Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Good Thief

The Good Thief The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti

Awards: Alex Award; John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm not sure what I expected going into this book, but it wasn't what I expected. First of all, it's an adult novel, but I think it would work well for high school readers. The protagonist is a twelve-year old orphan named Ren. He lives in an orphanage run by Catholic priests in 19th century New England. Ren in missing a hand, so it's unlikely that anyone would ever want to adopt him. But one day Benjamin Nab shows up, claiming to be Ren's brother. And then the adventure begins...

There's the drunk schoolteacher. The giant. The dwarf. The deaf woman. The twins. The con man. The Harelip. The phrenologist. The nun. The evil mousetrap factory owner and his sidekicks.

You name it, they're in there.

For some reason, this book reminded me of works by Leif Enger. Tinti's story is amazingly well written. I wanted to love it, but I just didn't love the story. It started out well-paced, but it seemed to slow down and the conclusion was more involved and took longer than it needed to. It was also a little too dark and violent for my taste. I adored Ren and I wish I could adopt him myself. But the other characters were harder for me to get into. That said, if you think you might like Dickensian/Gothic adventure stories, I would certainly give this one a try.

Also reviewed by:
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Book 19 of 50 for the New Author Challenge, Book 12 of 50 for the RYOB Challenge, Book 30 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge, Book 10 of 10 for the Book Awards IV Reading Challenge 

Source: BookMooch


Hannah Stoneham said...

This sounds a wonderfully surreal read!

Thanks for sharing


Charley said...

Looking back on it, I'm not sure what drew me to this book, but I ended up really enjoying it. It was the perfect escape at the time.

bermudaonion said...

I'm disappointed that it wasn't any better than that.

Okie said...

sounds interesting. Could be fun. Thanks for a nice review

Tribute Books said...

Sounds really good, thanks!

Kathleen said...

I have this one on my shelf to read but most reviews I have read have mirrored yours to a great extent so I suppose the book will languish a bit longer on my TBR.

Wendy said...

Looks like you and I completely agreed on this one...too dark for my taste too.

Thanks for the linky love!