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The Talented Mr. Ripley (Ripley #1)

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  32,481 Ratings  ·  1,870 Reviews
Since his debut in 1955, Tom Ripley has evolved into the ultimate bad boy sociopath, influencing countless novelists and filmmakers. In this first novel, we are introduced to suave, handsome Tom Ripley: a young striver, newly arrived in the heady world of Manhattan in the 1950s. A product of a broken home, branded a "sissy" by his dismissive Aunt Dottie, Ripley becomes ena ...more
Paperback, 249 pages
Published 1999 by Vintage / Random House (first published 1955)
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Milo i would definitely read them in order. The Talented Mr. Ripley establishes the basis for his character and subsequent behaviour.
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Apr 23, 2016 Candi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"His stories were good because he imagined them intensely, so intensely that he came to believe them."

Tom Ripley has to be one of the most intriguing characters I've come across in a while – "talented", perhaps some would say so, but mostly conniving, obsessive, self-loathing, and quite lucky. Viewing everything from his perspective was fascinating and disturbing. I'm not sure if I was supposed to identify with him or not! I certainly never felt any empathy towards him, but at times, while not e
Dan Schwent
Oct 31, 2013 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Tom Ripley is offered a handsome reward to go to Italy to retrieve Dickie Greenleaf, he accepts and soon finds himself living the good life in Naples with Dickie. An obsession blooms and Tom finds himself wanting to be Dickie Greenleaf. But does he want to be Dickie Greenleaf enough to kill his new friend?

I was somewhat familiar with The Talented Mr. Ripley because I nearly took a girl to see the Matt Damon version in the theater back in the day. We opted to see Dogma instead. Anyway, I kne
First off, Mr. Tom Ripley is no sociopath. While he is skilled at social manipulation, this is not out of the need to hide the fact that he has no capacity for emotion. Judging by his frequent mood swings, he most likely has some flavor of manic-depressive disorder. Now, with that out of the way, we can begin.

Identity is a tricky business. If it was anything but, I wouldn't have found this book nearly as fascinating as I did. Murder mysteries are not my cup of tea, and while the setting was deli
Paul Bryant
Dec 03, 2013 Paul Bryant rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
Two reviews in one. First, the supercilious parody :

Tom : Oh Dickie, that shirt is so gorgeous. It’s so you. Where did you get it?

Dick : You’re not a fairy are you?

Tom: No! The very idea!

Dick: Well then, I got it from a divine little boutique near La Fontana della Barcaccia in Piazza di Spagna. We should go there tomorrow.

Tom : Oh Dickie, let’s.

Marge (soliloquy) :
Dick is just the handsomest American 25 year old trust fund baby in all of Italy. Or this part of it, anyway. Sigh. I love him so mu
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

3.5 Stars

Dallas Commercial Photography

My buddy Luv Lorn shared a little list recently called “17 Books for People Who Hate People” and I immediately thought, “hey, that’s me!” Mitchell concurred. I ended up with a super stinker as my first selection, but luckily I fared better with The Talented Mr. Ripley.

I knew the premise of this book to be Tom Ripley, an acquaintance of Dickie Greenleaf, is asked by Dickie’s father to go to Italy and attempt to convince Dicki
May 29, 2016 Brad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Honestly, I'm of two minds on this one.

The first is just how much fun I had running around with a trust fund buddy and the scam, enjoying 50's Italy, and especially the really delicious riffs from so many of the great authors doing their thing in the day, the subversion and the dark twist. I mean, we're all super-familiar with the heroic(anti-heroic) murderer protagonist, and some of us might be extremely familiar with it if they've read practically any mystery novels or watched ANY tv at all..
May 07, 2014 William1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, us, 20-ce
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
This classic novel of suspense lives up to the hype. I was familiar with the story of Tom Ripley because I had seen the Matt Damon movie, and the book was just as good as other readers had promised.

Ripley is skilled at manipulating people, lying, impersonations, con jobs and feigning interest in others. What terrifies him is 1) getting caught and 2) being himself. It's a classic case of someone who feels arrogant and snide toward others but who also hates himself and feels like he doesn't fit i
Richard Derus
Dec 18, 2011 Richard Derus rated it really liked it
Rating: 4.5* of five

This nail-biting page-turner is the first of Patricia Highsmith's novels featuring amoral, mass-murdering sociopath and all-around bon vivant Tom Ripley.

What can I add to the generations of praise heaped on Highsmith's male alter ego? What else need be said? What delicious evil, what glamourous grue, and told with such economy of language!

