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The Boy Who Followed Ripley Hardcover – Import, May 1, 2006

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 440 pages
  • Publisher: ISIS Publishing (May 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753175231
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753175231
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,460,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Patricia Highsmith (1921-1995) was the author of more than twenty novels, including Strangers on a Train, The Price of Salt and The Talented Mr. Ripley, as well as numerous short stories.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Maginot on February 8, 2000
"The Boy who Followed Ripley" is a bit of a mixed bag. The premise of a compassionate, protective Ripley is certainly fascinating. Ripley attempts to protect an affluent young murderer by sheltering him from kidnappers, his family , but most importantly of all from his impulsive guilty conscience. True to her subtlety and skill, Highsmith does not portray Ripley in a sentimental or redemptive fashion. His motives, however benign, are still essentially self-centered and murky. The beauty of Patricia Highsmith's characterization, particularly in the Ripley series, is more the result of what she doesn't assume and what she doesn't tell you than what she does.
Anyone taken by the action and the tension in "The Talented Mr. Ripley" may find this book a little maddening. There is very little action in this novel, and when it occurs it somehow seems less relevant than the remainder of the story. "The Boy Who Followed Ripley" more of a psychological exploration than a thriller. The interesting factor here is the contrast between the machinery of Ripley's untroubled soul and the agony of the boy's tormented one. As Ripley shields the boy from the police, kidnappers, and his family he also attempts to teach him how to cope with the weight of his crime. The tension in this novel doesn't come from wondering whether Ripley will get away with murder so much as wondering whether or not he can successfully impart his amoral aplomb to his young charge. It is a very subtle kind of tension which frankly won't appeal to everyone.
While I enjoyed the premise and the slow pace of this book I did feel that Highsmith was a bit more careless than in her other ones.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Debra Hamel VINE VOICE on March 26, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm working my way through the Ripley series (am currently into number five), and I think that *The Boy who Followed Ripley* is the best since *The Talented Mr. Ripley.* (Though the second and third in the series are well worth the read, and besides, I wouldn't recommend skipping them, since they provide background essential for fully appreciating the later novels.) What a great character Tom Ripley is! We've seen it in previous books, but here we see a lot of the tender side of Tom, who is really affected by his relationship with the boy Frank. I also find his relationships with his shady cronies interesting--they'll break the law regularly, but there is indeed some honor in their relations with one another.

The action of the book is indeed slow, as another reviewer mentioned, but I was struck while reading it by how tense an atmosphere the author managed to create without so much action. Always a sense of foreboding.

Again, as another reviewer mentioned, the action that does occur is perhaps not as well described as it might be. I at least was confused about precisely what went on in the apartment, the big action scene: the bad guys were going this way and that, and seemed to give up without a fight, but I didn't quite understand everything. Didn't detract from my enjoyment of the novel, however. And before I log off I'll be ordering some non-Ripley Highsmith novels.

Reviewed by Debra Hamel, author of Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Diana Faillace Von Behren TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 4, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Patricia Highsmith continues her analysis of highly amoral and asexual Tom Ripley with her indescribably yet highly seductive and underhanded manner of storytelling which compels the reader to read on and subconsciously affirm each and every one of Ripley's actions. In this, the fourth Ripley tale, Ripley, squiring about in his French country manor, still dabbling in art forgery and living off his father-in-law's largesse, comes across a sixteen year old male American runaway from a prestigious family, working as a gardener. Taking the boy under his wing, he finds he is mysteriously drawn to him and with good cause: the boy, Frank, like Tom, himself, has committed murder. Knowing something of Tom's history, the boy seeks him out for tutelage, sympathy and God knows what else. The relationship develops as the whirlwind plot detours the reader from the French countryside, to Paris, to Berlin (for a 70s glimpse at the famous Wall), Hamburg, New York and Maine, all in that innocent yet insinuating Highsmith style that immerses one so totaly in Ripley's world. Even the most skeptical reader is convinced that whatever 'snafus' encountered along the way are par for the course, must be dealt with in typical Ripley fashion and are not worth a sleepless night or a second thought. However, while thoroughly enjoying the reading of this, I found that amidst all the touring, side adventures and insights into Tom's personality, something else was going on beneath the surface, something that I didn't quite catch. Tom's attachment to the boy is almost sentimental, yet with his particular practicality he is able to tuck such feelings aside when they are no longer necessary with a coldness that is reminiscient of the Mongibello Ripley. The reader is coerced into believing in Ripley's brighter humanity then ripped away and plunged back into the darkness of his soulessness. By the end of the story, we are again inducted into the cult of Ripley's brand of maleficence.
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