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Ripley Underground  By  cover art

Ripley Underground

By: Patricia Highsmith
Narrated by: Kevin Kenerly
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©1970 Patricia Highsmith. 1993 by Diogenes Verlag AG, Zurich (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Ripley Underground

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

When gods made Highsmith, they broke the plates.

While I don't believe 'Ripley Under Ground' is quite on the same level as 'The Talented Mr Ripley' it is still amazing to think about on how many levels Highsmith is writing. This novel reminds me a lot of Peter Carey's novel 'My Life as a Fake'.

Both novels explore ideas of art, authenticity, fakery, artistic isolation and basic counterfeits of all forms. What happens when the poseur becomes a greater poet/painter than the original? How do we measure art? How thin is the line between truth and fiction?

Anyway, Highsmith deserves to be recognized not just as a hard-boiled crime writer, but as a literary/genre example of Gresham's law. When the gods of fiction made Highsmith, they broke and buried the plates.

18 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

am I crazy?

Why do I like Tom Ripley? I find myself rooting for this strange murderer. I think the gift of this series is it gives us a chance to look at our own morals and belief systems. And it's so intriguing to try to figure out his. Great reader. I am all for not having endings wrapped up neatly but this ending still, this book feels like it stopped in the middle of a sentance. So much fun though - I look forward to the next one

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Dichotomous

I had opposing thoughts about almost all of the elements of this book.

Story line: I thought it dragged; yet, it had a mesmerizing pace that I wouldn't have wanted changed.

Characters: They were all in the range from full-on sociopath (only the lead character) to amoral to just completely uncaring about anyone but themselves; yet, I wanted to know what happened to them ... in someway I can't explain, I actually cared about how they fared.

Plot premise: It was about the forging of some only slightly noteworthy paintings, as in "why do I care about this?"; yet, I became interested in the nuances of forgery detection and actually was hoping the forger would get away with it.

The ending: In no sense of the word was there an ending, or any sense of closure on the story line; yet, it somehow poetically worked with all the rest of the book.

I kept wondering why I was continuing to listen to this book; yet, I did all the way to the end. And I'm glad I did.

My only non-dichotomous opinion was about Kevin Kenerly's narration: it was superb!

Strangely enough: I recommend this book ... but only if you are committed to this series. As a standalone book I'm pretty sure you would find your credit wasted.

6 people found this helpful

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Loving the Ripley series

Any additional comments?

I'd read that some didn't care for the second book in the Ripley series as much, but I completely enjoyed it. I'd been introduced to Ripley from the Talented Mr. Ripley movie, and enjoyed the book almost as much (yes, I actually liked the movie more than the book); but enjoyed it enough to move on to book two. And I liked it more I think because there was nothing I was comparing it to. Seeing how Ripley is evolving was interesting and the story itself kept me engaged. I'm definitely looking forward to Highsmith's next books in the Ripley series - he's a great character, and these stores make for great audible listens.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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not quite as satisfying as original

Overall a good listen. I found the story less plausible than the original, but still believable enough to be enjoyed. Only problem I have with this story is the degree to which Ripley relies on the witlessness of others...

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not as good as the first one

For a sequel this is a pretty good book. Rarely do I ever rate a performance higher then a book but there is something I enjoyed about Kenerlys reading. It fits well with Ripleys cocky voice. I look forward to book three.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not my favorite Ripley

The story dragged at times, and the ending was completely unsatisfying. However Kevin Kennedy does such a great job as the slippery sociopathic narcissistic Tom Ripley I was able to stick with it. A better bargain on sale than as a credit

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • jd
  • 01-18-21

I would give it 2.5 if I could

There are things I really enjoy about the story, Ripley and his machinations. Others not so much, such as the very dull interludes where Ripley engages in nonsensical behaviour (like running after Bernard after being almost killed) or has extended internal discussions. Needs more of a story arc, cut some fluff out and the then really bring Ripley into focus with some very odd plans!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Grown Up Ripley as Chilling and Likeable as eve

Would you listen to Ripley Underground again? Why?

Yes. Because the complexity of the characterization with its layers upon layers could bring more tidbits to the surface with each reading/listen.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

The plot is compelling in a strange slow-moving way. it is the horror and mystery of the mundane. How is it done? Patricia Highsmith was a genius.

Which scene was your favorite?

The scenes in which Tom was impersonating Derwatt. He had such fun with it, I was reminded how he once wanted to be an actor. He is a great actor in the fiction of his life. How many lives would have been saved if he had been successful on the stage? (of course that would have been too much work for Tom Ripley who wants everything to come easily and is essentially lazy.) Why do I like this character? Patricia Highsmith was a genius.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. So I did. Ripley is addictive.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Tom Ripley is Addictive

I enjoyed The Talented Mr. Ripley so much that I decided to try Ripley Underground. I can see where the series might become more and more formula but there is something mesmerizing about Tom Ripley. I will probably purchase the next book eventually for another Ripley fix.
Love the narrator, Kevin Kenerly, he is definitely part of my fascination with listening to this series.

1 person found this helpful