Well, for one thing, Tom's as bent as a bow, and because the book came out (!) in 1955 it wasn't possible to say frankly that he was *that
Nov 01, 2015 ❀Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book got under my skin.The narrator, Tom Ripley, is a sociopath who is one troubled and sinister character. The father of a “friend” makes him an offer to go to Italy to bring the father’s son back to America. Upon accepting his proposal, the tale of obsession and deception begins as Tom Ripley weaves his life into a tangled web, and what he manages to pull off is appalling. This story requires a tolerance for unlikable characters, as Tom is a violent, manipulating, pathological liar who i ...more
May 07, 2014 Algernon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014

I can do a number of things – valeting, baby-sitting, accounting – I’ve got an unfortunate talent for figures. No matter how drunk I get, I can always tell when a waiter’s cheating me on a bill. I can forge a signature, fly a helicopter, handle dice, impersonate practically anybody, cook – and do a one-man show in a nightclub in case the regular entertainer’s sick. Shall I go on?

What Mr. Ripley leaves out from his resume is his readiness to murder anybody he sees as an obstacle in his pa
Oct 22, 2014 MishyJo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nick-books
Nick: Shall I look for some gifs?

Mish: No. No gifs.

Nick: Why not?

Mish: You'll just look for something shocking and bloody. I don't want to be grossed out by our review.

Nick: Okay... you start, though. I need another drink.

Mish: Isn't that your third?

Nick: Are you counting my drinks, woman? Just start.

Mish: So I understand you and Giulio had a little wager going that I couldn't handle this. I admit is was a bit rough for me but I made it through.

Nick: Giulio doubted you. Me? Never. Maybe you shou
Nora Dillonovich
Mar 08, 2008 Nora Dillonovich rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mysterioso, favorites
Oh Tom Ripley... what to say that hasn't been said dozens of times already? I clipped through the last pages at work tonite, hungry to know! desperate to hold hands with Tom Reeepley as he navigated his way through layer after layer of lie upon lie upon psychopathology! I found myself irked at customers who disturbed my reading, mid-paragraph (inconsiderate indecisive patronizing people! pick out your own damn flowers! take a chance for Christ's sake! No, I don't know what white roses "means"- p ...more
Edward Lorn
Apr 08, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who haven't read Dexter
Recommended to Edward by: Buzzfeed
This one didn't work for me at all. For one, I think this is the first time I will ever say the following words. The movie adaptation is far more powerful than the book. Matt Damon was likable as Ripley. The Ripley in this book was fucking boring. Also, there's a character in the movie that is not in the book, and I think he made all the difference, even if he wasn't the center of attention. His character made for a much more interesting and emotional ending. Luckily, I read this after having se ...more
3.5 stars

A creepy thriller with themes of identity and sexuality at its core. Tom Ripley, an observant yet dull man, befriends Dickie Greenleaf, a rich and charismatic aspiring artist. Tom's relationship with Dickie turns into an obsession that spirals into bouts of anger and jealousy. When Tom makes a life-altering decision, he finds himself changed as well - a new identity forged from his own dark desire.

I love Patricia Highsmith's characterization of Tom. Her portrayal of him raises so many q
Nancy Oakes
if you're interested in the longer post I've made, you can read it at my online reading journal. Spoilers are noted where needed.

Tom Ripley is an extremely disturbed man. Knowing what we know about him, we probably wouldn't want him to come to dinner, live in our neighborhood, date our daughters or our sons, handle our investments -- in short, after we've gotten to know him, we discover he is someone we would avoid like the plague. But all of the above are judgments made from our outside, read
Dec 03, 2015 Darwin8u rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Anticipation! It occurred to him that his anticipation was more pleasant to him than the experiencing.”
― Patricia Highsmith, The Talented Mr. Ripley


Highsmith is amazing. She alludes to Henry James, plays with Nabokovian style, James Cain's dialogue, and blends it all with a Camus-like modern existentialism. Face it, pretenders, 'The Talented Mr. Ripley' is an amazing psychological crime novel. This is one of those books which should be used as evidence to highlight the case that some of the bes
This probably isn't going to sound good, but I feel for Tom Ripley. He embodies all my weakest, most petulant, lowest self-esteem moments - when I find myself asking, "Why don't you like me more? Why can't I have what you have? Why can't I take the easy way?" stuff sucks, give me your stuff.

Nobody likes Tom. No one's ever really even tolerated him. He can't tolerate himself. You root for him not because you like him - you probably don't - but because...there but for the grace. What wou
Nick Pageant
Aug 11, 2014 Nick Pageant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nick by: Giulio
Big thanks to Mishy for another great buddy read and to Giulio for scholarly guidance.

For a super exclusive behind the scenes look at this amazing buddy read - follow this link!

