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The Talented Mr. Ripley

(Ripley #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  77,804 ratings  ·  4,821 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, 288 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
Feb 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
“There was a wooden walk that led half across the beach, which Tom knew must be hot as hell to walk on, because everybody was lying on a towel or something else, but he took his shoes off anyway and stood for a moment on the hot wood, calmly surveying the groups of people near him. None of the people looked like Richard, and the shimmering heat waves kept him from making out the people very far away. Tom put one foot out on the sand and drew it back. Then he took a deep breath, raced down the re ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
(Book 495 from 1001 books) - 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.

Tom Ripley has evolved into the ultimate bad boy sociopath, influencing countless novelists and filmmakers. In this first novel, we
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Well, I seem to have a thing for spoiled rich brats like Sebastian Flyte and Dickie Greenleaf, who have much in common. Including that the actors who portrayed their film versions were so very handsome. And then there's Tom Ripley. In the same way I should feel repulsed by my attraction to Zac Efron in his portrayal of Ted Bundy, I should probably feel repulsed by my attraction to Tom Ripley. But I don't--he can take me out boating any day.

Oh, the Talented Ms Highsmith! Unlike in the movie vers
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
Sep 24, 2022 rated it really liked it
In The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith exercises an immense talent for making the reader immersed in the inner world of cold and insecure psychopath, making Tom Ripley one of the literature's most famous antiheroes. In very clear, similar to Heminway’s, straightforward, ”no word being wasted prose”, she builds a bit of unrealistic, but engaging story of a troubled criminal very subtly, making you relate with someone who is deeply psychologically disturbed. More than one reviewer from my ...more
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
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
The first thing that struck me when reading this book was how stark, spare and (dare I say) Hemingway-like her writing is. Not a doily to be found in this book. Each word in its place. And I loved that. Also, this woman knows her way around a psychopath! She really understands and shows in such a believable and ruthless way, the inner working's of Ripley's mind. LOVED that too.

Ripley isn't just a guy who likes to kill - he's more complex. He is full of self-loathing... there's some closet homose
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. The 'grandaddy' of all serial killers in popular culture. ...more
Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile
While it seemed to have a slow build in the beginning and took me awhile to get into it, I think it was probably my own distractions instead of the book’s fault. It certainly does amp up and is crazy tense at times, even though I’ve seen the movie countless times! I’m still amazed he got away with it all and am looking forward to the next books.
Jun 01, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Fake it till you make it
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
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
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
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

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
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
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
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
Roman Clodia
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
His stories were good because he imagined them intensely, so intensely that he came to believe them

Rereading this it's clear to see that this first book of the 'Ripliad' is really a 'making of Ripley' story as Tom gradually sheds his unsatisfactory identity - or, rather, comes to sees it as an identity which he can slip on and off at will, becoming 'Tom Ripley', a persona he coolly observes from the outside.

There is no name for the inner man who looks out through Tom's eyes, sometimes rever
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
Apr 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2016-shelf
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..
There is something darkly hilarious about Tom Ripley’s first “adventure”; I would not want to spoil it for anyone, but this slippery sociopath manages to be both detestable and yet, you can’t help but root for the slimy bugger…

Tom Ripley makes his living in 1950s Manhattan by being a small-time conman – who clearly struggles with a lot of repressed psycho-sexual issues (I wonder how this was perceived at publication time: knowing what we know about Patricia Highsmith makes this aspect of the cha
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
Steven Godin
Nov 16, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Probably not since Lolita's Humbert Humbert have I come across a central character that was so morally corrupt and yet so easy to empathize with, and even like. The one big difference though between Nabokov's pedo and Highsmith's Tom Ripley was that I actually found myself cheering on the latter; in all his cunning and murderous ways.

Sorry Dickie, I know you love jazz and all, so are a man after my own heart, but you simply had to go. Freddie too. (In regards to Freddie I couldn't stand him so
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
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Genre: Mystery Thriller + Modern Classics

This is the first time I read this classic. I watched the second movie adaptation with the same name starring Matt Damon many years ago and fortunately, I cannot recall most of it even though I remember liking it back then. This time I wanted to watch the first movie adaptation (Purple Noon) starring Alain Delon so I had to read the book first.

Tom Ripley is a sociopath, a scammer, and an opportunist young man who will do anything to get whate
Anne (On semi-hiatus)
4.5 stars. The Talented Mr. Ripley is a brilliantly realized psychological study of an insecure sociopath. This story is narrated by Mr. Ripley so we are in his head throughout the book. Ripley is not what we generally see as "psychopathic" in movies and books these days. He's more true to life. Multiple twists and turns in the plot keep the suspense at a low but continuous boil. So this is a great thriller for those who do not like the adrenaline rush of modern day "Thrillers." The descriptions ...more
Jonathan K (Plot & Characters Matter)
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
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.
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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)

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