Monday, August 25, 2008

Ripley's game. Are you?

Thomas Phelps Ripley's amoral life began in 1955 when Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley first hit bookselves. Orphaned and raised by an abusive aunt, Tom developed a set of skills -- forgery, lying, impersonation -- that would set him off onto a successful life of crime, including identity theft, art forgery and murder. Such a sweet boy.

Highsmith followed her bad boy for 36 years, chronicling his dastardly doings and double dealings through a series of four additional books: Ripley Underground, Ripley's Game, The Boy Who Followed Ripley and Ripley Under Water.

In October, W.W. Norton will reissue the quintet in a hardcover boxed set selling for $100. With the paperbacks selling at $13.95 (and just try finding a copy of The Boy Who Followed Ripley at your local big box bookstore), this set will be a welcome additon to lovers of Highsmith's little monster.

No comments: