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Ripley's Game Paperback – 5 Aug 1999


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Ripley's Game + Ripley Under Ground + The Talented Mr. Ripley
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (5 Aug 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099283689
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099283683
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 45,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"To call Patricia Highsmith a thriller writer is true but not the whole truth: her books have stylistic texture, psychological depth, mesmeric readability" (Sunday Times)

"Highsmith has done it again. It seems to me she has reached a point where because she knows exactly what she is about she cannot miss" (The Times)

"It's hard to imagine anyone interested in modern fiction who has not read the Ripley novels" (Daily Telegraph)

Book Description

'Highsmith constructs her plot with masterly finesse' - Daily Telegraph

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Nov 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the second Ripley novel I have read - and only wish I had found them before. The story opens in an ingenious way. A friend of Ripley's wants a murder ... or two ... committing and is prepared to pay someone well - someone who will not be around too long to tell the tale. Tom Ripley, upper-middle class con man, has to convince an aquaintance he is dying in order that he will be receptive to bribery for the sake of providing for his family after his death. Ripley undertakes to broker the deal (without getting his hands dirty, of course). The plot is set in Europe and is wonderfully evocative of a time when etiquette was still of paramount importance in order to succeed. Ripley is a charmer and succeeds at most things he puts his mind to making even the implausible seem possible. However, it is particularly enjoyable to see such a manipulative cad get caught out when things don't quite go according to plan. Perhaps he has a heart after all! Highsmith is a master at her craft - these novels are still very fresh - they have not dated at all and I recommend them to all murder mystery lovers.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Oct 2004
Format: Hardcover
If you have not yet read The Talented Mr. Ripley and Ripley Under Ground (the weakest of the three first books in the series), I strongly suggest that you pursue those books before Ripley's. There's a continuity of character development that you will miss otherwise.
The premise for Ripley's Game is the most interesting of the first three books in a series: How will a dying man look at morality when he knows his days are numbered? Ripley's Game has a second advantage over The Talented Mr. Ripley and Ripley Under Ground -- there are no plot devices where Ripley fools the same person over and over again with alternate disguises. Another advantage over Ripley Under Ground is that Ms. Highsmith has a new character who can be totally developed in his many complex facets, much as Tom Ripley was so brilliantly in The Talented Mr. Ripley.
The title is particularly clever. In one meaning, it describes one aspect of the plot. Ripley has become interested in how an innocent man might be persuaded through careful psychological nudges to perform an anonymous murder. In the other meaning, Ripley becomes the hunted, the game that killers seek out -- as in famous short story, The Most Dangerous Game. Some will even see a third meaning . . . that Ripley's ready for action.
As the book opens, Tom Ripley's criminal friend Reeves has come up with an implausible idea -- encourage the Italian mafia to run itself out of Hamburg by starting a war between rival families. To do this, Reeves needs an untraceable, innocent-looking killer who will quickly disappear. Reeves spots the possible targets, but cannot think of anyone to do the killings. Although Ripley has nothing at stake, the problem intrigues Tom.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By blackeyedsoosan on 7 Jan 2004
Format: Paperback
This third Ripley novel in a series of five revisits Tom Ripley about 6 months after the Derwatt affair detailed in Ripley Under Ground. Mildly irritated by the tone of a comment made by the host of a party, formulates a little game to draw the unfortunate man, Jonathan Trevanny, into a world of assassination, deceit and moral decadence. The reader is drawn with him, and through the ingenious writing of Patricia Highsmith, comes to see the reasoning within Ripley's mind and even to sympathise with him.
The character of Tom Ripley is a marvellously complex one - we see Ripley at once toy with Trevanny as a puppet, and then step into help him in an act of apparent selflessness. We also get to know the character of Reeves Minot, briefly featured in Riply Under Ground, in more depth. But the real strength of this novel is the character of Jonathan Trevanny who mirrors the reader's initial disgust with Ripley, then their reluctant fascination, and finally their seduction into his psychopathic world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Self on 14 Mar 2006
Format: Paperback
In this third volume of 'the Ripleiad," Tom Ripley, still edgy after the risks taken in the Derwatt affair (which is frequently referred to, and refreshed my memory nicely of Ripley Under Ground), is settling back into life at his French place-in-the-country, Belle Ombre, when he is contacted by an old criminal acquaintance who wants two Mafia figures from rival families killed, so the Mob will stay out of his native Hamburg. Ripley, who, the book reminds us, "detested murder unless it were absolutely necessary," is not of course interested in carrying out the jobs himself, but becomes instrumental in finding someone who will. And so the first half of the book becomes a study in persuading an upright citizen to carry out the most unspeakable crimes (clue: it helps if they're terminally ill), and the second half of the book shows what happens when the Mafia want revenge. It's gripping, thrilling, beautifully weighted and paced, and with enough meaty analysis of the personalities and relationships of all those involved to keep it well above potboiler status. A delectable triumph, with a seriously implausible body count. It's also been adapted twice for film, just like The Talented Mr Ripley (though why nobody wants to adapt the intervening volume of Ripley Under Ground is a mystery): a couple of years ago under its own title with John Malkovich as Tom Ripley; and in 1977 by Wim Wenders, as The American Friend. Either guarantees confusion from anyone viewing it as a sequel to Anthony Minghella's The Talented Mr Ripley, so save yourself the effort and read the books instead.
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