Synopses & Reviews
In a chilling literary hall of mirrors, Patricia Highsmith introduces Tom Ripley. Like a hero in a latter-day Henry James novel, is sent 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 stops at nothing--certainly not only one murder--to accomplish his goal. Turning the mystery form inside out, Highsmith shows the terrifying abilities afforded to a man unhindered by the concept of evil.
"Patricia Highsmith's novels are peerlessly disturbing...bad dreams that keep us thrashing for the rest of the night." The New Yorker
"The Talented Mr. Ripley not only demonstrates Highsmith's gift for using the genre conventions of the mystery novel to explore the existential ambiguities of identity, but it also attests to her keen gift for psychological insight. By chronicling the ordinary details of Ripley's life and the logical workings of his mind, she 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." The New York Times Book Review
"For eliciting the menace that lurks in familiar surroundings, there's no one like Patricia Highsmith." Time Magazine
"[Highsmith] has created a world of her own — a world claustrophobic and irrational which we enter with a sense of personal danger." Graham Greene
"One of our greatest modernist writers." Gore Vidal
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.