Here's a little peek at what you'll see:


Mish and I are both camera shy, but sometimes the paparazzi gets past security.
Eddie Watkins
Sep 29, 2014 Eddie Watkins rated it it was amazing
Shelves: american-fiction
"Man, damn good book," I mumbled to myself as I turned the last page early this morning, far too early to express more substance or insight through the strange mental fog that renders me zombie-like yet still allows me to read with clarity, as what I read seeps down into my body & soul where nerves are racing and my palms are clammy while person after person files by examining me with suspicion for every indiscretion or deception I've ever committed. Deep in the fog I remember the lies I've ...more
Ο Τομ Ρίπλευ είναι αναμφίβολα ταλαντούχος. Είναι εύστροφος, πονηρός, αδίστακτος,τυχοδιώκτης,γοητευτικός αλλα ανασφαλής που αισθάνεται μειονεκτικά λογω της κοινωνικής του θέσης. Θέλει να ζήσει την μεγάλη ζωή και είναι διατεθειμένος να φτάσει στα άκρα για να πάρει αυτό που θέλει. Απο μια συγκυρία θα βρεθεί να ταξιδεύει στην Ιταλία για να συναντήσει έναν γνωστό του με σκοπό να τον φέρει πίσω όπως υποσχέθηκε στον πατέρα του φίλου του. Ούτε τον Ντίκι γνωρίζει καλά αλλα θα δεθεί με αυτόν τον άντρα φιλ ...more
Jan 30, 2009 aya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't think I've ever been so stressed out reading a book. I thought I was going to lose it about 15 times--I just couldn't see how he was going to get through the entire novel without ending up dead or in jail somewhere. Highsmith is absolutely impeccable at creating intelligent nuanced characters.
Jan 29, 2015 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, crime, classics

When an acquaintances father hunts down Ripley to dispatch him on a mission to Italy and persuade his estranged son to come home to then work in his shipyard what could possibly go wrong? The fact that you're sending a sociopath to a foreign land with quite a wedge of money to persuade someone who really doesn't want to be persuaded might dent the chances of success but let's give it a shot!

The first third of this novel didn't sit well with me, I don't think I took to the plausibility of t
Feb 06, 2015 AC rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book surpassed my expectations. It is an excellent book, sharp, smart. But more than that.... having had the misfortune of having had to deal with the sociopathic type, I felt that she captures that smarmy, flat affect tone of the 'almost' sincerely self-delusional narcissistic charmer -- almost pitch-perfectly.
I sadly didn't enjoy it as much as I thought it would. It sounded great on paper, but I just didn't end up enjoying the process of reading this.

This is the story of a young man who is trying to find his place in the world, but unfortunately, he doesn't have too many scruples about how he's going to make his fortune....

At first, I enjoyed reading about Tom's exploits, and initially felt a little sorry for him....he seemed to have had such a sad, unloved childhood which had perhaps affected him, but I soon lost what little sympathy I'd felt as it became apparent that this damaged individual would stop at nothing to achieve whatever it
Tenho uma pilha de livros na mesa de cabeceira, de onde vou retirando o próximo livro a ler. Não sabia qual escolher, por isso pedi à minha cara-metade que escolhesse um por mim; ele escolheu O Talentoso Mr. Ripley, porque viu o filme há uns anos e gostou bastante.

A personagem central do livro, como se deduz pelo seu título, é Tom Ripley, um jovem americano desempregado e sem grandes perspetivas de futuro. Quando Mr. Greenleaf o procura e lhe pede para rumar a Itália e convencer o filho, Dickie
2015: The Year of Reading Women
I can only imagine Patricia Highsmith having post-it notes strewn about to keep everything about Tom Ripley straight! Classic NOIR!

Such an entertaining book, and so fun to read it with a group. You just have to read this with someone so you can say "can you believe Tom did this/got away with that?" As one friend said, you turn every page with dread.

If you've never been to Italy, I'll bet you will want to go once you read this...the descriptions of the country and the way of life is something I
WOW!!! I did NOT expect this book to be this good!! Its a freaky masterpiece. Hauntingly beautiful.

You hate to love the protagonist.
A page turner, couldn't put it down! LOVED IT! Patricia Highsmith is a genius and i cant wait to read more of her books! :O
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Patricia Highsmith was an American novelist who is known mainly for her psychological crime thrillers which have led to more than two dozen film adaptations over the years.

She lived with her grandmother, mother and later step-father (her mother divorced her natural father six months before 'Patsy' was born and married Stanley Highsmith) in Fort Worth before moving with her parents to New York in
More about Patricia Highsmith...

Other Books in the Series

Ripley (5 books)
  • Ripley Under Ground (Ripley, #2)
  • Ripley's Game (Ripley, #3)
  • The Boy Who Followed Ripley (Ripley, #4)
  • Ripley Under Water (Ripley, #5)

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“Anticipation! It occurred to him that his anticipation was more pleasant to him than the experiencing.” 1158 likes
“They were not friends. They didn't know each other. It struck Tom like a horrible truth, true for all time, true for the people he had known in the past and for those he would know in the future: each had stood and would stand before him, and he would know time and time again that he would never know them, and the worst was that there would always be the illusion, for a time, that he did know them, and that he and they were completely in harmony and alike. For an instant the wordless shock of his realization seemed more than he could bear.” 29 likes
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