Anticipation It occurred to him that his anticipation was pleasant to him than the experiencingPatricia 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 used as evidence to highlight the case that some of the best literature of the 20th Century came out of genre fiction The novel is high wire, high risk, high reward masterpiece It leaves me amazed the Cure didn t just write their existential anthem to Highsmith I can turn And swim awayOr I can raise up my oar Staring at a boatStaring far ashoreWhichever I choseIt amounts to the sameAbsolutely nothing.I m aliveI m deadI m lying Tom RipleyKilling a Signor. Since His Debut In , 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 S A Product Of A Broken Home, Branded A Sissy By His Dismissive Aunt Dottie, Ripley Becomes Enad Of The Moneyed World Of His New Friend, Dickie Greenleaf This Fondness Turns Obsessive When Ripley Is Sent To Italy To Bring Back His Libertine Pal But Grows Enraged By Dickie S Ambivalent Feelings For Marge, A Charming American Dilettante A Dark Reworking Of Henry James S The Ambassadors, The Talented Mr Ripley Is Up To His Tricks In A S Film And Also Rene Clement S S Film, Purple Noon 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 knew Highsmith wrote Strangers on a Train so I decided to take a crack at it.The Talented Mr Ripley is a tale of obsession, murder, lying, betrayal, and lying In short, it s a wholesome noir tale Highsmith reads like a mannerly Jim Thompson, especially once things start going off the rails Tom Ripley is the protagonist but he s far from a hero In fact, he s probably a sociopath He doesn t seem to be comfortable in his own skin, preferring to live a lie than to be himself He s a liar, thief, and eventually a murderer Since there are of these books, I m guessing he continues his lying murdering impersonating ways.The book is mostly the Tom Ripley show Dickie and the rest of the supporting cast don t have much going on other than the way Ripley manipulates them Actually, having never seen the movie, I was surprised at Dickie Greenleaf s fate considering I expected him and Tom to start making out at any moment Did the movie have this big of a closeted gay vibe Like I said before, this reads like a mannerly Jim Thompson book once things start coming unglued It takes a lot of lying and killing to cover up a murder I was a little surprised the body count wasn t higher once everything was said and done.Still, I caught myself wanted Tom get away with it, kind of like Dexter Morgan or Walter White I guess that means Patricia Highsmith knew a thing or two about writing Four stars but I m not in a tremendous hurry to read about Tom Ripley. 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 delightful in its foreignness and experiencing the story from the culpable person s viewpoint was interesting in itself, these aspects would not have balanced out my lack of interest in the details of the plot Lucky for the book, one particular aspect of the narrator made the story much 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 Stars 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 to the U.S I also knew at some point Tom s developing friendship with Dickie while in Europe morphs into of an obsession and that stuff happens No spoilers on this one, friends That was about it, though I had never seen the movie because this is the most punchable face in all of mankind and I just can t watch his movies Completely unfounded and I m sure Mr Damon is a pleasant fellow, but I want to slap the crap out of him whenever I see him How will I ever deal with the movie version of The Martian Ohhhhhh woe is me I also can t forget to mention the film co starred Goop as the leading lady and, well, eww The one thing that might be worth taking a little looksee is this Purrrrrrr Anyway, enough about the movie I never saw This is a book review and obviously a super highbrow one at that For a story that is 60 years old, The Talented Mr Ripley holds up to the test of time remarkably well 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, I m 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 It helped hide the fact that Tom was not interested in anyone sexually which he flat out tells you through his narrative , but he was quite possibly a sociopath who had fixated on obtaining a lifestyle like Dickie s that no one seemed to notice Recommended to anyone interested in a real slow roller type of suspense novel, an addition to your modern classics list, or those of you who like to read about people you re supposed to hate but really kind of love Half star removed because there are FOUR of these in the series NOOOOOOOPE As far as I m concerned, this one is a standalone Tom s story does not have enough material for books and I don t believe the others could even come close to being as good as the first. 495 The Talented Mr Ripley, Patricia Highsmith 1921 1994 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 2001 1379 286 9647134134 1389 9789647134132 20 1961 Rating 4.5 of fiveThe 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 enad of the moneyed world of his new friend, Dickie Greenleaf This fondness turns obsessive when Ripley is sent to Italy to bring back his libertine pal but grows enraged by Dickie s ambivalent feelings for Marge, a charming American dilettante A dark reworking of Henry James s The Ambassadors, The Talented Mr Ripley is up to his tricks in a 90s film and also Rene Clement s 60s film, Purple Noon My Review 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 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.And now that I v delivered the post Stonewallization of the book, I return to the text as presented.