The Boy Who Followed Ripley

The Boy Who Followed Ripley

by Patricia Highsmith


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"Ripley is an unmistakable descendant of Gatsby, that 'penniless young man without a past' who will stop at nothing." —Frank Rich

The Boy Who Followed Ripley, the fourth novel in the Ripley series, is one of Patricia Highsmith's darkest and most twisted creations. Tom Ripley meets a young American runaway who has a dark secret that he is desperate to hide. Soon this unlikely pair is drawn into the seamy underworld of Berlin and a shocking kidnapping. In this masterful thriller, Highsmith shatters our perceptions of her most famous creation by letting us glimpse a more compassionate side of this amoral charmer.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393332117
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 09/17/2008
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 459,788
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

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

Date of Birth:

January 19, 1921

Date of Death:

February 4, 1995

Place of Birth:

Fort Worth, Texas

Place of Death:

Locarno, Switzerland


B.A., Barnard College, 1942

Table of Contents

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The Boy Who Followed Ripley 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Mendoza on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
From the book - In this quietly terrifying exploration of trust and friendship, a troubled young runaway arrives in Villeperce. And when, on the boy's behalf, Tom Ripley is drawn from his lovely estate in the French countryside to Berlin's seamy underworld and into a kidnapping plot that requires the most bizarre methods--and sinister acumen--for intervention, the icily amoral Ripley is transformed into a generous and compassionate projector.I find that Patricia Highsmith is the master of unease. I get a slightly queasy feeling in my stomache as I make my way through her novels. The plot, while not exactly exciting, still displays Tom Ripley at his finest. An almost completely amoral character with a very twisted sense of justice. I find myself rooting for him to not get caught in his schemes - and that is probably disturbing in itself.
KatherineGregg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Boy Who Followed Ripley is the fourth (out of five) in the Tom Ripley series. While not a bad read, nothing has compared to the original. I think I'll stop here for now. Real life kidnappings of the rich and famous (Patty Hearst, John Paul Getty III) in the 70s inspired Highsmith in this novel.
arubabookwoman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I first met Tom Ripley in 1992 when I serendipitiously chose Ripley Under Water from my local library. I read it not realizing that it was the final book in a series, and was entranced with Highsmith's somehow endearing sociopath.Several years later, I found and read the first three novels in the series, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Ripley Under Ground and Ripley's Game. Overall, I would rate the Ripley series as excellent--in the four star range.Then on a recent trip to the library I saw The Boy Who Followed Ripley, with Ripley Under Water right next to it on the shelf. I had not realized that there was a 5th Ripley book (TBWFR), which falls between Ripley's Game and Ripley Under Water. I decided to read the 'missing link,' and to reread the final book, in the order intended.I don't think TBWFR is one of the better Ripley books. It goes on too long. The crisis is resolved 75-100 pages before the end, and for those 75-100 pages I kept waiting for something to happen. This being Highsmith, ultimately it does, but I felt there was a lot of wasted verbiage in between.Nevertheless, I liked TBWFR because it presents Ripley in a different light--as a paternal figure. He becomes the mentor, confidante and savior of a troubled runaway teenage boy, and although a few murders are involved, Ripley does a decent job of nurturing this damaged boy.(Re)reading Ripley Under Water was also worthwhile. The ironies in Ripley tending his dahlias, learning to play the harpsichord, and his relationships with his beloved Heloise and the faithful Madame Annette are initially missed by one who is not aware of Ripley's past. References to Dickie Greenleaf, art forgeries and the disappearance of Mr. Murchison are enigmatic. Obviously, the book was much more rewarding reading it in its intended order. (I was puzzled, however, that there were no references to the escapades in TBWFR in this final book).Highsmith's talent is to make us actually like this sociopathic con man/murderer. She somehow convinces us that Ripley's self-justifications are entirely reasonable, and that the crimes he commits are necessary. Wickedly funny.
ngabriel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very dated book that focuses on a very specific part of Germany during a very specific time period. Since i was not interested in either - I was bored. Bored by a book about a sociopath and his homo-erotic relationship with a young man where no action other than sight-seeing happens until the very end. It sounds difficult to make such subject matter boring but it was. I recommend skipping this edition of the Ripley novels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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