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The novel begins with a play on James's The Ambassadors. Tom Ripley is chosen by the wealthy Herbert Greenleaf to retrieve Greenleaf's son, Dickie, from his overlong sojourn in Italy. Dickie, it seems, is held captive both by the Mediterranean climate and the attractions of his female companion, but Mr. Greenleaf needs him back in New York to help with the family business. With an allowance and a new purpose, Tom leaves behind his dismal city apartment to begin his career as a return escort. But Tom, too, is captivated by Italy. He is also taken with the life and looks of Dickie Greenleaf. He insinuates himself into Dickie's world and soon finds that his passion for a lifestyle of wealth and sophistication transcends moral compunction. Tom will become Dickie Greenleaf--at all costs.
Unlike many modernist experiments, The Talented Mr. Ripley is eminently readable and is driven by a gripping chase narrative that chronicles each of Tom's calculated maneuvers of self-preservation. Highsmith was in peak form with this novel, and her ability to enter the mind of a sociopath and view the world through his disturbingly amoral eyes is a model that has spawned such latter-day serial killers as Hannibal Lecter. --Patrick O'Kelley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This copy of the story is a complete waste of 10 dollars. I purchased it for a class without realizing that it is set up as a screenplay. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Bretton Nedwreski
Incredible book--masterful writing coupled with a page-turning story. You don't get that combination very often. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Marianne
I'm fascinated with sociopaths and Highsmith's excellent,casual style of writing gets one thinking
"Oh, of course he has to do away with this guy"
This book was... Read more
I have to take issue with the opinion that Tom Ripley is one of the most interesting characters in world literature. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mark H. Gaffney
Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley qualifies as is one superb psychological thriller, perhaps ahead of its time. Read morePublished 2 months ago by fra7299