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 It s all done in 30pp and it s set from there on, so suspense has to be created with audacity on the writer s part We re drawn into Tom s troublingly untroubled world of crime, we re seduced into seeing the problems of Tom s murders from his point of view as puzzles to be solved in order to protect his now customary lifestyle.It s a very difficult feat to pull off It s even amazing when one considers the author, a big ol dyke, was writing in one of Murrica s most homophobic AND law and order obsessed eras 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 This is high quality storytelling, done in simple, unadorned prose It is very much recommended and it s worth your time. 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 Ripley senses his time as Dickie s favorite toy may be coming to an end Written in 1955, this one manages to stand the test of time, and still seems fresh and surprising Highsmith featured her character Ripley in four novels This book has inspired two movies 1960 s Purple Noon and the 1999 version which starred Howdy Doody Matt Damon.This is a damn fine thriller, and one of those make you feel skeevy rooting for the bad guy books On the whole, I enjoyed it very much My only complaint One of the same problems I had with Strangers on a Train how can a female writer create such bland and uninteresting female characters No wonder no one wants to hang out with poor Marge She s not only boring, she s annoying as hell But Ripley s the star of this show, and oh, how he shines I am tempted to follow him into another book just to see what happens next.The Talented Mr Ripley is our January read in the Pulp Fiction group There s still plenty of time if you d like to join us for the discussion Martinis and pernod are recommended. His stories were good because he imagined them intensely, so intensely that he came to believe themTom 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 exactly rooting for him, I still felt as if I was placed in the position of a partner in his exploits The Talented Mr Ripley is an intense psychological thriller that builds to the peak of suspense a bit slowly and then erupts to a biting your nails, edge of your seat kind of pitch I went into this book mostly unaware of the plot I think this is the best way to enjoy this book If you ve seen the movie already or read too many descriptions of the story line, then I would imagine this would lessen the jolt you would otherwise experience The vivid descriptions of Italy are captivating and I found myself wanting to visit this country even earnestly than before Having read the book, the movie will likely be less sensational but the promise of being able to view the beautiful scenery on my television screen has me greatly anticipating watching this regardless I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in a classic and rather brilliant psychological thriller I have deducted one star only due to the fact that I reached a point where I felt this became slightly unbelievable however the entertainment value allows this to be just a very minor criticism of the book as a whole. 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 but here it is, one of the first to really start the very popular modern mystery trend from the PoV of the sympathetic murderers We ll ignore how much we love Richard the Third or the long line of True Crime novels or the Penny Dreadfuls, for now This is the world of anti hero worship, after all, thank you Dexter and Darth Vader So yeah, I had a really good time with this I remember watching the movie and have a great time with it, too, in the theater Little did I know that I was missing out on great books, too I m making up for lost time Mistaken identities, con games, great play acting, opportunity, and, of course, seeing the bad guys win What s not to love And so I go to my second mind.Closet homosexuality This novel, with so many others of the time including movies, always made the bad guys homosexuals This is trope made tripe and it s as stale as it is insulting and almost entirely distasteful to modern readers, if it wasn t already so to people back then I chose to read it as a buddy novel gone really wrong instead of thinly veiled homosexuality, and I enjoyed it , but the question still remains 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.I m willing to be generous, though One doesn t toss out decades of literature just because the societal norms of today has changed significantly from those of our grandparents or great grandparents We twist our noses and complain of the stench, but we still enjoy what is GOOD about what we ve just read That s where I m standing, anyway.
Patricia Highsmith was an American novelist who is known mainly for her psychological crime thrillers which have led to 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
- 249 pages
- The Talented Mr. Ripley
- Patricia Highsmith
- 26 February 2019 Patricia Highsmith