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The Boy Who Followed Ripley [Paperback]

Patricia Highsmith
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
RRP: £8.99
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Book Description

1 Feb 2001

When a troubled young runaway arrives on Tom Ripley's French estate, he is drawn into a world he thought he'd left behind, the seedy underworld of Berlin and kidnapping plots, lies and deception.

Ripley becomes the boy's protector as a friendship develops between the young man with a guilty conscience and the older one with no conscience at all.

Frequently Bought Together

The Boy Who Followed Ripley + Ripley Under Water + Ripley's Game
Price For All Three: £22.64

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  • Ripley Under Water £9.16
  • Ripley's Game £6.29

Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (1 Feb 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099286599
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099286592
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"The Ripley books are marvellously, insanely readable" (The Times)

"For eliciting the menance that lurks in familiar surroundings, there is no-one like Patricia Highsmith" (Time magazine)

"Peerlessly disturbing...bad dreams that keep us thrashing for the rest of the night with the sense that an awful possibility has been articulated only to be left unresolved" (New Yorker)

Book Description

'It's hard to imagine anyone interested in modern fiction who has not read the Ripley novels' - Daily Telegraph

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can Ripley Be Successfully Emulated by Others? 13 Nov 2004
The Boy Who Followed Ripley will either be your favorite Ripley book or it will be a large disappointment.
If you have not read any Ripley books, I suggest that you start with The Talented Mr. Ripley instead.
Those who will be disappointed by this book will be people who wanted a book just like one of the first three in the series. Those who will be very pleased are those who want to think through the implications of Ripley's character and who he is becoming. I have graded the book as an average of the two likely reactions.
We see a new side of Ripley in this book. He takes a troubled American teen under his wing and mentors him in the way that a friendly uncle or much older brother might. In the process, Ripley reveals more of himself to the boy than to anyone else. Ripley also ends up musing and seeing his own marriage and history in a new light as he understands the boy's problems.
I'm sorry that I cannot go into the story in more detail. To do so would simply spoil the plot development for you.
If you like character development with long stretches of little plot development, this book will be a lot of fun. If you crave the constant action of The Talented Mr. Ripley, this book will drag slowly in long sections for you.
Unless you are ambivalent about the Tom Ripley character, I do suggest that you read the book . . . even if it won't be your favorite.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very dark, very subtle 8 Feb 2002
The Ripley books have become a minor compulsion for me (WHEN will they re-print Ripley Under Water?). Highsmith's prose is clipped neatly as ever and although there is less physical action in this book, there is a lot more going on psychologically. This is not to the work's detriment - Highsmith's style is better suited to subtle proddings of psyches than it is to 'crash!kerpow!' comic book storylines.
I think that the darker undertones of the boy's relationship with Tom are set off starkly agaisnt the ordinariness of every day life that goes on around them. The precise nature of their mutual attraction is simply never set out starkly ...
I think that Highsmith may have used this book to add yet more depth and character to her anti-hero - strangely though the more she tells us about him, the more enigmatic he becomes.
A very subtle, excellent work.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars the man without conscience 17 April 2001
By A Customer
As good as 'Ripley Under Ground', and better than 'Ripley's Game'. Nowhere near as good as Highsmith's real classics - 'Strangers on a Train', 'Carol', or 'The Cry of the Owl', all of which are required reading. However, this is still an interesting read for fans of Thomas Ripley, and reawakens some themes from the original 'Talented Mr . . .' It's the icy coldness of Highsmith's 1950s prose that intrigues me, but this novel appeals in a different way, as we see Ripley thaw and unfreeze as 'the boy's' hero-worship of him hits home. Tom begins to relive his attraction to and his own obsessive response to the murder of Dickie Greenleaf. . . Hooray to Vintage for reprinting Highsmith's back catalogue - and hopefully we won't have to wait too long for 'Ripley Under Water'.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A surprising and haunting book 30 Aug 2006
By Pirlo
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The five Ripley books are comparable to Updike's "Rabbit" novels: whilst Updike charted the life of an American everyman, Highsmith showed the development of an entirely amoral character who enjoys the fruits of his crimes. This book, the fourth, is written in the early 1980s and incorporates contemporary events (much as Updike did) in this strange account of a young American who seeks out Ripley.

