Tom Ripley by Highsmith, Patricia

Tom Ripley

Highsmith, Patricia

Tom Ripley – a likeable sociopath, heroic and demonic, energetic and amoral, overcivilised and undersensitised, – was a not untypical protagonist for the second half of the twentieth century and a likely candidate for elected office two generations into the twenty-first. Patricia Highsmith constructed him so exactly that “Reading the book[s] becomes exquisitely uncomfortable. [They are] perfectly engineered to make us give our sympathies to the wrong man. To rejoice, even, when luck is on his side ... we get so deep inside his head”. Tom Ripley is a kindred spirit to Rick Pym, Magnus' father, in John Le Carre's A Perfect Spy, albeit without that character’s reluctance to kill. Twenty-seven years after the last Ripley and twenty-three years after his creator’s death, his appeal shows no signs of fading. He has been played in movies, television and radio, to date, by Alain Delon, Jonathan Kent, Matt Damon, Dennis Hopper, John Malkovich, Barry Pepper, Ian Hart and, I suspect, more to follow. Ripley’s Game is inscribed by the author in 1976; laid in are three aerogrammes from Patricia Highsmith to the same recipient, all typed, letters signed, 1976-1977, literary news, her work, plans to meet, “Yes, I no sooner struck ------ with a little buckshot, than I was whammed in the Observer 20 Nov. With an awful photo and a not very sympathetic article. So much for 8 hours of my time.”

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Publisher: Coward McCann, Alfred A. Knopf, Doubleday, Lippincott and Crowell. All first American editions 1955-1992
The Talented Mr. Ripley has some edgewear, label of the Jaffe Literary Agency, otherwise fine in first issue dustwrapper evenly faded on the spine. The Boy Who Followed Ripley is a review copy with promotional material, including a photograph of the author, laid in. Ripley's Game is near fine in a fine dustwrapper. Ripley Under Water is fine in dustwrapper. The five vols. and three aerogrammes

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