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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.
I hated Jude Law as Mr Ripley, not how I saw this wonderfully manipulative character at all, and not a good portrayal of one of the greatest crime novels of the 20th century. There is far more depth and complexity here than the film could ever give you.
Contemporary / American English (Available June 2008) Tom Ripley goes to Italy. He needs to find Dickie Greenleaf. Dickie's father wants him to go back to America. But Tom wants to stay in Italy, and he will do anything to get what he wants. The Talented Mr Ripley is now an exciting movie with Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law.
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In unmistakable Highsmithian fashion, Small g, Patricia Highsmith's final novel, opens near a seedy Zurich bar with the brutal murder of Petey Ritter. Unraveling the vagaries of love, sexuality, jealousy, and death, Highsmith weaves a mystery both hilarious and astonishing, a classic fairy tale executed with a characteristic penchant for darkness. Published in paperback for the first time in America, Small g is at once an exorcism of Highsmith's literary demons and a revelatory capstone to a wholly remarkable career. It is a delightfully incantatory work that, in the tradition of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, shows us how bizarre and unpredictable love can be.
Horrific tragedy becomes disturbingly ordinary in The Black House, a masterful collection of short stories, written during a particularly dark time in Patricia Highsmith's life. As readers will discover, the work eerily evokes the warm familiarities of suburban life: the manicured lawns, the white picket fences, and the local pubs, each providing the backbone for her chilling portraits. Seemingly small indiscretions and infidelities-along with love affairs and murder-consume the characters that commit them. Cycles of destructive jealousy overwhelm the cheating protagonists of Blow It and When in Rome, and the title story explores small-town male camaraderie and the destructive secret it masks. This enthralling collection of eleven stories presents Highsmith at her finest: melancholy, suspenseful, and sizzling with a powerful awareness of human emotion.
Patricia Highsmith's story of romantic obsession may be one of the most important, but still largely unrecognized, novels of the twentieth century. First published in 1952 and touted as the novel of a love that society forbids, the book soon became a cult classic. Based on a true story plucked from Highsmith's own life, The Price of Salt (or Carol) tells the riveting drama of Therese Belivet, a stage designer trapped in a department-store day job, whose routine is forever shattered by a gorgeous epiphany-the appearance of Carol Aird, a customer who comes in to buy her daughter a Christmas toy. Therese begins to gravitate toward the alluring suburban housewife, who is trapped in a marriage as stultifying as Therese's job. They fall in love and set out across the United States, ensnared by society's confines and the imminent disapproval of others, yet propelled by their infatuation. The Price of Salt is a brilliantly written story that may surprise Highsmith fans and will delight those discovering her work.
Vic and Melinda Van Allen's loveless marriage is held together only by a precarious arrangement whereby, in order to avoid the messiness of divorce, Melinda is allowed to take any number of lovers as long as she does not desert her family. Eventually, Vic can no longer suppress his jealousy and tries to win back his wife by asserting himself through a tall tale of murder-one that soon comes true. In this complex portrayal of a dangerous psychosis emerging in the most unlikely of places, Highsmith examines the chilling reality behind the idyllic facade of American suburban life.
David Kelsey, a young scientist, has an unyielding conviction that life will turn out all right for him; he just has to fix the Situation: he is in love with a married woman. Obsessed with Annabelle and the life he has imagined for them-including the fully furnished cabin he maintains for her-David prepares to win her over, whatever it takes. In this riveting tale of a deluded loner, Highsmith reveals her uncanny ability to draw out the secret obsessions that overwhelm the human heart.
The Patricia Highsmith renaissance continues with Nothing That Meets the Eye, a brilliant collection of twenty-eight psychologically penetrating stories, a great majority of which are published for the first time in this collection. This volume spans almost fifty years of Highsmith's career and establishes her as a permanent member of our American literary canon, as attested by recent publication of two of these stories in The New Yorker and Harper's. The stories assembled in Nothing That Meets the Eye, written between 1938 and 1982, are vintage Highsmith: a gigolo-like psychopath preys on unfulfilled career women; a lonely spinster's fragile hold on reality is tethered to the bottle; an estranged postal worker invents homicidal fantasies about his coworkers. While some stories anticipate the diabolical narratives of the Ripley novels, others possess a Capra-like sweetness that forces us to see the author in a new light. From this new collection, a remarkable portrait of the American psyche at mid-century emerges, unforgettably distilled by the inimitable eye of Patricia Highsmith. A New York Times Notable Book and a Washington Post Rave of 2002. Almost every piece...contains touches that reveal what a subtle writer Highsmith was. -James Campbell, New York Times A thrilling compendium of work full of surprises. -Ed Siegel, Boston Globe One of the exhilarating effects of reading Highsmith's stories...is the greatly enlarged sense of her range and energy...in their surehandedness, their amazing breadth and abundance...[these stories] compel attention and they add significantly to her already formidable presence. -James Lasdun, Washington Post
Tom Ripley is struggling to stay one step ahead of his creditors, and the law, when an unexpected acquaintance offers him a free trip to Europe and a chance to start again. But how does Ripley act when his new happiness is threatened? A gripping tale of murderous ambition, recently filmed starring Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law and Cate Blanchett.
