The Talented Mr. Ripley (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) (英語) ペーパーバック – 1992/9/1
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20世紀を代表する偉大な犯罪小説の1つ、パトリシア・ハイスミスの『The Talented Mr. Ripley』（邦題『リプリー』）には、ヘンリー・ジェイムズの巧緻な語り口と、ウラジーミル・ナボコフの内省的なアイロニーがうまく混じりあっている。現代小説の傑作と呼ぶにふさわしく、本書は2種類の水準を満たしている。1つは、虚無的な性癖からヨーロッパへ殺人の旅に出るトム・リプリーという青年が語る物語として。もう1つは、創作手法に富んだ、説得力のある語り口の小説として。『Lolita』（邦題『ロリータ』）のハンバート教授のように、読者はトム・リプリーに感情移入し、ひきつけられていく。たとえ彼の行動がことごとく道徳的規準を無視していても。
物語の冒頭は、ジェイムズの『The Ambassadors』を彷彿させる。トム・リプリーは、富豪のハーバート・グリーンリーフから、長らくイタリアへ行ったきりの息子ディッキーを呼び戻す使者に選ばれる。ディッキーは地中海の気候と魅力的なパートナーのとりこになっているようだった。だが、グリーンリーフは息子がニューヨークに戻って、家業を手伝うことを望んでいた。報酬と新たな目標を手にしたリプリーは、うっとうしい街のアパートをあとにし、使者としての務めを開始する。しかし、リプリー自身もイタリアに魅せられてしまう。ディッキー・グリーンリーフの生活と見てくれにも心を奪われる。リプリーはディッキーにうまく取り入るうち、ぜいたくかつ自由で洗練された暮らしに強いあこがれを抱く。そして、ディッキー・グリーンリーフになりすまそうと決意する―― あらゆる犠牲を払ってでも。
『The Talented Mr. Ripley』はおもしろさで際立っており、リプリーが自己防衛のために次々と巡らす才略を、手に汗にぎる筆致でつづっている点で、凡百の現代小説とは一線を画している。ハイスミスが本書を執筆したのは、作家としての全盛期を迎えたころである。異常者の心理をとらえ、リプリーの道徳心に欠けた穏やかならざる目を通して描いた世界は、のちにハンニバル・レクターのような連続殺人犯が生まれるモデルとなった。
In a chilling literary hall of mirrors, Patricia Highsmith introduces Tom Ripley. Like a hero in a latter-day Henry James novel, is sent to Italy with a commission to coax a prodigal young American back to his wealthy father. But Ripley finds himself very fond of Dickie Greenleaf. He wants to be like him--exactly like him. Suave, agreeable, and utterly amoral, Ripley stops at nothing--certainly not only one murder--to accomplish his goal. Turning the mystery form inside out, Highsmith shows the terrifying abilities afforded to a man unhindered by the concept of evil.商品の説明をすべて表示する
Patricia･Highsmith=The Talented Mr．Ripley 本当に見事な、素晴らしい作品であり、自分の今の状況を深く考えさせられる作品でした。
He met Dickie. At first, they had good relationships, but Tom envied Dickie’s life, and also he liked Dickie secretly. Tom killed Dickie on a boat. He pretended to be Dickie for a while, but he had to change himself to Tom compulsively. The police and a private detective questioned him. He managed to deal with their investigations. He went to Greece and finally obtained freedom and money.
Tom Ripley is sent to Europe by Mr. Greenleaf to bring his son, "Dickie", back to the United States. Tom is a nobody who is bedazzled by Dickie's rich and bohemian lifestyle once he meets him in Southern Italy. Tom becomes Dickie's friend, and everything seems fine until Tom decides he wants to be more than his friend.
As in the "Picture of Dorian Gray", you will not learn life lessons or come out as a better person from reading "The Talented Mr. Ripley", and that is why I like him: he is a real character, like there are so many among us, who also deserves to be the star of books. Why is he one of my favorite characters in literature?
“I can’t make up my mind whether I like men or women,” he jokes, “so I’m thinking of giving them both up.”
“They were not friends. They didn't know each other. It struck Tom like a horrible truth, true for all time, true for the people he had known in the past and for those he would know in the future: each had stood and would stand before him, and he would know time and time again that he would never know them, and the worst was that there would always be the illusion, for a time, that he did know them, and that he and they were completely in harmony and alike. For an instant the wordless shock of his realization seemed more than he could bear.”
"He loved possessions, not masses of them, but a select few that he did not part with. They gave a man self-respect. Not ostentation but quality, and the love that cherished the quality. Possessions reminded him that he existed, and made him enjoy his existence. It was as simple as that. And wasn't that worth something? He existed. Not many people in the world knew how to, even if they had the money. It really didn't take money, masses of money, it took a certain security."
“He remembered that right after that, he had stolen a loaf of bread from a delicatessen counter and had taken it home and devoured it, feeling that the world owed a loaf of bread to him, and more.”
“If you wanted to be cheerful, or melancholic, or wistful , or thoughtful, or courteous, you simply had to act those things with every gesture.”
In addition to this wonderful character, Patricia Highsmith's skills as a writer are to be highlighted. Tom's joy about the anticipation of having his dreams come true and his apprehension about the possibility of such dreams being shattered are a delight to read. I could not help siding with him the entire time, despite the fact that he is anything but a role model.
I do have an issue with the credibility of the plot at times. Perhaps, the guilibility of the characters in this novel reflects that of people's at a certain place and time - rich Americans and the Italian police of 1955 Italy - but sometimes the plot surpasses the line of reality and reason. In addition, I wish that Dickie and Marge had been developed a bit more in depth, considering the important role they play in justifying some of Tom's actions, because Tom's attitude towards them can seem gratuitous.
Despite these minor flaws, this is one of my favorite novels by the talented Ms. Highsmith, who is also one of my favorite writers.
Even though I already saw the film The Talented Mr. Ripley, I couldn't put the book down. From the first page and introduction to the main character, Tom Ripley, Highsmith hooks the reader describing Ripley as he runs from someone following him. You wonder why is he running and what is he hiding? Why is he so paranoid? What has he done? And this is just the first page before anything criminal has happened.
If you haven't seen the film or know anything about the book, THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY is about a young man who ends up killing and assuming the identity of another young man, he was sent to bring home. That's in a nutshell. But the book and movie are so much more than just that. Is Tom Ripley a psychopath/sociopath? Is he a cold-blooded killer? Is he gay/bi and just hiding and therefore driven to kill? Or does he stop at nothing to get what he wants? Could it all be just the character being at the wrong place, at the wrong time?
All these questions are not easy to answer and that's the beauty that lies in the story and characterization of Tom Ripley. Patricia Highsmith created a multi-faceted character that's not only a killer and swindler, but also one that readers sympathize with and relate to. You almost feel sorry for Ripley and see why he is driven to commit these crimes. The tension is exquisite as he plays a cat-and-mouse game with police and you are constantly holding your breath wondering if he'll get away. The exotic locales like Rome and Paris are a nice get away for readers and even though the story takes place in the 50s, it doesn't feel dated at all.
Even if you've seen the various movies based on THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY, I'd still recommend reading the book. It's a fun read that will keep you at the edge of your seat!