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Ripleys Game Paperback – May 27 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: WW Norton; Reprint edition (May 27 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780393332124
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393332124
  • ASIN: 0393332128
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #192,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


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

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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.

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4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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