The Talented Mr. Ripley

The Talented Mr. Ripley

by Patricia Highsmith

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.

  • Series: Ripley
  • Language: English
  • Category: Fiction
  • Rating: 3.94
  • Pages: 320
  • Publish Date: June 17th 2008 by W. W. Norton Company
  • Isbn10: 0393332144
  • Isbn13: 9780393332148

What People Think about "The Talented Mr. Ripley"

Tom : Oh Dickie, lets. Marge (soliloquy) : Dick is just the handsomest American 25 year old trust fund baby in all of Italy. Tom (soliloquy) : Dick is just the handsomest American 25 year old trust fund baby ever. Dick: Tom, for a creepy sociopath, you're quite good company. The character of Tom Ripley is also self-loathing, another closeted-gay cliche. I think that Tom Ripley therefore was part of the problem which led - to take one example from millions - to Lou Reed's parents making him have ECT to get rid of his homosexual tendencies. Leaving the iffiness of this novel aside, it then suffers from the same thing as all other thrillers and crime novels - we are expecting murders, there's no suspense involved, one's only surprise is that Tom Ripley brains so few people.

Ripley è un truffatore, ma anche assassino con pochi scrupoli, uno psicopatico che Highsmith trasforma nelleroe di una saga in cinque romanzi, che ha ispirato più volte il cinema, e ha ispirato una quarantina danni della mia vita. La sua vita sul confine include anche la sessualità: nonostante dal secondo romanzo, spiazzando il lettore, sia sposato a una bellissima francese, Héloïse, ci vuole poco a percepire che in Tom abiti unomosessualità più o meno latente. Non sorprende che Tom rimanga giovane nonostante gli anni passino, è una caratteristica della maggior parte degli eroi letterari, hanno un processo dinvecchiamento molto più rallentato rispetto al lettore. Matt Damon è Tom Ripley, Jude Law è Dickie Greeeleaf, la sua ragazza è Gwyneth Paltrow. Forse perché Ripley parte dai gradini bassi della società (orfano, istituti, una zia non proprio piacevole marchiano la sua infanzia) e arriva in alto grazie a forte personalità, impegno e determinazione, Highsmith riesce a inventare il villain che tutti vorremmo essere. Gli omicidi sono, o sembrano, tutti casuali: Tom aveva un piano, davvero programmava quello che ha fatto? Qual è il vero talento di Tom Ripley?

Patricia Highsmith, The Talented Mr. Ripley Highsmith is amazing. Face it, pretenders, 'The Talented Mr. Ripley' is an amazing psychological crime novel.

An obsession blooms and Tom finds himself wanting to be Dickie Greenleaf. The Talented Mr. Ripley is a tale of obsession, murder, lying, betrayal, and more lying. Highsmith reads like a mannerly Jim Thompson, especially once things start going off the rails. Like I said before, this reads like a mannerly Jim Thompson book once things start coming unglued.

Lucky for the book, one particular aspect of the narrator made the story much more engaging than it would have been without, one that is encompassed here: Being Tom Ripley had one compensation, at least: it relieved his mind of guilt for the stupid, unnecessary murder of (view spoiler)Freddie Miles (hide spoiler)

Find all of my reviews at: 3.5 Stars I came upon a little list recently called 17 Books for People Who Hate People and I immediately thought, hey, thats me! (How will I ever deal with the movie version of The Martian????? This is a book review (and obviously a super highbrow one at that). There are a few lost in translation moments when dealing with things like money and the idea that a couple grand is a giant bankroll that will float you through Europe almost indefinitely, as well as the use of outdated lingo such as sissy or pansy used to describe Tom. Speaking of, Im sure some might take offense to whether or not Tom was attracted to Dickie sexually being used as kind of a giant pink elephant in the room throughout the story, but I thought it worked well as a diversionary tactic.

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 way* and so was Dickie (!!) Greenleaf and Marge was a big ol' fag hag and Daddy Greenleaf was sending Tom to Italy in hopes that a cute boy would succeed where a revolted father failed to convince his queer son to return to a soul-killing life of pretending to be straight. The characters are all deftly drawn to present us their essences in a short burst: Tom cruising bars and letting an older man (Pa Greenleaf) pick him up; Dickie resisting Tom's charm until Marge, acting as wing man, throws them together; Marge then doing the twist as she sees her efforts rewarded with too much success. Highsmith, from all reports an unpleasant person to know, does this difficult balancing act with an assured hand at the storytelling tiller and a character-compass that pointed true north at all times.

The two guys hit it off, and spend some time bopping around Europe like two Ken dolls on holiday. But things turn ugly when Ripley senses his time as Dickie's favorite toy may be coming to an end. Highsmith featured her character Ripley in four more novels. Ripley's the star of this show, and oh, how he shines.

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... I remember watching the movie and have a great time with it, too, in the theater. This novel, with so many others of the time including movies, always made the bad guys homosexuals. I can write it off as a sign of the times or general ignorance or a cynical pandering to popular conceptions, or I can think again and be sad that such an otherwise interesting and cool novel should now be relegated to the back-shelf of history because of the implicit homophobia it exhibits, even if there was never an explicit hate comment.

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 1927 but returned to live with her grandmother for a year in 1933. She also wrote one novel, non-mystery, under the name Claire Morgan, plus a work of non-fiction 'Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction' and a co-written book of children's verse, 'Miranda the Panda Is on the Veranda'.