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The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia…

The Talented Mr. Ripley (original 1955; edition 2008)

by Patricia Highsmith

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3,9381201,303 (3.93)306
Title:The Talented Mr. Ripley
Authors:Patricia Highsmith
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Highsmith, American, Thriller, 20th Century, Ripley, fiction

Work details

The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (1955)

  1. 10
    As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann (1Owlette)
    1Owlette: Similarities in the unreliable perspective and opacity of the main characters, who also share common ground in their sexual and violent tendencies. In other ways, these are very different reads, with Highsmith adopting a very detached, effectively estranging tone for Ripley. As Meat Loves Salt, moreover, covers a much broader canvas.… (more)
  2. 11
    The Man Who Watched Trains Go By by Georges Simenon (thatguyzero)
  3. 00
    The Lying Tongue by Andrew Wilson (jonathankws)
  4. 12
    The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (JuliaMaria)
  5. 05
    Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey (wonderlake)
    wonderlake: Both Oscar and Ripley are afraid of water
  6. 29
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (Wova4)
    Wova4: The GwtDT reminded me of the character Ripley, who is very much a morally ambiguous protagonist with a complicated psychology.

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» See also 306 mentions

English (109)  Spanish (5)  Dutch (3)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  All (120)
Showing 1-5 of 109 (next | show all)
I feel certain this was one of the last books I read for some time during a particular period of my high school life and it was out of immediate memory for quite some time. Re-reading [b:Demian|1005314|Demian|Hermann Hesse|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51kDj-Rl-1L._SL75_.jpg|5334697] and focusing on the Cain-and-Abel reinterpretations therein brought it back all at once. The crime is fantastic and absorbing, the criminal mind even more-so. What I remember being most struck by at the time was the indirect revelation of Tom's conflicting passions where "he could have hit Dickie, sprung on him, or kissed him, or thrown him overboard." The violence and desire mixed up and half-understood struck me as perfect in that moment. This is a book I will read again when I have the opportunity to come into contact with it once more. ( )
  likecymbeline | Apr 1, 2017 |
It is rare to have vastly differing opinions on one book, but not unknown to our group … and
something that Highsmith’s Mr Ripley managed this month. Denise found that the constant, repetitive internal dialogue of the main character (Mr Ripley himself) tediously dull and uninspiring. She felt the description of another hotel room, restaurant, train trip etc … would send her over the edge! Not only did she not like Mr Ripley, she had no interest in what would befall him (or those around him) next.
In direct contrast was Anne who thought the whole story clever … a psychological thriller that held her throughout the entire book. The impending likelihood that Ripley would be caught kept the reader in a perpetual state of speculation and doubt.
The perfect result for such a novel.

Other comments tended towards the positive. Some found it ‘quirky and funny’, others thought the sense of place was wonderfully done, bringing Venice in particular alive. We managed to do quite a good job of psychoanalysing Mr Ripley and although we considered him a most unhealthy individual, we mostly agreed that he was not a completely ruthless psychopath. More like your average everyday schizophrenic who sees no obstacle too difficult on the way to his aim. Would he have killed Dickie if the need had not presented itself? This is something we, as mere readers will never know, but the odds are good and thankfully, for those of us who want more of Mr Ripley, Highsmith has provided such through two more Ripley adventures – Ripley Under Water and The Boy who Followed Ripley.
  jody12 | Jan 29, 2017 |
I thoroughly enjoyed The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith. Full of games, deceit, manipulation and murder, this was a mesmerizing read. As much a psychological study as a thriller, Tom Ripley is a character that one does not forget. A conniving sociopath who made his first appearance in 1955, one can still see his lasting impression on many of today’s authors.

The Italian setting made a great backdrop for this tale of betrayal and although you couldn’t help but be aware that Ripley’s crimes would not be as easily concealed with today’s forensics, it was still a fascinating case of cat and mouse. Even though Ripley was a despicable character with an enlarged sense of superiority, it was difficult not to root for him. This is due to the genius of the author who was able to put her readers into Tom Ripley’s skin, while at the same time making the other characters a little less sympathetic. This is interesting because it is obvious that Tom Ripley would rather live in anyone else’s skin than his own.

