Now part of American film and literary lore, Tom Ripley, "a bisexual psychopath and art forger who murders without remorse when his comforts are threatened" (New York Times Book Review), was Patricia Highsmith's favorite creation.
In The Boy Who Followed Ripley, Highsmith explores Ripley's bizarrely paternal relationship with a troubled young runaway, whose abduction draws them into Berlin's seamy underworld. More than any other American literary character, Ripley provides "a lens to peer into the sinister machinations of human behavior." (John Freeman, Pittsburgh Gazette).
©1980 Patricia Highsmith. 1993 by Diogenes Verlag AG, Zurich (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
"Ripley is an unmistakable descendant of Gatsby, that 'penniless young man without a past' who will stop at nothing." (Frank Rich)
But I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - J.D. Salinger ^(;,;)^
This was a slippery Highsmith. Ripley coldly floats between two steep cliffs. He isn't necessarily a likable or even sympathetic narrator, but still manages to be someone it is natural to root for.
With the first three books in the Riplad, I bought into the idea that Tom Ripley was absolutely amoral. But that expecation, that setup, makes this novel seem even more crafty. Highsmith bends genders, flips expecations, dodges emotions, transforms motives, etc., and almost clones Ripley with Frank.
Probably the most disturbing character in the whole series is Tom's wife Heloise. I can sympathize Tom's amorality easy enough, but I just can't UNDERSTAND Heloise. While nothing about her is directly creepy, it is like Highsmith is using Heloise to point a finger at the West or perhaps at the reader.
I like how Ripley has evolved and the various situations he is placed in.
the author has cleverly placed you inside the mind of Ripley. and a fascinating mind it is
I thought it was great how Ripley wore a ' costume ' and took on the kidnappers. Absolute genius of the imagination
this is not the most thrilling of the Ripley series, but you should give it your time.
I greatly enjoyed the series up until this book; however this title was less fresh and less compelling than the previous works.
The plot did not crackle as much as the plots of her previous "Ripley" books had. This felt tired and I stubbled to maintain my attention.
Kevin Kenerly is a master narrator. As he had read the previous "Ripley" books, he has a great interpretation of the characters that remains consistent from book to book.
I am not sure - I have yet to read the follow-up, as this one was such a disappointment. Perhaps this title was just an anomaly - or it might have been the signal of a series that had lost its drive.
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