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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can Ripley Be Successfully Emulated by Others?
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...
Published on 13 Nov 2004 by Donald Mitchell

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars the man without conscience
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...
Published on 17 April 2001


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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
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Boy Who Followed Ripley (Paperback)
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
This review is from: The Boy Who Followed Ripley (Paperback)
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
This review is from: The Boy Who Followed Ripley (Paperback)
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
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This review is from: The Boy Who Followed Ripley (Paperback)
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
This review is from: The Boy Who Followed Ripley (Paperback)
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
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This review is from: The Boy Who Followed Ripley (Paperback)
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 (Benton, North Tyneside United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Boy Who Followed Ripley (Paperback)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ms Highsmith teases, 15 July 2012
This review is from: The Boy Who Followed Ripley (Paperback)
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. I happened to come across this one when I had no other reading material to hand in the middle of a sleepless night and it drew me in. The storyline is very thin and it is a credit to Ms Highsmith's style of writing that she can maintain a reader's interest throughout- though, for me, only just.

Interestingly there are gay allusions: Lou Reid's Transformer, Heloise's musing that Frank may be a 'tapette', and citing some of the action in a gay pub. There are also precise descriptions of the men's sleeping arrangements, taking showers etc. She teases us with attraction between Tom and Frank but really just leaves a blank onto which to project fantasies.

The character of Tom is not really consistent with that shown in The Talented Mr Ripley where he exhibits traits of a psychopath. Here he has affection to Frank though I did not understand what motivated him to go back to the USA with him. I felt Frank's exit was not consistent with what we saw of his character.

Overall I found the book OK-just- hence the 3 stars though credit to Ms Highsmith that she is still being read and discussed over 30 years after publication.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ripley sequel by Queen of Crime, 28 Oct 2009
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John Cutts (Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Boy Who Followed Ripley (Paperback)
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.
From the outset the central character Ripley fascinates and enlists our support.
We seem to be drawn to want the dark side of our nature to prevail, and Ripley isn't even that dark. His actions appear more instinctive than premeditated.
In this part of the ongoing Derwatt conspiracy, a young man accidentally falls into Ripley's life and their futures appear tied together in some way. The boy is young 16, an american who has left home after a family loss. The parallels with Ripleys early life gradually emerge and one wonders how close these two protagonists will become.
Another side of Ripley's personality is explored and he transposes into mentor role. He willingly gives up time to look after the lads interests.
In their adventures in Berlin are reflected some of the authors yearning for adventure -to my eye -which seems to serve to endear the reprehensible Ripley still further to the reader.
I liked some of the minor characters too. The enigmatic german Eric, the mysterious yet well connected (with the underworld) Reeves, and the Eastern German Peter, all add up to a classic cocktail of heritage thriller writing and yet - not much happens.
The travelling is well described and the geography seems to be first hand knowledge. What I get very strongly from this book is the propensity from the writer to engage in acting, and if she did I am sure she would prove as capable as she is a writer. The book did not carry me along at the same pace as the earlier Ripleys, but if you like Highsmith and are drawn to her depth and charm then to read this book will give you more insights and. in my case, even more of a wish to have known her while she was alive.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the others, 18 Nov 2004
By 
N. Stafford "Fat Bookworm" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Boy Who Followed Ripley (Paperback)
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. Highsmith enjoys infusing travel with mystery -- but this time unfortunately the travel exceeds the mystery. The plot moves in low gear throughout and the general outcomes are dissapointing.
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The Boy Who Followed Ripley
The Boy Who Followed Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (Paperback - 1 Feb 2001)
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