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Ripley Books In Order

Publication Order of Ripley Books

The Talented Mr. Ripley (1955) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ripley Under Ground (1970) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ripley's Game (1974) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Boy Who Followed Ripley (1980) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ripley Under Water (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


The Ripley series is a series of crime novels written by the famous American novelist Patricia Highsmith, who is a well known author for writing down many psychological thrillers. The series consists of a total of 5 novels published between the years 1955 and 1991, most of which were adapted into a number of films and television shows. The style of author Patricia for writing crime thrillers is so unique and popular that most of her short stories and novels have been adapted into stage shows and movies. The Ripley series features a famous fictional character named ‘Tom Ripley’, who is a con artist. He earns his living by carrying out several cons and loves to exploit his nature. He is introduced in the first novel of the series as a young man, who was orphaned at the age of 5 and has since then been raised by his aunt Dottie in Boston. Tom describes his aunt as a stingy and cold woman. He need not like to stay with his aunt and had attempted to run away from several times but was unsuccessful. It was at the age of 20 that he was finally able to move to New York City away from her aunt.

Throughout the novels of the series, Tom takes up jobs to carry out several tasks for which he charges money. In the first novel of the series, he is asked to go to Italy to bring a rich man back to his father. However, he feels obsessed after the seeing the rich lifestyle of his target. He eventually murders him and begins to live a carefree life on the fortune of his target. But, he finds himself in trouble when his act of crime comes out. In order to save himself from the clutches of the police, he moves to Greece. Tom Ripley continues to do such cons and keeps changing cities in order to prevent himself from getting caught. The author Patricia Highsmith has described Tom Ripley as an utterly amoral, agreeable and suave con artist and a serial killer, who always manages to run away before getting caught and tried for his crimes. The character of Tom Ripley has been described as a literate and charming monster in the film adaptation of the first novels of the series. The character has become so popular that it has been ranked 60 in the list of top 100 best fictional characters of the 20th century. He is very sophisticated and epicurean and lives a luxurious life in France, where he loves to do painting, gardening and studying different languages. All the leisures of his life are financed by his con activities and stolen inheritances. He even enjoys the allowance of his wife, who is the daughter of a wealthy businessman.

Despite being a con, Tom Ripley is well cultured, polite and friendly. He does not like people who do not appear to have characteristics like him. Several plot descriptions in the novels of the series give a hint that Ripley is attracted towards men unknowingly. However, the author Patricia Highsmith has never described him as gay or bisexual. Tom does not want others to see him as a gay and hence he often jokes about giving up both men and women as he is unable to decide whom he likes more. On the occasion of his honeymoon with his wife Heloise, he begins to laugh while having sex without any specific reason. The laughter becomes unstoppable and he goes impotent because of it. He rarely indulges in sex with his wife and her frequent demands for sex have turned him off. Tom Ripley never shows any guilt for his crimes, but sometimes regrets having committed murders in his initial days. People have labelled him as an urbane psychopath and a dapper sociopath for committing homicides, for a total of 9 times throughout the novels of the series. The first novel of the series ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ was adapted into a film in the year 1960 starring Alain Delon and then again in the year 1999 starring Matt Damon under the same title. The next couple of novels of the series has also been adapted into films in the years 2002 and 2005 respectively. The first novel was also made into television and radio shows from 1956 onwards.

The first novel of the Ripley series was published in the year 1955 under the title ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’. The novel was published by the W. W. Norton & Company publishing house. The plot of the novel is set in Mongibello in Italy and introduces the main character Tom Ripley. He in described as a young striver who eventually goes on to become a bad boy and a sociopath. The author has described him as a handsome and suave boy who arrives in Manhattan in the early 1950s. He does not have a pleasant past and is labelled as a sissy by his aunt Dottie. This has made him become envious against the wealthy men around him. Tom develops friendship with Dickie Greenleaf as he is the son of a wealthy business. He is sent to Italy by Dickie’s father in order to bring him back. However, Tom gets enraged by learning about the fact that Dickie has an American girlfriend named Marge Sherwood. He always wishes that Dickie removes her from his life. This envious feeling leads him to murder Dickie, when he fails to remove Marge from his life. After the death of Dickie, Tom begins to live a luxurious life on the wealth of his friend. The success of the novel allowed it to be nominated for the prestigious Edgar Award in the Best Novel category in the year 1956.

The second novel of the series was published by the W. W. Norton & Company publishing house under the title ‘Ripley Under Ground’. The author Patricia Highsmith completed the novel in the year 1970 based on the psychopath characterization of the main character Tom Ripley. The plot of the second novel opens up in Italy, where Ripley continues to live after murdering his friend Dickie Greenleaf and inheriting his wealth. Six years have passed and Ripley has changed his lifestyle for the better. He now owns a French Villa in the middle of a world-class and beautiful art collection and has married the daughter of a wealthy man. He seems to be spending his life peacefully before he gets a threatening phone call from London. He learns that someone knows about his art forgery scheme that he set up previously and becomes restless. Ripley decides to go to London and stop the truth of his crimes from becoming public. Ripley becomes determined to stop at nothing in order to preserve the tangle of his lies.

Book Series In Order ┬╗ Characters ┬╗ Ripley