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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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3,8221201,353 (3.91)285
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

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The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (1955)

Recently added bydaddyofattyo, private library, Spencer28, LoveWhenYouLove, dcunning11235
Legacy LibrariesNewton 'Bud' Flounders
  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 285 mentions

English (106)  Spanish (5)  Dutch (3)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (117)
Showing 1-5 of 106 (next | show all)
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! ( )
1 vote dcunning11235 | Oct 17, 2016 |
Novel from1955. Interesting that a Hitchcock-directed movie didn't come of this. Not until 90s that a film adaption was made (as far as I know). Her writing is sharp, and she portrays the disturbed mind of Ripley very well, his insecure and persecuted states of mind among them. She captured sociopathy impressively, from where I sit. A sinister aura hangs over the entire story. I wish the ending were a bit more dramatic. Would recommend to anyone who enjoys adept psychological suspense. ( )
  JamesMScott | Oct 4, 2016 |
This book really took me on some exciting twists and turns. The prose was pitch perfect. ( )
  barakahyentl | Sep 28, 2016 |
The story had plenty of suspense, but the writing style was so clinical it was hard to really get into it to any real degree. I don't think there was one character I liked, least of all the lead. The base idea is terrifying, but the execution of this book kept me from being able to like it more. ( )
  GoldenDarter | Sep 15, 2016 |
I read this book a few years ago, and I did like it.

I feel like Highsmith is responsible for so many mystery and suspense tropes that writers now use in their books. The problem is when you've experienced so many of the same trope so many times, that when you go back to an original like The Talented Mr. Ripley, they can feel a little bit predictable.

I did find it really readable though, and I feel like it's a very well-executed book. I especially liked the tension (sexual tension or not) between Ripley and Greenleaf. I liked watching how layered this book became, although I found it a little slow in parts.

I don't generally enjoy suspenseful books as a whole, but if this is your thing, you should read it, because it's a classic.

3 stars from me. ( )
  lydia1879 | Aug 31, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 106 (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.
Last words
(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)

(see all 7 descriptions)

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

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