The Talented Mr. Ripley

Thoughts and unrelated random bits tTMRbyPHa The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith, Audible 2012 (orig 1955), 9 hrs 35 min

Narrated by Kevin Kenerly – admirable job. He definitely had the creepy voice to go with the creepy thoughts.

“Anticipation! It occurred to him that his anticipation was more pleasant to him than the experiencing.”

The Admission:  This book is much more sinister and creepy than the the last few Stephen King books I’ve read. THERE. I said it.

Oh, Tom Ripley! You are scary. And yet, so much more tolerable – which scares me, too – than Bateman of Am. Psycho. Shudder.

“Tom laughed at the phrase “sexual deviation.” Where was the sex? Where was the deviation? He looked at Freddie and said low and bitterly: “Freddie Miles, you’re a victim of your own dirty mind.”

They have the same in-my-head crazy. They have the same, “OH! WHAT will he do NEXT?!” fear; palpable FEAR.

I listened to this. I bought it when Audible offered a BOGO* deal.

What’s it ABOUT:  Tom Ripley has issues. THEN, he gets an opportunity to go to Europe on another’s dime. He schemes a way to get more of that dime in a sinister way. And he takes on a lovely tour of Italy! The issue is that he really does have pangs of guilt, sort of. He just prefers not to be Tom Ripley. This is one creepy dude!

“Tom envied him with a heartbreaking surge of envy and self-pity.”

The Question: Will I read more? This is the first in a series. Hmmmmm.

Another Question: Did I even see the movie? I thought I did but the whole time I listened to this book, I was imagining Leo DiCaprio as Tom and yet THE MOVIE HAS IT AS MATT DAMON! So now I must see the movie because my thinking I had seen it has me all confused.

FINALLY:  Don’t go see Kingsman. Disappointing.

And an admonition:  All of you who have read Bad Feminist, why have you not told me about Kate Zembrano? I want to read her books! Anyone up for a readalong of Heroines or Green Girl?


* The other audiobook I chose was Heft by Liz Moore but I don’t think I will be listening to this until after Atlas Shrugged. IKR!?  What the heck am I doing attempting a 63 hour audiobook? Well, you know I love ’em. The longer the better.

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15 thoughts on “The Talented Mr. Ripley

    1. It would be a ‘thriller’ – not a slash horror film. It’s psychological-thriller like. Great cast! and likely a bit different than the book – book only has one ‘real’ female character and yet the movie has Gwyneth Paltrow AND Cate Blanchett (the one who is not in book). And it is an Anthony Minghella flick – his stuff has been good. I really can’t believe I haven’t seen it!

  1. Man, I struggled with American Psycho. I couldn’t even bring myself to review that book – I struggled that much. Not sure I can stomach this one. Tom Ripley being slightly better than Bateman is only somewhat reassuring. If you read the rest of the series, I’m eager to know what you think of it.

    1. Oh Aths, I ASSURE you that this is much TAMER and less descriptive than AmPsych – it’s the voices in your head that is the whole narrative but it is 3rd person omniscent (I think – I *do* need a refresher course in point-of-view.) REALLY, it is NOT nearly as bad but it just has that twinge of connection to evil-in-head thoughts. Does that make sense? I struggled mightily (ok – no, I easily skipped a LOT of American Psycho)

  2. You’re going to listen to a 63-hour long audiobook?! OMG.

    I had no idea that Kingsman was so graphic! That church scene?! I had to close my eyes during that. I’m thankful I didn’t take my kids to see it.

    Thank you for the wonderful card.:-)

    1. The Count of Monte Cristo was really long, so was IT and The Stand. Bleak House was good… Yep, I like long audiobooks!

      I still can’t quite discern my shock with that puerile bit at the end of Kingsman and yea, the whole premise was weak.

  3. I’ve not read Ripley but the movie was good. Not sinister really. At least, I don’t remember it being so.

    63 hours of Atlas. Dar is also listening to it on audio. You two can be audio pals.

    1. I would say the book has almost-sinister tone. I think Highsmith is masterful!
      and yep, Dar and I are already discussing AS on audio!

    1. It is also odd that I didn’t look that up before or while reading. I’m glad I waited to IMDB until the end! Or I might have been derailed! But yes, I can see Matt in this just as easily as Leo.

    1. Which got me thinking about Mark Wahlberg. Hear me out: ‘they’ often (fans, apparently) often get Wahlberg and Matt Damon confused (really, I don’t know HOW) but there is no way that Wahlberg could have been Tom – but he would make an excellent Dickie. (And I’m so glad that that name has fallen out of use…)

  4. I remember being impressed with the movie. Not sure I had been aware it was a book and definitely not aware the book was part of a series. Which is pretty scary.

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