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

by Patricia Highsmith

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,332911,632 (3.91)249
Member:hiddenpunk
Title:The Talented Mr. Ripley
Authors:Patricia Highsmith
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Highsmith, American, Thriller, 20th Century, Ripley, fiction

Work details

The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (1955)

Recently added byNieto_DM, egotrippa, private library, knowledge_lost, shelflife, Gregorio_Roth
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    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)
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    wonderlake: Both Oscar and Ripley are afraid of water
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    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 249 mentions

English (81)  Spanish (5)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (91)
Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)
Tom Ripley calculated murder like a mathematician solving a difficult proof; with painstaking precision he scratched to uncover his way into a power. He imagines someday being tied to the power brokers. He imagines one day from being able to pay off his creditors. Then the unexpected happens, a rich man with a favor sends Tom packing to Europe. As Shakespeare said, “Some are born with it; others are propelled into by life’s allegiances and currents.”(Paraphrased for Emphasis) Tom was the type that has been pushed forward by his unexpected involvement with the rich expatriates hanging out in the 1950’s Post-War Europe. A perfect place for those seeking exile outside of the policed 1950’s U.S.A. Will he get away from the swift and shocking events that have propelled his life forward? Patricia Highsmith asks, “Does life deal out just desserts? Do we get what we deserve; is there a law of karma?
I enjoyed this book a lot. Although at times I had a hard time suspending disbelief. I do not think that Tom would find it today so easy to cover up his steps. This disbelief kept me from enjoying it to the fullest.
The book also reminded me a lot of a modern adaptation, “American Psycho” by Brett Easton Ellis. I wonder if Tom Ripley is one of the sources for Ellis’s character Jason Bateman. The book is a classic example of the Anti-Hero in American Literature.
( )
  Gregorio_Roth | Dec 5, 2014 |
Tom Ripley calculated murder like a mathematician solving a difficult proof; with painstaking precision he scratched to uncover his way into a power. He imagines someday being tied to the power brokers. He imagines one day from being able to pay off his creditors. Then the unexpected happens, a rich man with a favor sends Tom packing to Europe. As Shakespeare said, “Some are born with it; others are propelled into by life’s allegiances and currents.”(Paraphrased for Emphasis) Tom was the type that has been pushed forward by his unexpected involvement with the rich expatriates hanging out in the 1950’s Post-War Europe. A perfect place for those seeking exile outside of the policed 1950’s U.S.A. Will he get away from the swift and shocking events that have propelled his life forward? Patricia Highsmith asks, “Does life deal out just desserts? Do we get what we deserve; is there a law of karma?
I enjoyed this book a lot. Although at times I had a hard time suspending disbelief. I do not think that Tom would find it today so easy to cover up his steps. This disbelief kept me from enjoying it to the fullest.
The book also reminded me a lot of a modern adaptation, “American Psycho” by Brett Easton Ellis. I wonder if Tom Ripley is one of the sources for Ellis’s character Jason Bateman. The book is a classic example of the Anti-Hero in American Literature.
( )
  Gregorio_Roth | Dec 5, 2014 |
The potential for this book was there, for sure. It could have been something great. Instead, it was merely marginal. We follow Tom Ripley as his sociopathic tendencies lead him to commit crimes from insurance fraud to murder and yet the writing is that of a rather dull newspaper article on some foreign policy issue. Some bits of interesting paragraphs, but generally not that riveting. ( )
  Rosenstern | Sep 14, 2014 |
Picked this book up as part of a reading challenge--this is my "V is for Villain" book, a book told from the perspective of the villain. After seeing the movie years ago, I wanted to see if it followed the same plot or not. It's been years since I've seen the movie, but I think somethings were different.

I would say it is so much more interesting than the movie could be because you are hearing his thoughts directly. I recommend it! ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
The Talented Mr. Ripley is not a book I would have picked up on my own for fear it would be too dark. However, I’ve been enjoying doing group reads a lot and this was the next book for the Constant Reader Group on Goodreads. The book tells the story of Ripley, a man sent to Europe to talk an acquaintance into returning to the United States. Instead, he begins desperately wishing he has his acquaintance’s life and even murder won’t prevent our amoral protagonist from achieving his goals. I’m sure you can see why I was worried about it being too dark!

Read more here... ( )
  DoingDewey | Jun 29, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (27 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Highsmith, Patriciaprimary authorall 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.
Quotations
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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Wikipedia in English (1)

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

(amweb)

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:20:17 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

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

(summary from another edition)

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