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Ripley Under Ground [Paperback]

Patricia Highsmith
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 26 2008
"Ripley is an unmistakable descendant of Gatsby, that 'penniless young man without a past' who will stop at nothing."-Frank Rich

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 these volumes, we find Ripley ensconced on a French estate with a wealthy wife, a world-class art collection, and a past to hide. In Ripley Under Ground (1970), an art forgery goes awry and Ripley is threatened with exposure; in The Boy Who Followed Ripley (1980), Highsmith explores Ripley's bizarrely paternal relationship with a troubled young runaway, whose abduction draws them into Berlin's seamy underworld; and in Ripley Under Water (1991), Ripley is confronted by a snooping American couple obsessed with the disappearance of an art collector who visited Ripley years before. More than any other American literary character, Ripley provides "a lens to peer into the sinister machinations of human behavior" (John Freeman, Pittsburgh Gazette).

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Ripley Under Ground + Ripleys Game + Boy Who Followed Ripley, The
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Product Description


"In Ripley Under Ground Patricia Highsmith is in her most brilliant form" Daily Telegraph "The No.1 Greatest Crime Writer" The Times "Ripley Under Ground is Highsmith back on top of her most enjoyable humour-and-horrors form" Sunday Telegraph "By her hypnotic art Highsmith puts the suspense story into a toweringly high place in the hierachy of fiction" The Times "The Ripley books are marvellously, insanely readable" The Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Patricia Highsmith is the author of The Price of Salt, Strangers on a Train, and other works. She died in Switzerland in 1995.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars ...loved this book Jan. 26 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent book. Patricia Highsmith has yet to disappoint me. Already started the 3rd book which is necessary for wrapping up Under Ground.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great reading Jan. 27 2004
Format:Audio Cassette
Nigel Lambert reading Patricia Highsmith's "Ripley Under Ground" is a masterpiece. All the humour and suspense is rendered splendidly by Mr Lambert's beautiful reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hypnotic suspense Jan. 27 2004
Another adventure with Patricia Highsmith's lovely character Thomas Ripley. This book follows the author's "The Talented Mr Ripley" so that the reader is already acquainted with most of the protagonists like Dick and Chris Greenleaf, Bernard Murchisson or Tom's wife Heloise. When Ed Banbury and Jeff Constant, owners of the Buckmaster Gallery in London, decide to open a new show featuring paintings by the famous Derwatt, the situation becomes uncomfortable when the American collector, Murchisson, claims that a painting he bought three years ago is a fake. Knowing that Derwatt died years ago in Greece and that Bernard had been forging paintings by "Derwatt", allegedly living in a remote village in Mexico, it will take all of Ripley's talent to clean the reputation of the Buckmaster Gallery, as Murchisson's visit to London is imminent. Mrs Highsmith's highly successful ingredients are all present in this novel: crime, horror, humour and suspense.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Improbable Plot but Still a Good Read Aug. 6 2003
This book continues on about 6 years after "The Talanted Mr. Ripley" ends. The first part of this book takes place in the span of only a few days and is almost comical. He has people in and out of his house constantly (and they are all men, does this mean something?). The plot of the art forgery and the murder is very unbelievable. But if Tom Ripley could fool an Italian police officer into thinking he was two different people just by putting on some glasses and changing the part and color of his hair, as he did in "Talented", then I guess he could fool someone in this book by wearing a beard. However, the last part was very unbelievable and there is no way he wouldn't have been arrested. As if the police are going to find burning a man's body because he (supposedly) told him to before he committed suicide, and then crushing the skull, is not suspicious behaviour. But, I couldn't put the book down, and I'm reading Ripley's Game, so Patricia Highsmith must be a great writer, at least to me.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Dull,Dull,Dull,Dull... Aug. 10 2002
By A Customer
This is the worst Ripley book.The plot lacks narrative drive and goes nowhere. Ok, Bernard Tuft is a very good caracther and there are some flashes of Higsmight's talents but in general is dull and slow reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I Did Not Sleep! July 1 2002
By ViAmber
The last two chapters of this book were riveting! The description of what Tom did while trying to cremate that body drew shudders: "Another try with the shovel at the head brought no results..nor would his foot if he stomped on it, Tom knew...he rolled the smoking form toward the grave he had dug..." And on and on! Jeesh! Is this man a monster or what? If you are squeamish this is not the book for you. This is the second book in the "series." I, too, didn't read in order. I finished "Ripley Under Water" before this one and I really enjoyed Tom's shenanigans in that one. But this one!! Fathuh! Fathuh! I thoroughly enjoyed gasping out loud at his insanity. His thought processes are outlandish. You can just hear Jeff and Ed thinking "the man must be demented." As for his wife, I understood her a lot better in this book than in "Under Water". I loved Tom's little idiosyncrasies regarding personal hygiene issues and his little disparaging comments about his fellow man. My guess as to why he is less self-effacing than in "Talented Mr. Ripley" is that now he has gotten what he wants: a life of luxury with no money worries.
I am so sorry that there is no more to the series after "Under Water." Patricia Highsmith is unparalleled in her straight forward depictions of murder and the mind of a sociopath.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Poor follow-up to The Talented Mr. Ripley Feb. 14 2002
This book was a disappointment to me after having enjoyed both the book and movie of The Talented Mr. Ripley. Ripley is now a married wealthy art collector living in suburb of Paris. He has a fine home and a live-in housekeeper. It's the late sixties. He's involved in an art-forgery ring. A suspicious buyer is ready to give away the secret. Ripley lures this man, a rich American businessman to his house and kills him in his basement. He disposes of the body and the police investigation begins.
The story is poorly written with many unbelievable scenes. Bernard Tufts, the artist who has actually painted the forgeries, tries to kill Ripley after finding out about it and helping to dispose of the body. Tufts knocks Ripley unconscious and buries him face down in a shallow grave in the woods behind his home. He awakes buried alive and manages to dig himself out. Ripley goes about his business for the rest of the day as if nothing has happened, taking care to put the sweater he was buried in into the laundry hamper for washing. Ripley pointlessly travels all over Greece looking for Bernard. He returns to his house and then travels to Austria where he finds Bernard. Bernard sees Ripley and thinks he is a ghost. He flees from him and throws himself off a cliff in fear. Ripley burns Bernard's body at the foot of the cliff and takes an assortment of bones and charred flesh back home with him in his suitcase. He shows these bones to the detective investigating the disappearance of the rich man and seemingly convinces him that Bernard was the killer.
It's all very contrived and unconvincing. The travel book feel of some of the scenes is distracting and annoying. In The Talented Mr. Ripley the lovingly detailed descriptions of Rome and Naples and the French Riviera seemed appropriate.
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