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Ripleys Game [Paperback]

Patricia Highsmith
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 27 2008
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."

Frequently Bought Together

Ripleys Game + Boy Who Followed Ripley, The + Ripley Under Ground
Price For All Three: CDN$ 33.57

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Product Details

Product Description


"For eliciting the menace that lurks in familiar surroundings, there's no one like Patricia Highsmith."

About the Author

Patricia Highsmith was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1921 but moved to New York when she was six. In her senior year she edited the college magazine, having decided to become a writer at the age of sixteen. Her first novel Strangers on a Train, was made into a famous film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951. Patricia Highsmith died in Locarno, Switzerland in 1995. Her last novel Small g: A Summer Idyll was published posthumously just over a month later. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Has Ripley gotten bored? Nov. 6 2002
Tom Ripley is always motivated by something. In The Talented Mr. Ripley it was greed, jealousy, and the realization that his European vacation might have to end. In this novel, the more obvious reason is, as stated on the cover, that he has been slighted at a posh gala event by the other protagonist, Jonathan. But does this warrant the subsequent murders, bombings, burnings that follow in his game? I don't think so. I think that Tom Ripley is, no matter what he might say to us, bored. This makes the title oh so illuminating. Since the first novel, he has married--though we learn very little important information about Heloise--and is living in France. The plot of this novel seems like an attempt to spice up what has become his provincial life.
Ripley is cold-blooded, refined, exacting, the opposite of scrupulous. He is no psychopath, he merely commits horrid crimes, guiltlessly and thoroughly. He is easy to hate and hard not to like--one of those amicable vilians. What I like most about Highsmith's novels, and the first of this series in particular, is her ability to create a very dark, forboding, scenes that are so tense, they seem to squeeze you in between the lines. That is what was missing most in this novel. It is indeed a page-tuner, and worth an afternoon's read. But in the end, it does feels like a game. There are few moments where the reader is completely aghast that he is actually going to get away with it. By now, we expect at least that of Tom Ripley.
But what happened to Jonathan, the novice assasin? I don't want to give anything away here, since this book is just as much about him as about Ripley himself; but, there comes a point in the novel where he seems to turn 180 and seems to forget exactly what made him get involved in Ripley's game in the first place.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Tom Ripley versus the Mafia May 10 2001
By lazza
Ripley's Game is the third installment of Highsmith's Ripley series. I was not expecting too much after reading the second in the series (Ripley Under Ground). To my surprise, the book is actually a very good read.
In Ripley's Game our favorite psychopath, Tom Ripley, is a bit bored. When his spy/crook buddy in Germany asks for suggestions for an assassin (for hire) Tom, most cruelly, chooses a fellow American in Paris who is terminally ill. The reader is then taken on a wild ride where both Tom and his reluctant killer inductee are chased by Mafia hit men.
Ripley's Game is certainly the most violent of the first three Ripley books, and Tom Ripley has really transformed himself into a monster. The real power of this novel is Highsmith's analysis of a dying man choosing to kill for money to help his wife (soon to be widow) and child. It's a very strange and macabre situation, but totally plausible.
Bottom line: a violent and depressing Ripley novel. Yet Highsmith's trademark deconstruction of (usually reluctant) killers is in excellent display. Don't let Ripley Under Ground dissuade you from continuing on the Ripley series. Ripley's Game is a very worthy read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and profound April 16 2001
You might as well know you're reading a review by a bona fide Highsmith addict; her books have everything a good novel needs --solid plotting, convincing characters whose choices govern the storyline, deep truths, and a strong local flavor. "Ripley's Game" has plenty of this, and like most of her books it's next to impossible to put down -- esp. the last 100 pages.
I didn't like #2, "Ripley Under Ground"; it seemed amateurish and at times even improvised. "Game," on the other hand, is a masterpiece. Here Ripley takes a backseat to the alluring and amazing character of Jonathan Trevanny, who gets caught up in a plot to assassinate mafiosi in Eastern Europe. There's enough food for thought in this book to fuel about a dozen other novels, and the interrelations between the characters -- esp. Trevanny and his wife -- are fascinating and utterly convincing. Right now a film is planned, with Malkovich as Ripley and Dougray Scott as Trevanny; I hope they don't screw it up!
