The Talented Mr Ripley
By Patricia Highsmith
Read by David Menkin
The Talented Mr Ripley is one of the most influential, groundbreaking crime novels ever written. To mark the novel's 60th anniversary, we are adding it to the VMC Designer Hardback series.
A stunning hardback edition of one of the most influential, groundbreaking crime novels ever written.
'I'm a huge Highsmith fan. If there's one book I wish I'd written, it's The Talented Mr Ripley' Sarah Waters
Tom Ripley travels to Italy with a commission to coax a prodigal young American back to his wealthy father. But Ripley finds himself very fond of Dickie Greenleaf. He wants to be like him - exactly like him. Suave, agreeable and utterly amoral, Ripley will stop at nothing to accomplish his goal.
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.
Patricia Highsmith (1921-1995) was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and moved to New York when she was six, where she attended the Julia Richman High School and Barnard College. In her senior year she edited the college magazine, having decided at the age of sixteen to become a writer. Her first novel, Strangers on a Train, was made into a classic film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951. The Talented Mr Ripley, published in 1955, introduced the fascinating anti-hero Tom Ripley, and was made into an Oscar-winning film in 1999 by Anthony Minghella. Graham Greene called Patricia Highsmith 'the poet of apprehension', saying that she 'created a world of her own - a world claustrophobic and irrational which we enter each time with a sense of personal danger' and The Times named her no.1 in their list of the greatest ever crime writers. Patricia Highsmith died in Locarno, Switzerland, in February 1995. Her last novel, Small g: A Summer Idyll, was published posthumously, the same year.
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- Publication date:
05 Jul 2007
- Page count:
One of the great crime novels of the 20th century, Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley is a blend of the narrative subtlety of Henry James and the self- reflexive irony of Vladimir Nabokov. Like the best modernist fiction, Ripley works on two levels. First, it is the story of a young man, Tom Ripley, whose nihilistic tendencies lead him through a deadly passage across Europe. On another level, the novel is a commentary on fiction making and techniques of narrative persuasion. Like Humbert Humbert, Tom Ripley seduces readers to empathise with him even as his actions defy all moral standards. 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 all moral compunction. Tom will become Dickie Greenleaf--at all costs.
- Patrick O'Kelley, Amazon.co.uk