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Tom Ripley is anti hero of Patricia Highsmith's crime novel series as known as the "Ripliad" series.
Thomas "Tom" Ripley had a happy childhood with his parents until they passed away leaving Tom growing up with his cold-hearted aunt who nicknamed him "sissy". He tried to run away many times until he was 23. Tom finally left his aunt for good, yet Tom struggled living in New York with no support from his aunt. He also had no friends. So Tom began his criminal career as a conartist who tricked rich people including his aunt by forging their signature and impersonating them. one of his victims was a Princeton graduate who bribed him to play piano because of his debt. Tom agreed. While playing piano at a cocktail party, Ripley is approached by wealthy shipbuilder Herbert Greenleaf who thought that Ripley was a classmate of his son. He offered him $1,000 to bring his son back to the USA and Tom accepted, which earned Greenleaf's trust.
Tom arrived in Italy and met Dicke Greenleaf and his friend Marge Sherwood (fiancee in the 1999 version and 1960 film) and convinced them he was Dickie's friend but Dicke knew that Tom was not his classmate.
In the novel Ripley Underground, it revealed he was bisexual when he married Helene.