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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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3,318891,638 (3.91)249
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 bynicholas, CathrynGrant, private library, Juliana.Brina, jody
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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 (79)  Spanish (5)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (89)
Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
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 |
I've been dabbling in some of the classic thriller writers. Simenon and Sciascia, too. It is summer (in the northern hemisphere) after all.

The Talented Mr. Ripley will have you squirming in your seat. Tom Ripley is a man with champagne tastes and a beer pocket book. He possesses very low self-esteem, very little money and he is undoubtedly a closeted queer. He likes queers, likes to be among them, but doesn't like admitting to himself that this is so. Mr. Ripley's talent is an extraordinary gift for forgery, impersonation, mimicry and murder which with him become a form of self delusion. Add to this nerves of steel in the midst of interrogation, including the ability to formulate convincing fictions that is on a par with his creator, and you have the makings of more than a few hair-raising scenes.

Dickie Greenleaf is AWOL from his father's shipbuilding firm in New York City and living in Mongibello, Italy. Dickie's father tracks Tom Ripley down in a New York bar. For some reason, he thinks that Tom's friendship with his son was consequential in a way it never was. Mr. Greenleaf offers to cover Tom's costs if he will go to Italy and talk Dickie into returning home. Alas, Mama Greenleaf is dying of cancer.

Tom goes over, immediately becomes jealous of Marge, Dickie's lover. She repulses him in every way; women in general sicken him. Tom charms Dickie and moves in with him, estranging him from Marge. He is so in love with him and doesn't even know it. He is also very envious of Dicky's tremendous wealth and advantages. Tom begins to see a way in which he might subsume Dickie. So when Dickie intimates that Tom is queer, as he unquestionably is, Tom kills him with an oar in a motorboat then anchors his corpse to the sea floor.

Well, that's all you need to know to get started. What follows is a masquerade in which Tom switches places with Dickie and back again to foil the ever present policia. A novel of plot and lots of fun. A real knucklebiter. Highly recommended. ( )
  William345 | Jun 11, 2014 |
I liked it. The first 30% of this book made me very uncomfortable. I felt that Tom Ripley was... imposing on the other characters. Which of course, he was.

Overall enjoyable. ( )
  steadfastreader | Mar 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 79 (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.
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 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.

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