Whilst many of the characters and episodes will be familiar to readers of the earlier books, this is a book written in an entirely different key to the others: it is a strange and surprising tale, presenting a mature Ripley and the book concentrating on his relationship with the boy. Recommended, as indeed are all of the 'Ripliad'
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a shame that there are only 5 Ripley novels 10 Aug 2004
By A Customer
Ripley is a highly compelling character, he is like Hannibal Lectar minus the eating people and glib look at me I'm so super intelligent pretentious comments...
If anything Ripley is more intelligent...not matter how close he comes he never gets caught.
Of the Ripliad 5 this novel offers the most interesting insight into the character. It's not always about the plot; one would hope that Highsmith and her readers are not so one dimensional as to expect it to be so.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Last in the series 28 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This my least favourite of the Ripley books. As ever it is written with style and conviction but I disliked the ending and I am not sure what it was meant to say about Ripley who is the fascinating protagonist in all the books. In the other books his lack of morality, his certainty and his ability to make complex decisions plans seem to be a bit missing in this one. Not to give to much away, but for the boy to just turn up like he does is a bit difficult to accept and although the boy's motives for doing what he has done before meeting Ripley are believable I found Ripley not at his best or most cunning. Still a good read, especially if you have read the others.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The teen brat spoils it 4 Sep 2013
By G. Park
I love Patricia Highsmith, and the Ripliad in particular, but I find this the least effective of the series, mainly because of the boy of the title, Frank Pierson, whom I find annoying. To be fair he's only sixteen, and behaves like it. Passions overwhelm him, and he is enormously self-centred. Being the pampered son of a millionaire doesn't help him I suppose.
Quite a few of Highsmith's characters share similar characteristics to Frank - they're quite weak, passive-aggressive types, prone to obsessing, particularly about other people. A notable example is Ray Garrett in Those Who Walk Away. I think this probably reflects Highsmith's personality, which was shaped by her cruel and domineering mother.
I think Pat wanted to be carefree, elegant and amoral, like Tom Ripley (and his wife Heloise), but she was too damaged to achieve that. She longed for someone like Tom or Heloise to love her, which partly explains Tom's patience and dedication towards the brat. Other explanations being Tom sees something of his own awkward and difficult youth in the boy, (Tom's not a complete psychopath), and the sexual attraction.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Enjoyable for Mr Ripley readers.
Published 1 month ago by Chris O
5.0 out of 5 stars Best thriller writer ever
Superb as usual. Think it was her last of the Ripley books but some say can be read as the penultimate. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Cas Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read.
Typical Highsmith formula - black, exciting and amusing in equal measure. Yet another Ripley tour de force. Well worth reading.
Published 5 months ago by David J. Herring
5.0 out of 5 stars nice follow up
After seeing the film The Talented Mr Ripley, I was interested to find out what happened to Tom Ripley later, and was intrigued with the writing of Patricial Highsmith, whose books... Read more
Published 10 months ago by joanie
3.0 out of 5 stars The Boy Who Followed Ripley
Waiting for an order on this, so I can read the whole Ripley saga again. When I read it before I enjoyed it immensely, so am hoping to enjoy the saga again.
Published 15 months ago by Christine Pacey
3.0 out of 5 stars Ms Highsmith teases
I have read The Talented Mr Ripley a number of times(and loved it) plus one or two of the follow-up books-all some years ago. Read more
Published on 15 July 2012 by Pablo
3.0 out of 5 stars Ripley sequel by Queen of Crime
There is no doubt in my mind that the greatest force as a crime author is Patricia Highsmith.
For me she is the single most capable constructor of believable characters. Read more
Published on 28 Oct 2009 by John Cutts
4.0 out of 5 stars Holding up the plot
I have now read all of the Ripley novels and this - the penultimate in the series seems to me to reveal the most in the continuing analysis of Ripley's sexual make-up and his... Read more
Published on 15 Sep 2009 by Eileen Shaw
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the others
Having read all the Ripley books, and Strangers on a Train, I would say this is the least interesting and slowest paced of them all. Read more
Published on 18 Nov 2004 by N. Stafford
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