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The Talented Mr. Ripley

Patricia Highsmith (Author)

Overview | Inside the Book
 

"Tom Ripley is one of the most interesting characters in world literature." —Anthony Minghella, director of the 1999 film The Talented Mr. Ripley

Since his debut in 1955, Tom Ripley has evolved into the ultimate bad boy sociopath. Here, in this first Ripley novel, we are introduced to suave Tom Ripley, a young striver, newly arrived in the heady world of Manhattan. A product of a broken home, branded a "sissy" by his dismissive Aunt Dottie, Ripley meets a wealthy industrialist who hires him to bring his playboy son, Dickie Greenleaf, back from gallivanting in Italy. Soon Ripley's fascination with Dickie's debonair lifestyle turns obsessive as he finds himself enraged by Dickie's ambivalent affections for Marge, a charming American dilettante. A dark reworking of Henry James's ?The Ambassadors?, ?The Talented Mr. Ripley? serves as an unforgettable introduction to this smooth confidence man, whose talent for murder and self-invention is chronicled in four subsequent Ripley novels.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • June 2008
  • ISBN 978-0-393-33214-8
  • 5.5 × 8.3 in / 288 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

Endorsements & Reviews

“The brilliance of Highsmith's conception of Tom Ripley was her ability to keep the heroic and demonic American dreamer in balance in the same protagonist—thus keeping us on his side well after his behavior becomes far more sociopathic than that of a con man like Gatsby.” — Frank Rich, New York Times Magazine

“[Highsmith] has created a world of her own—a world claustrophobic and irrational which we enter each time with a sense of personal danger.” — Graham Greene

“Mesmerizing... a Ripley novel is not to be safely recommended to the weak-minded or impressionable.” — Washington Post Book World

“The most sinister and strangely alluring quintet the crime-fiction genre has ever produced.” — Mark Harris, Entertainment Weekly

“Highsmith's subversive touch is in making the reader complicit with Ripley's cold logic.” — Daily Telegraph (UK)

“[Highsmith] forces us to re-evaluate the lines between reason and madness, normal and abnormal, while goading us into sharing her treacherous hero's point of view.” — Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

“[Tom Ripley] is as appalling a protagonist as any mystery writer has ever created.” — Newsday

“Savage in the way of Rabelais or Swift.” — Joyce Carol Oates, New York Review of Books

“For eliciting the menace that lurks in familiar surroundings, there's no one like Patricia Highsmith.” — Time

“Murder, in Patricia Highsmith's hands, is made to occur almost as casually as the bumping of a fender or a bout of food poisoning. This downplaying of the dramatic... has been much praised, as has the ordinariness of the details with which she depicts the daily lives and mental processes of her psychopaths. Both undoubtedly contribute to the domestication of crime in her fiction, thereby implicating the reader further in the sordid fantasy that is being worked out.” — Robert Towers, New York Review of Books

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