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Ripley's Gameby Patricia Highsmith
Synopses & Reviews
Connoisseur of art, harpsichord aficionado, gardener extraordinaire, and genius of improvisational murder, the inimitable Tom Ripley finds his complacency shaken when he is scorned at a posh gala. While an ordinary psychopath might repay the insult with some mild act of retribution, what Ripley has in mind is far more subtle, and infinitely more sinister. A social slight doesn't warrant murder, of course — just a chain of events that may lead to it.
"The feeling of menace behind most Highsmith novels...has made readers uneasy. One closes most of her books with the feeling that the world is more dangerous than one had ever imagined." Julian Symons, The New York Times Book Review
"An atmosphere of nameless dread, of unspeakable foreboding, permeates every page of Patricia Highsmith, and there's nothing quite like it." Boston Globe
"Highsmith is an exquisitely sardonic etcher of the casually treacherous personality." Newday
"For eliciting the menace that lurks in familiar surroundings, there's no one like Patricia Highsmith." Time
With its sinister humor and genius plotting, Ripley's Game is an enduring portrait of a compulsive, sociopathic American antihero.
Living on his posh French estate with his elegant heiress wife, Tom Ripley, on the cusp of middle age, is no longer the striving comer of The Talented Mr. Ripley. Having accrued considerable wealth through a long career of crime—forgery, extortion, serial murder—Ripley still finds his appetite unquenched and longs to get back in the game. In Ripley's Game, first published in 1974, Patricia Highsmith's classic chameleon relishes the opportunity to simultaneously repay an insult and help a friend commit a crime—and escape the doldrums of his idyllic retirement. This third novel in Highsmith's series is one of her most psychologically nuanced—particularly memorable for its dark, absurd humor—and was hailed by critics for its ability to manipulate the tropes of the genre. With the creation of Ripley, one of literature's most seductive sociopaths, Highsmith anticipated the likes of Norman Bates and Hannibal Lecter years before their appearance.
About the Author
Patricia Highsmith (1921 - 1995) was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and grew up in New York. She was educated at the Julia Richmond High School in Manhattan and then at Columbia University, where she earned her B.A. in 1942. Her first novel, Strangers on a Train (1950), tells the story of a tennis player and a psychotic who meet on a train and agree to swap murders. The terrifying tale caught the attention of director Alfred Hitchcock, who, with Raymond Chandler, filmed it in 1951. Both the book and the resulting movie are considered to be classics of the crime genre. Highsmith's subsequent novels, particularly five featuring the dashing forger/murderer Tom Ripley, have been vastly popular and critically acclaimed. In 1957 Highsmith won the coveted French Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere and in 1964 was awarded the Silver Dagger by the British Crime Writers Association. A reclusive person, Highsmith spent much of her life alone. She moved permanently to Europe in 1963 and spent her final years in an isolated house near Locarno on the Swiss-Italian border. Upon her death, Highsmith left three million dollars of her estate to Yaddo, the artist community in upstate New York.
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