Incidentally, this "sequel" stands firmly on its own and doesn't require knowledge of the first two books; I can't wait to get on the Ripleys 4 and 5.
As the Washington Post said, this isn't for the weak-minded or impressionable -- but absolutely mesmerizing. There's no one like Patricia Highsmith.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent novel in many respects Jan. 19 2000
By Maginot
In her book about plotting and writing thrillers, Patricia Highsmith said that European critics and publishers think of her books as novels, not merely as thrillers. After reading "Ripley's Game", one can certainly sympathize with the European point of view. "Ripley's Game" is an excellent thriller and an excellent novel.
I suspect that this book finds Tom Ripley in mid career. He's married and living on a French estate thanks to the generosity of a father-in-law who despises him. A series of chance events provide Ripley with the opportunity to simultaneously repay an insult and to help a friend commit a crime. The ensuing action comprises one of Patricia Highsmith's most interesting stories.
Ripley engineers events so that the man who insulted him ends up committing the crime for his friend. But a sense of guilt and an adventurous spirit compel Ripley to come to the man's assistance. Since crimes never succeed in the exact manner intended, Ripley and company soon find themselves in a desperate situation that requires a lot of maneuvering.
By the end of the story, at least two people with conventional mores wind up behaving in a manner that contradicts their ethics. While Ripley's point of view is a little more subdued than usual, he still displays a few humorous touches. In the scene where he decides that he must garrote a Mafia leader, for example, he becomes excited at the thought of "his first Mafia effort". Later when he must explain the presence of two dead Mafia hitmen to a frightened housewife, he becomes the country gentlemen informing her that these people are vermin whose death is regrettable but who deserved their fate.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read, but still thrilling
I like this book very much. It's a very good written novel by Particia Highsmith. The story is about some murder that a Jonathan Travanny, a man with a blood disease, has to do. Read more
Published on June 15 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I think that book is a great thing to spend your leisure time for. The content and the structure of the detective story is well done. Read more
Published on June 15 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars The talented Mrs. Highsmith
For some reason Tom Ripley is back. One of the most famous anti-hero in the policial literature is back to kill and play his game one more time. Read more
Published on April 2 2004 by A. T. A. Oliveira
4.0 out of 5 stars A light, satisfying read
I have to admit, I liked the original "The Talented Mr. Ripley" more, but this was still a fascinating book at what motivates people to commit murder. Read more
Published on April 8 2003 by Tanja L. Walker
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting as usual...
Patricia Highsmith's character Tom Ripley is one of the most interesting to follow. His growth from one novel to the next is fascinating and every time you think he's going one... Read more
Published on Dec 11 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars also made into a great film by Wim Wenders
I had no idea when I saw the German film "The American Friend" dir. by Wim Wenders (with Dennis Hopper), that it was based on this book by Highsmith. Read more
Published on Sept. 7 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting twist on Ripley's morality
Those who only saw the movie "The Talented Mr. Ripley" will be quite surprised by the fact that Ripley is now married, living in a very nice mansion in France, working as... Read more
Published on July 7 2001 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous
Patricia Highsmith shows very well the ability and influence of human's inner man. It is an excellent entertainment where you will find a lot of aspects of humans being and... Read more
Published on June 15 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars "A Suspenseful Page-Turner"
This third crime novel using the character of Tom Ripley has mysterious intrigue written all over it. It's got a mix of Italian Mafia blended with Alfred Hitchcock-like suspense. Read more
Published on May 19 2001 by Michael J. Armijo
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling -- not for the usual reasons
I was sent this book by a good friend for xmas; definitely an insightful choice. It is my first experience from the series, and I will definitely look forward to reading the rest... Read more
Published on Jan. 28 2001 by Alan Deikman
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