to how Tom goes about disposing with the body that is in stark contrast with what he does with the second one. In contrast with the first victim the second body Tom actually wants to be found but how he deals with it is pretty gruesome.

As with the first book Highsmith goes to great effort to show the two sides of Ripley's personality. On one hand he is a likeable, personable if self-indulgent young man who only murders out of necessity because someone has made the mistake of threatening his freedom but he also has a very dark, sinister side to it. There is a stark difference between his urbane exterior to the darkness that lurks within. He is undoubtedly a socio-path with numerous twists and turns to his personality.

One of the pleasures of these books is to see what lengths Tom will go to to outwit the law. Also the author wants to illuminate the perceived dark deaths that lurk beneath the thin surface of civilization. However, unlike in the first book I really struggled to see any redeeming sides to Tom's character finding him shallow and self-obsessed. He is certainly no highly educated and engaging Hannibal Lector . This in turn meant that whilst I found this an OK swift read it was nothing more than that. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Mar 6, 2018 |
3.5 stars

In this sequel to The Talented Mr. Ripley, Tom Ripley is married and living in France. A few years back, he concocted a scheme where, although a painter had died, someone was rounded up to paint in that painter’s name, as if he was still alive and a recluse. There was a gallery in London that sold this painter’s paintings, there were art supplies and a school of art all in this (dead) painter’s name. But when an American suspects he has bought a forgery and wants to come to London to prove it, Tom must stop this from happening…

This pulled me in early on. There was a bit of a lull in the middle for me, but it picked up again at the end. It was good and I do plan to continue the series. ( )
2 vote LibraryCin | Nov 23, 2016 |
Tom Ripley lives a life of ease at a country home, Belle Ombre, in France with his beautiful wife Heloise. Gardening, reading, painting at leisure. A little income from the art world, and inheritance from the past, along with his wife's income from her family. Life is good...until art forgery, deception, and death enter the picture.

Tom is a silent partner with Jeff Constant and Ed Banbury in Derwatt Ltd., an art gallery in London. Business has been great, selling Derwatt paintings, but the question of forgery starts things roiling. A client is questioning the authenticity of a piece he owns. What makes this a problem is that it probably is...that is the dirty secret behind Derwatt Ltd. Tom invites the client to his home in France, to see the Derwatt works he owns and compare them. The client isn't satisfied and Tom has to take things into his own hands.

Shortly after this matter Chris Greenleaf arrives for a visit. This is a bit tight as he is the cousin to Dickie Greenleaf, the friend who left Tom the inheritance. There is a little shade about if Dickie really did commit suicide or was murdered and if the inheritance is legit. Also, there are some things on the property that bring to mind some not-so-good thought...like the fresh grave.

At the same time, Bernard shows up upset and rattled about the question of forgery. Bernard is an artist that is also involved in Derwatt Ltd. Tension builds.

This is of the psychological thriller genre. Tension runs throughout the book. How is Tom going to handle these various situations? Can he pull things off and not get tripped up by the French and English police who are looking into the client who went missing? The question of forgery? And the still question of the where the artist is?

Tightly written, it is not a book to just breeze through, but it is a good read. ( )
1 vote ChazziFrazz | Jun 23, 2016 |
I read Ripley Down Under with high expectations after enjoying the first book in the Ripley series so much (The Talented Mr Ripley).

I thought that the story in the second book was much weaker and sometimes wandered aimlessly. I think Miss Highsmith wanted to continue the story of the brilliant character she had created but was unable to find a story as interesting to serve as a vehicle.

The book started off well enough but in the end there wasn't enough story there. Also, the character of Tom Ripley was not nearly as interesting. That can also be said of the supporting characters.

The writing was up to Miss Highsmith's usual high standard but I cannot say the book, as a whole, lived up to the standard I have come to expect from this author. ( )
1 vote Canadian_Down_Under | Aug 1, 2014 |
Throughout the first novel we have the suspense of not knowing if he will be caught by the police or not. In this sequel Ripely has an added person he wishes not to get caught with--his wife. At the start of the book she is visiting friends in Greece and he is called upon by friends he has made in a forgery deal to help them out of a jam. He does so...but only gets himself further into a hole. Very much like the first novel in this respect. Will he make it? Will he get caught? In a strange way, I felt attached to this character and wanted him to be safe and sound. ( )
1 vote csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
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Patricia Highsmithprimary authorall editionscalculated
Burns, TomIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I think I would more readily die for what I do not believe in than for what I hold to be true...
Sometimes I think that the artistic life is a long and lovely suicide, and I am not sorry that it is so.

- Oscar Wilde in his Personal letters
To my Polish neighbours, Agnès and Georges Barylski, my friends of France, 77.
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Tom was in the garden when the telephone rang.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679742301, Paperback)

In this harrowing illumination of the psychotic mind, the enviable Tom Ripley has a lovely house in the French countryside, a beautiful and very rich wife, and an art collection worthy of a connoisseur. But such a gracious life has not come easily. One inopportune inquiry, one inconvenient friend, and Ripley's world will come tumbling down--unless he takes decisive steps. In a mesmerizing novel that coolly subverts all traditional notions of literary justice, Ripley enthralls us even as we watch him perform acts of pure and unspeakable evil.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:31 -0400)

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