The Talented Mr. Ripley (Paperback)

The Talented Mr. Ripley By Patricia Highsmith Cover Image
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An American classic and the inspiration for the new Netflix series.

It’s here, in the first volume of Patricia Highsmith’s five-book Ripley series, that we are introduced to the suave Tom Ripley, a young striver seeking to leave behind his past as an orphan bullied for being a “sissy.” Newly arrived in the heady world of Manhattan, 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, and Ripley begins a deadly game. “Sinister and strangely alluring” (Mark Harris, Entertainment Weekly) The Talented Mr. Ripley serves as an unforgettable introduction to this smooth confidence man, whose talent for self-invention is as unnerving—and unnervingly revealing of the American psyche—as ever.

About the Author

Patricia Highsmith (1921–1995) was the author of more than twenty novels, including Strangers on a Train, The Price of Salt and The Talented Mr. Ripley, as well as numerous short stories.

Praise For…

The Talented Mr. Ripley is a standard-bearer, indelibly woven into the fabric of contemporary crime fiction.

— Sarah Weinman - New York Times

[A] masterwork of American noir.…Scene by masterful scene, sentence by sentence, with each disturbing thought and memory, Highsmith reveals how Ripley's psyche veers out of bounds, a slow drip punctuated by shocking jumps.
— Carole V. Bell - NPR

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

I devoured [The Talented Mr. Ripley] and didn’t want it to end. I had to ration myself to a couple of pages a day.

— Judi Dench - New York Times

The particular subversive thrill of this novel is that the reader inevitably begins to associate with, and root for, the sociopathic Tom. The other notable pleasure, one that is shared by the four sequels that Highsmith wrote (the series is sometimes called the Ripliad), is the way the writing immerses you in the details of mid-century travel. Gin at lunchtime, cafes in the sunlight, lives conducted through letter-writing: all a lovely backdrop to a tale of murder.

— Peter Swanson - The Guardian

In the same way that Vince Gilligan made Breaking Bad's Walter White an awful person that I took a guilty pleasure in rooting for, Highsmith made the detestable Tom Ripley an intriguing character that I hoped would get away with his crimes.

— Mark Frauenfelder - BoingBoing

[A] riveting story that examines identity, ambition, sexuality, and a few different forms of love.
— Chris Pavone, New York Times best-selling author of Two Nights in Lisbon

[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

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

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

[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

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

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

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

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

Product Details
ISBN: 9780393332148
ISBN-10: 0393332144
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: June 17th, 2008
Pages: 288
Language: English