The Talented Mr. Ripley Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Talented Mr. Ripley

Tom Ripley is a small-time American conman and stone-cold sociopath. As the book opens, Ripley, mistaken for an old friend of erstwhile shipping heir Dickie Greenleaf, is given an offer by Dickie's wealthy parents: go to the Italian village where Dickie is staying with his fiancee and convince him to return. Ripley, who is, in fact, wanted by the law, accepts.
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Traveling to Italy, Ripley befriends both Dickie and his novel-writing fiancee, Marge. Although the Italian village and his newfound friends make Ripley feel as though he is in paradise, things quickly begin to deteriorate.

Understanding that he is never going to return with Dickie, the Greenleafs cut Ripley off from his monthly paycheck, while, simultaneously, he is informed that Dickie and Marge will be vacationing elsewhere without him, and they wish him to be gone when they return.

Realizing that his wonderful new life is ending before it even begins, Ripley reacts quickly, with sociopathic skill. Inviting Dickie out for a boat ride, Tom clubs him to death with an oar and sinks his body.

Upon his return to land, the newly rechristened "Dickie Greenleaf" heads for Rome, where he continues to cash Dickie's stipend checks and live the good life.

But, all is not well for "Dickie," for the real Dickie's friends have noticed his disappearance and the banks have grown suspicious of "his" recent signatures.

The review of this Book prepared by James Craver

Tom Ripley, a small-time American con artist, is asked by a wealthy man to go to Europe and try to convince his wayward son to come home.

When Ripley befriends the young man, Ripley realizes that the people in this world live exactly the way he would like to live. He begins to plot his way into their inner circle.

This book twists and turns and keeps you guesing until the very end!
The review of this Book prepared by Lisa West

Tom Ripley, a young man of no means living in New York, gets caught up in the lives of rich playboy Dickie Greenleaf and his friends due to a case of mistaken identity. Soon, Tom discovers that he loves Dickie's life so much, he decides to become Dickie.
The review of this Book prepared by Amanda Goodwin

Chapter Analysis of The Talented Mr. Ripley

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   Dry-cynical Time/era of story:    -   1930's-1950's Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book The crook is....    -   commit white collar fraud or con Crime Thriller    -   Yes Is MAIN CHARACTER an EVIL criminal?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   thief/con artist Age:    -   20's-30's


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Italy Ice Caps/Sea?    -   Yes Water?    -   Yes Water:    -   sail boat City?    -   Yes City:    -   New York Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee Misc setting    -   resort/hotel

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Unusual forms of death    -   blunt clubbing (like seals) Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Patricia Highsmith Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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