Three classic crime novels by a master of the macabre - The Talented Mr. Ripley, Ripley Under Ground, and Ripley's Game - appear here together in hardcover for the first time. Suave, agreeable, and completely amoral, Patricia Highsmith's hero, the inimitable Tom Ripley, stops at nothing - not even murder - to accomplish his goals. In achieving the opulent life that he was denied as a child, Ripley shows himself to be a master of illusion and manipulation and a disturbingly sympathetic combination of genius and psychopath. Sent on a mission to Italy to coax an irresponsible young playboy back to his wealthy father in America, Ripley finds himself so fond of the young man that he sets out to be like him - exactly like him. The precarious charade that ensues is the first step to a life of elegance and ease - and perpetual danger. As she leads us through the mesmerizing tangle of Ripley's deadly and sinister games, Highsmith turns the mystery genre inside out and takes us into the mind of a man utterly indifferent to evil.
Robert Forester didn't look like the kind of man to be a prowler. His ex-wife had told the police he was erratic, liable to violence, had evenfired a gun at her. Maybe he was psychopathic murderer...
The psychologists would call it folie a deux... 'Bruno slammed his palms together. 'Hey! Cheeses, what an idea! I kill your wife and you kill my father! We meet on a train, see, and nobody knows we know each other! Perfect alibis! Catch?'' From this moment, almost against his conscious will, Guy Haines is trapped in a nightmare of shared guilt and an insidious merging of personalities.
The Buckmaster Gallery is staging another Derwatt exhibition, but now an American collector claims that the expensive masterpiece he bought three years ago is a fake. It is, of course, and he wants to talk to Derwatt, but Derwatt, inconveniently, is dead. Ripley needs the perfect solution to keep his role in the fraud a secret and his reputation clean but not everyone's nerves are as steady as his. Especially when it comes to murder...
Tom Ripley detested murder. Unless it was absolutely necessary. Wherever possible, he preferred someone else to do the dirty work. In this case someone with no criminal record, who would commit 'two simple murders' for a very generous fee.
'The No.1 Greatest Crime Writer' The Times 'Ripley, amoral, hedonistic and charming, is a genuinely original creation' Daily Telegraph Tom Ripley is struggling to stay one step ahead of his creditors and the law, when an unexpected acquaintance offers him a free trip to Europe and a chance to start over. Ripley wants money, success and the good life and he's willing to kill for it. When his new-found happiness is threatened, his response is as swift as it is shocking. **One of the BBC's 100 Novels That Shaped Our World**
Ian Hart stars in these BBC Radio 4 dramatisations of Patricia Highsmith's five Ripley novels. Tom Ripley detests murder unless it is absolutely necessary. He prefers someone else to do the dirty work. But if he's called on to act there is no one more cool, calculating and clever. In these dramatisations, BBC Radio 4 brings all Patricia Highsmith's Ripley novels together in one thrilling series. In 'The Talented Mr Ripley', Tom makes a bid for another man's inheritance and succeeds, but has he really got away with it? 'Ripley Under Ground' is set a few years later, when Tom is living in luxury in a French chateau with his beautiful wife Heloise - but the clever art forgery which funds Tom's expensive tastes is about to be uncovered. In 'Ripley's Game', Tom sets up a man he dislikes to carry out two perfect murders, while in 'The Boy Who Followed Ripley', a rich young stalker arrives at Belle Ombre and he and Tom end up fighting for their lives. Finally, in 'Ripley Under Water', strange new neighbours show an overdeveloped interest in Ripley's past. Will Tom's shady dealings be exposed? Tense, thrilling and atmospheric, these dramatisations are perfect evocations of Highsmith's unique, complex and brilliantly twisted crime novels.