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The Talented Mr. Ripley

(Ripley #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  62,682 ratings  ·  3,382 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, 320 pages
Published June 17th 2008 by W. W. Norton Company (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.
Christine Mathieu I didn't care that much for the first Ripley novel, but thoroughly enjoyed "Ripley Underground" (my favorite), "Ripley's Game" and "The Boy who follow…moreI didn't care that much for the first Ripley novel, but thoroughly enjoyed "Ripley Underground" (my favorite), "Ripley's Game" and "The Boy who followed Ripley". However, I was so disappointed with "Ripley Under Water" that I donated my hardcover copy to the public library.(less)

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Paul Bryant
Jun 16, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 09, 2012 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. Plus, the goddess walked around with snails in her purse. Face it, pretenders, 'The Talented Mr. Ripley' is an amazing psychological crime novel. This is one of those books which should be
Diane Barnes
Apr 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm giving this novel 5 big stars because while I was reading I was not in my apartment trying to isolate from Covid-19, but in Italy involved in all sorts of crime and deception and trying to stay one step ahead of suspicious friends and the police. I was able to pick up some pointers if I ever sink low enough to do what Tom Ripley did, but I doubt that will ever happen. It was a lot of fun to read about though, complete with moments of panic, pounding heart, and cold chills. This was my first ...more
Dan Schwent
Mar 25, 2013 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
Ahmad Sharabiani
495. The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith

The Talented Mr. Ripley is a 1955 psychological thriller novel by Patricia Highsmith.

This novel introduced the character of Tom Ripley, who returns in four subsequent novels known collectively as the Ripliad. It has been adapted numerous times for film, including the 1999 film of the same name.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 2001 میلادی

عنوان: معمای آقای ریپلی، نویسنده: پاتریشیا های اسمیت؛ مترجم: فرزانه طاهری؛ تهران، طرح نو، 1379؛ در 286ص؛ شابک 9647134134؛
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
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
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3.5 Stars

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I came upon 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 Dickie to return
May 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, us, 20-ce
I've been dabbling in some of the classic thriller writers. Georges Simenon and Leonardo 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 e
Richard Derus
Dec 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4.5* of five

The Publisher Says: 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 enamored of the moneyed world of his new friend, Dickie Greenleaf. This fondness turns o
Actual rating: 2.5 🌟's

Oh boy, unfortunately this book was not as good as I had hoped it to be. It wasn't the worst book I have ever read or anything like that, but there were times when I disliked it quite a bit.

The writing style just was not for me. There was a lot of telling instead of showing, something I dislike severely. Because of this, I often felt disconnected and like I missed some vital information of character development. It seemed like the story was constantly two steps ahead of me
Oct 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
"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
Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was not a big fan of Highsmith's Strangers on a Train, so I wasn't really looking forward to tackling another of her novels. Fortunately, I had a much better experience with Tom Ripley. Oh, if only his other acquaintances could say the same . . .

Our story begins with Ripley being sent to Italy to talk Dickie Greenleaf, the prodigal son of a wealthy man, into coming home. The two guys hit it off, and spend some time bopping around Europe like two Ken dolls on holiday. But things turn ugly when
Jon Nakapalau
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the most chilling characters in literature I have ever encountered. Tom Ripley is all the more horrifying because of his total lack of empathy; someone who has looked into the abyss and thinks nothing of pushing others into it while laughing.
Apr 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-shelf, 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..
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
Glenn Sumi
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing

I don't know how Patricia Highsmith did it. But she got me to root for a psychopathic murderer.

Tom Ripley is a smart, nondescript young man in his 20s barely scraping by in 1950s Manhattan. When the wealthy father of an acquaintance offers to pay him to go to Italy to convince his aspiring artist son to return to America, Tom can't believe his luck. An all expenses paid trip to Europe? To hang out on beaches, drink cocktails and visit galleries? Si!

Alas, things don't go as planned. The son, Ri
Julie Ehlers
When the 1999 film adaptation of The Talented Mr. Ripley was released, I remember reading a lengthy magazine article that discussed all the things about the book that were changed for the movie. I don't remember now what any of those changes were, but I do remember that I came away from the article thinking the book didn't sound very good. Thus, even though I had a copy of it, I avoided reading it for years and years. In 2017 it finally occurred to me that the book wouldn't have the staying powe ...more
Roman Clodia
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So cool, so dark, this is one of those books that can be rushed through for the surface story of the suave psychopath, Tom Ripley, and his iconic encounter with poor little rich boy, Dickie Greenleaf (green leaf, ha!) but there's so much more going on beneath the surface that it's worth lingering.

Highsmith is brilliant at inserting tiny moments of unease and offness, sometimes just a word in an unexpected place, and in contrasting her scenes: the dim, smoky bar where Ripley meets Greenleaf seni
Natalie Richards
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-book
Magnificent! How can Highsmith write about such a character, a murderer that you somehow end up rooting for him! Very clever.
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Apr 26, 2014 rated it liked it
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 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Oct 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
He loved possessions, not masses of them, but a select few that he did not part with. They gave a man self-respect. Not ostentation but quality, and the love that cherished the quality. Possessions reminded him that he existed, and made him enjoy his existence. It was as simple as that. And wasn't that worth something? He existed. Not many people in the world knew how to, even if they had the money. It really didn't take money, masses of money, it took a certain security.

The Talented Mr Ripley w
Jonathan K
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written over 50 years ago, Patricia created a unique character whose character arc is the opposite of what is traditional. Tom Ripley, a floundering type evolves in ways unimaginable while the story builds momentum. We are immersed into the mind of a schemer who becomes darker with each step. A true classic, Highsmith is masterful, her characters interesting and plot twists well executed. I plan to read the two sequels as a result. The film that stars Matt Damon follows the book closely, somethi ...more
Nancy Oakes
Jan 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Edward Lorn
Mar 30, 2015 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
Megan Baxter
Jun 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a creepy little book. Highsmith takes us into the head of Tom Ripley, and it is an unsettling ride. Tom is a sociopath (or is he?), but an anxious one. And inside his head, we are carried along as his crimes mount, one upon the other, and feel the tension as he skirts the edge of disaster and discovery. Are we tense because we want him to be captured? Or because we want him to get away with it?

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforc
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
2015: The Year of Reading Women
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
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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

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)

Articles featuring this book

  “One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time.”...
47 likes · 72 comments
“Anticipation! It occurred to him that his anticipation was more pleasant to him than the experiencing.” 1157 likes
“He liked the fact that Venice had no cars. It made the city human. The streets were like veins, he thought, and the people were the blood, circulating everywhere.” 52 likes
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