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Ripley Under Water Paperback – Aug 26 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: WW Norton (Aug. 26 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393333191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393333190
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 15.9 x 1.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #206,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
Fans of the Ripley series will find a few enjoyable moments, particularly in the characterizations of the well known characters of Tom, Mme Anette and Heloise. Otherwise, there is little suspense and even less ultimate payoff. Strangers to the Highsmith works will most likely be left completely non-plussed. This is a particularly dated and unclever work.
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By "vortex87" on April 1 2003
Format: Paperback
I have read few good reviews for this book, but having read it now, I think very much otherwise.
In my opinion, this is the second best in the series - because "The Talented Mr. Ripley" is the best, of course, but also because "Ripley Under Ground" had a few good moments and was otherwise rather flat (4th best to me), "Ripley's Game" had a more good moments, but still didn't reach great peaks of suspense (3rd best), and "The Boy who Followed Ripley" was really pointless, and the core concept had already been done, and a lot better, in "The Two Faces of January."
But here, as soon as Tom grows suspicious of the Pritchards, the atmosphere goes very apprehensive. And, as the novel progresses, it turns to a tension - that sweet, magical "oh, don't get caught! Don't get caught!" tension - that only the first one really has. And it doesn't let go.
This book is indeed one of the few "unputdownables" that nearly equals Highsmith's best. It's definitely worth it. Read on!
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By Tim on Oct. 8 2002
Format: Paperback
Having read all of the Ripley books in order, I must echo other reviewers in saying that this is the weakest of them all. A promising plot is overcome with unanswered questions, and an ending that just falls flat. All due credit to Highsmith for making the novel entertaining and interesting, and I would have given the book more stars had the ending been more interesting. As it is, kind of disappointing.
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Format: Paperback
This was my first Patricia Highsmith book, and I, too, picked it up because I had seen the movie "The Talented Mr. Ripley". I couldn't find that book, so started with this one. It took a while to "get into" the story, but I was quickly compelled. The one drawback: too many french phrases that I had to spend time either trying to figure out from the context of the sentence or look up the meanings from the on-line french-to-english dictionaries. Some words just weren't there. Mon dieu! Aside from those irritations, I found the story to be fascinating, particularly with Tom's relationships to those around him. Heloise, for instance. Sometimes, it seemed like she viewed him with antagonism or thinly veiled contempt. Her responses were too cool at times. Not like a wife. Why don't they sleep together? Is there more about their relationship in previous books? I thought the relationship with the friend that came over from England was also interesting. I so enjoyed the scene where they witness the Pritchards falling into their pond. You could truly sense Tom's utter delight that his nemesis was going to drown! I loved it! And how he had to tame his obvious enthusiasm so that his friend wouldn't find him totally reprehensible! Brilliant writing. I will definitely read more of her books and am sad the series is over.
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Format: Paperback
It is a shame Patricia Highsmith was unable to sustain her brilliance throughout all of her novels. Even the Ripley series has its slow moments. I had hoped the final Ripley novel from Highsmith would be one of her better works; some of the amazon.com reviews looked promising. But sorry to say, Ripley Under Water is just average Ripley fare.
Ripley Under Water starts off with such a wonderful premise. Tom Ripley is being hounded by a fanatic who for some inexplicable reason senses Ripley's murderous past, and is determined to make Ripley's life miserable as he uncovers the truth. But unfortunately Highsmith doesn't turn on the anxiety as expected, and the story has a rather unsatisfactorily flat ending. Beyond this, Highsmith spends so much time re-telling tidbits of the early Ripley novels ... as if there are potential readers who decided to start off on this book rather than follow in sequence (not likely, and not advisable).
But Ripley Under Water works very well in one aspect: the Ripley ambiance. It is amazing how Highsmith can capture the feeling of the characters and the setting so consistently throughout the Ripley series, a series spanning some 30+ years. She spends so much time detailing Tom Ripley's behaviour at being ... Tom Ripley! Enjoyable to an extent, but this too wears thin.
Bottom line: a satisfactory read for Highsmith fans only.
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By A Customer on Aug. 29 2001
Format: Paperback
I read all five Ripley books in order of their publication dates. I definitely had an attraction-repulsion thing going with them, but they kept me interested for the most part. However, after awhile the plots got rather ridiculous. "Ripley Under Water" is by far the worst of the series. There are lots of loose ends and half-answered questions, and the main protagonist's actions make no sense. I kept thinking, "He wants to get Ripley. So how come he is handling everything so moronically?" And instead of ending, this book seemed to just peter out. Don't waste your time or your money on this one.
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Format: Paperback
This was the first Ripley book I ever read, and remains my firm favourite - I enjoyed it even more than 'The Talented Mr Ripley', which itself is also excellent.
Patricia Highsmith is one of the most effective suspense writers I've come across. I have never been able to put my finger on exactly why - others can do the fancy literary analysis - but you HAVE to keep reading, you feel like you're right there in that place and time, and you feel all of Tom Ripley's worry, relief, triumph and terror as if it was your own.
Her books aren't particularly fast-moving or violent, and don't get to the action directly enough for some people. But if her wonderful, evocative prose gets you, Ripley (re-)discovering the single corpse of one of his victims is more horrifying than anything in a dozen splatter books - I was just dreading it, for pages and pages before it happened.
Ms Highsmith's talent for building tension, suspense and sheer dread are even more marked in Ripley Under Water because we know what's going to happen - Ripley has done some bad things, and somebody is trying to get him into trouble for them. As a plot summary, that's a non-story, but in the hands of Patricia Highsmith it's a taut and compelling thriller.
She gets us right inside Ripley's mind, a place with neither conscience nor much regret about his murders. His privileged existance, thanks to both his ill-gotten gains and the assets of his wealthy wife, is wonderfully
evoked, and we squirm at the creepiness of the Pritchards, his meddling new neighbours.
The waiting, while the reformed predator Ripley is himself preyed upon, is almost agonising. If you've seen the movie and don't like books where you know the ending, then start with this one. It'll scare and surprise you, it's simply a marvellous book.
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