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The Talented Mr. Ripley (Ripley #1)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  28,374 ratings  ·  1,604 reviews
In a chilling literary hall of mirrors, Patricia Highsmith introduces Tom Ripley. Like a latter-day Henry James hero, he is sent to Italy with the commission to coax Dickie Greenleaf back to his wealthy father. But Ripley finds himself very fond of this prodigal young American. He wants to be like him - exactly like him. Suave, agreeable, and utterly amoral, Ripley stops a ...more
Paperback, Black Lizard Edition, 295 pages
Published September 1st 1992 by Vintage (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.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dan Schwent
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
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
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
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
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 Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
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
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

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
Nora Dillonovich
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
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
Edward Lorn
Apr 08, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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
Nick Pageant
Aug 11, 2014 Nick Pageant rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.
"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
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
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
What must it be like to spend your thought life creating an alternate reality and manipulating others to accept it? The power you must have to create a world where others serve you, and when they don't, you exercise your options...

This is a psychological tale of descent into the darkest parts of human nature. It is tightly woven by an author at the top of her talents. Served up with ever increasing suspense to the horror of terrible injustice, the reader closes the book, ever more aware of the p
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.
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.
Cathy DuPont
Green Eggs and Ham*

I am Sam
Sam I am

That Sam-I-am
That Sam-I-am!
I do not like
that Sam-I-am

Do you like
green eggs and ham

I do not like them,
I do not like
green eggs and ham.

Would you like them
Here or there?

I would not like them
here or there.
I would not like them
I do not like
green eggs and ham.
I do not like them,

Would you like them
in a house?
Would you like them
with a mouse?

I do not like them
in a house.
I do not like them
with a mouse.
I do not like them
here or there.
I do not li
2015: The Year of Reading Women
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
The tyranny of self-loathing. Those who hate themselves, I find it difficult to believe that they can truly love. Their devotion is always a kind of zoophagy. Their friendship is an invasion. You are a spectator to their adoration of you. You know their self-effacement is a kind of erasure is a kind of narcissism. You know they’re enthralled by you and despise you at the same time. It scares you that you know this, that this turbidity is somehow familiar. That your love too is partly love and pa ...more
Si potrebbero fare discorsoni incredibili intorno alla validità oggettiva di questo bellissimo romanzo e naturalmente al perché con tutte le sfaccettature possibili del mio smodato entusiasmo. Ma questa volta, anche se volessi, non potrò di certo sedermi in poltrona per un qualsiasi discorso serioso e impegnato che sondi al minimo grado l'oggetto in questione. Non per una possibile lunghezza di questa recensione, non perché in realtà non c'ho voglia e mi sto parando il culo giustificando la mia ...more

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
Some writers lead you gently into their plot & setting. They let you amble a bit, getting familiar with where you are & who you're with before they get down to business. It's like being at a cocktail party with a socially skilled hostess who escorts you, introduces you, & provides some conversation starters before leaving to fend for yourself. Patricia Highsmith is not interested in being a good hostess. In this book you are plopped down into Tom Ripley's world & essentially told ...more
Wow. I really enjoyed this book, more than I expected to. Tom Ripley is one creepy son of a bitch sociopath, in a way that Matt Damon (bless his heart) wasn't really able to convey. Nor is Marge quite as obnoxious and silly in the movie as she is in the book. Really, the only person in the movie version who was properly cast was Jude Law as Dickie Greenleaf. So yeah: the movie's entertaining and well done, but read the book.

Also, there's one crucial detail in the book that's not in the movie, w
This book made me want to head to Italy, find a well-off American woman in her late twenties who is also 5'6" and appropriately juicy-hipped. I would then kill her, take her identity, and spend the rest of my days drinking martinis and eating pasta my housekeeper cooks for me, and wearing the dead woman's earrings and evading the police and the dead woman's father. I think I could at least be good at forgery.

Really, though, this novel was smooth as butter to read, and, especially in contrast to
You know what sucks? Reading slumps. All the while I've not been blogging over the past few weeks (with the exception of the sex scene entry, which, THANKS, by the way, for all those amazing comments), I bet that some of you were imagining that was due to writer's block or a busy social life or some such thing but I tell you now it's because I've barely picked up a book in all that time. I just can't seem to settle to anything. Whenever this happens to me, which is luckily not often, it makes me ...more
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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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