Overall, I found The Talented Mr. Ripley a unique and thought-provoking story that alternated between being disturbing and exhilarating. A very good read. ( )
1 vote DeltaQueen50 | Dec 10, 2016 |
3.5 stars. Tom Ripley is sent to Italy by Dickie Greenleaf's father to try to persuade Dickie to come home to the US. Tom becomes a bit obsessed with Dickie, and things take a turn for the worse.

I found the first half a little bit slow, but it really picked up in the second half. I have seen the movie (though it's been a while, so I don't remember details), but it surprised me that I was still on the "edge of my seat" as they were trying to put together what happened. I found it interesting to get inside of Tom's head a little bit. ( )
1 vote LibraryCin | Nov 23, 2016 |
I saw this movie maybe 15 years ago, I think in the theater, and had a co-worker give me an extended (and unwanted) literary breakdown of it, and Patricia Highsmith, a couple of years after that. I think that kept me from reading this until now (the second part, not the movie.) :)

Overall, I like this book a lot. First off, it is a fast read, very compact; this helps to keep the plot moving. I will say that in a few parts it did seem to repeat, even if not "dragging on." The Tom Ripley character is a true sociopath: not "psycho," just truly selfish, cut off from other people, inhuman even. Desperate. You can *almost* feel bad for him in little slices because he is a kind of monster, but also so pitiful.

I will say the Marge character annoyed me. In fact, even Mr. Greenleaf is annoying. This in part because everyone around Ripley is so... weak, so dim-witted. But then again, perhaps that is the point: we're inhabiting the world through Ripley's eyes. In any case, for me this was a bit of an issue because it stretched credulity: Ripley get's away with things again and again; people are blind to him again and again.

Which isn't entirely true, I suppose... he does have to eliminate a person (avoiding spoilers). But that goes off without a hitch.

Anyway, I started by saying I liked this a lot. These are my complaints, but I *still* liked this very much, and recommend it! ( )
2 vote dcunning11235 | Oct 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 109 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (50 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Highsmith, Patriciaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Banville, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burns, TomIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prestini, Maria GraziaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walz, MelanieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Tom glanced behind him and saw the man coming out of the Green Cage, heading his way.
Tom writhed in his deck chair as he thought of it, but he writhed elegantly, adjusting the crease of his trousers.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Plein Soleil is the French name for The Talented Mr. Ripley. A film version of the same name made in 1960 starred Alain Delon.
Haiku summary
Tom's deadly passage
He wants to help Dickie now
Into the next life


Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679742298, Paperback)

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.

The novel begins with a play on James's The Ambassadors. Tom Ripley is chosen by the wealthy Herbert Greenleaf to retrieve Greenleaf's son, Dickie, from his overlong sojourn in Italy. Dickie, it seems, is held captive both by the Mediterranean climate and the attractions of his female companion, but Mr. Greenleaf needs him back in New York to help with the family business. With an allowance and a new purpose, Tom leaves behind his dismal city apartment to begin his career as a return escort. But Tom, too, is captivated by Italy. He is also taken with the life and looks of Dickie Greenleaf. He insinuates himself into Dickie's world and soon finds that his passion for a lifestyle of wealth and sophistication transcends moral compunction. Tom will become Dickie Greenleaf--at all costs.

Unlike many modernist experiments, The Talented Mr. Ripley is eminently readable and is driven by a gripping chase narrative that chronicles each of Tom's calculated maneuvers of self-preservation. Highsmith was in peak form with this novel, and her ability to enter the mind of a sociopath and view the world through his disturbingly amoral eyes is a model that has spawned such latter-day serial killers as Hannibal Lecter. --Patrick O'Kelley

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:57 -0400)

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The cunning schemes of a young American ne'er-do-well, who travels to Italy on an unusual assignment.

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