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The Talented Mr Ripley (Ripley #1)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  24,644 ratings  ·  1,378 reviews
Beautifully rejacketed as part of VINTAGE LOVES FILM

Tom Ripley is struggling to stay one step ahead of his creditors, and the law, when an unexpected acquaintance offers him a free trip to Europe and a chance to start over. Ripley wants money, success and the good life and he's willing to kill for it. When his new-found happiness is threatened, his response is as swift as
Paperback, 256 pages
Published 2010 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.
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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
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
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

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
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
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 Pageant
Aug 11, 2014 Nick Pageant rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nick by: Giulio
Shelves: mishy-books
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
"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
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.
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
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
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
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
Jon Boorstin
The talented Ms. Highsmith wrote beautiful, spooky books. This is the spookiest of the bunch. She makes you fall so hard for Mr. Wrong that you'll never trust your instincts again. That she can make us so aware of our own fallibility is a tremendous achievement.
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
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
Darn you, Miss Highsmith, for making me feel sympathetic towards a sociopath! I was actually rooting for him to not get caught - to my own horror. I mean, the guy is a liar and a murderer, and is not afraid to use situations to his own advantage. Yet somehow the author also made me feel sorry for him in some strange way. And you have to admire his talent (even if it is EVIL talent) for thinking on his feet that quickly. Miss Highsmith, I think Mr. Ripley isn't the only talented one here.
I saw the Matt Damon/Jude Law/Gwyneth Paltrow movie several years ago and found it only mildly interesting. After reading the terrific Patricia Highsmith book on which the movie was based, I think I need to watch the movie again and compare it to the book.

The book was published in the 1950s, and reads as such. Everyday society was more formal, there were even more class issues than there are today, and the book deals with a rather privileged stratum of 1950s society. For the first chapter or so,
This engaging novel, The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith, is a quirky crime thriller. Highsmith dismisses with many of the traditional aspects of the crime thriller and presents the amoral criminal, one Tom Ripley, from the inside out. From the very first page of the novel you are sharing the thoughts of Tom as he looks over his shoulder expecting the police to emerge from the shadows to take him away. As the novel ends, he is still looking over his shoulder, so to speak, as he imagine ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
If there is a character who has more self-loathing than Tom Ripley, I've yet to come across him or her. And what is it about the Mediterranean that inspires the most disturbing stories?

I knew this story from the movie, but I wanted to read it before I read any of the other Ripley volumes.

"They were not friends. They didn't know each other. It struck Tom as 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
Alicia Rasley
This is an old Highsmith, and was made into a film with Matt Damon and Jude Law, I think. I very much enjoyed the whole "Ambassadors" update, the rootless Americans taking root in The Old Country. This feature the usual Highsmith ironic and intense prose-- I don't know why no one reads her anymore. She's very, very good, and her melding of the crime genre with a more literary "existential" story makes this both deep and readable. I'm really impressed with how much she managed to get away with in ...more
The Talented Mr. Ripley lives up to its reputation. It’s an intense, unrelenting thriller, which in many ways looks forward to our current trends of transgressive realism, where bad guys aren't entirely bad because of all the heavy narrative explication involved in their stories—explication that ends up surrounding their lives with the kind of understanding conducive for sympathy, a kind of prose-woven grace, if you will. What makes this story somewhat difficult to swallow is the disturbed, indi ...more
Tom Ripley is a young petty con artist who wants to live a J. Gatsby lifestyle, but he doesn't have the funds or connections to do it. Out of the blue an opportunity comes his way in the form of a paid favor when a trust fund baby's father sends Ripley to Italy to convince his son to return home. Welcomed into Dickie Greenleaf's extravagant but lazy lifestyle, he panics when Dickie tires of him and threatens to send him packing back to his previous life of scrimping and thieving, and in a moment ...more
Continuing the series of favourite books selected for me to read by Louise we get to Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr Ripley. A book that Louise appears to have enjoyed very much having lavished five whole stars upon it back in 2012. It's a psychological thriller where we get to vicariously indulge ourselves in Tom Ripley's self-hatred, hatred of others and his dangerous attraction to Dickie Greenleaf. A small-time hobbiest confidence trickster in New York he really gets the bit between his ...more

Patricia Highsmith's mastery of storytelling is simply mind-blowing. She manages to make a sociopath sympathetic (or at least identifiable) and the story has NOTHING extraneous about it. From the beginning it's full of tension and conflict and every part is necessary. Story-wise, it managed to pummel me with its sheer narrative mastery and floor me.

In a way, it reminds one of Nabakov's Lolita only to the extent that they both make reprehensible, criminal characters sympathetic. But the p
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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)
Strangers on a Train The Price of Salt Ripley's Game (Ripley, #3) Ripley Under Ground (Ripley, #2) The Talented Mr. Ripley, Ripley Under Ground, Ripley's Game

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