Twelve year-old Ren is missing his left hand. How it was lost is a mystery that Ren has been trying to solve for his entire life, as well as who his parents are, and why he was abandoned as an infant at Saint Anthonys Orphanage for boys. He longs for a family to call his own and is terrified of the day he will be sent alone into the world.
But then a young man named Benjamin Nab appears, claiming to be Rens long-lost brother, and his convincing tale of how Ren lost his hand and his parents persuades the monks at the orphanage to release the boy and to give Ren some hope. But is Benjamin really who he says he is? Journeying through a New England of whaling towns and meadowed farmlands, Ren is introduced to a vibrant world of hardscrabble adventure filled with outrageous scam artists, grave robbers, and petty thieves. If he stays, Ren becomes one of them. If he goes, hes lost once again. As Ren begins to find clues to his hidden parentage he comes to suspect that Benjamin not only holds the key to his future, but to his past as well.
Scarcely thirty pages in, I realized what I suspected was true: this is the book that everyone will love this summer. Not just you, but your teenage daughter, your 12-year-old grandson, your mother or grandmother... it's hard to think of someone that won't be taken with this lovely little book.
An adventure tale with a good dose of Gothic finery, The Good Thief is
refreshingly old-fashioned, wonderfully strange, and darkly funny. It's suspenseful and grim, but you can still read it before bed, and its charm is
quirky enough to keep it from ever becoming twee .... Unfortunately, the second half of The Good Thief doesn't quite measure up to the great promise of the first. As the plot progresses it wavers dangerously between delightful
quirkiness and hokum .... All in all, The Good Thief probably won't change your life, but it will remind you of the up-all-night-with-a-flashlight
novels of your childhood that, in some way, did. (Reviewed by Lucia Silva).
Entertainment Weekly - Jennifer Reese
Tinti secures her place as one of the sharpest, slyest young American novelists. A-.
New York Times - Janet Maslin
[A] darkly transporting debut novel ....Ms. Tinti has a surprising talent of her own. It will interest many
Chicago Tribune - Vinnee Tong
The high jinks propel you through what is basically a story about matters of the heart (isn't that the root of all, really?). But the tug between good and evil seems slightly ill-fitting, even irrelevant, since the story's strength is its sense of fun and thrillerlike suspense.
[A]s an adventure yarn with YA crossover appeal, it's tough to beat.
Starred Review. Marvelously satisfying hokum, rich with sensory details, surprising twists and living, breathing characters to root for.
The Guardian - Catherine Taylor
Although Tinti overdoes it slightly with the Gothic extremes and Dickensian caricatures, this a confident whirl of a read, with pathos and drama nicely juxtaposed. Proper storytelling, in fact.
The Age (Australia) - Frances Atkinson The Good Thief is derivative, undoubtedly, but Tinti has been influenced by the best - namely Dickens - and while characters such as Magwitch, Bill Sykes and Oliver Twist cast long shadows, Tinti's characters remain as fresh as newly turned earth ...... please Ms Tinti, may I have some more?
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Kathryn J Morano A Picaresque Novel While reading this highly entertaining book, I couln't help comparing it to the picaresque Spanish classic, Lazarillo de Tormes, about an orphaned boy brought up by a series of roguish masters who teach him how to survive on the streets... Read More
Rated of 5
by Janice Read this book if . . . Read this book if you enjoy descriptive settings and a cast of characters that reel you in like a fish on a hook. Once I started this book I had a hard time putting it down. I can't wait to read this with my book club because it isn't a book for... Read More
Rated of 5
by Janice The Good Thief This is a genre we don't see often in our times of dangerous and difficult travel: a picaresque novel, set in an almost mythological New England past, with a ragtag band of characters for whom a journey is just as difficult. Like all such journeys... Read More
Rated of 5
by Pat The Good Thief This book is a real page turner. The characters are reminiscent of Charles Dicken's characters, but they become real people. When I feel that I could have lunch with one of the characters and delve into a conversation with them, I know that it's... Read More
Rated of 5
by Amy The Good Thief--Unique Read! This book is really different from anything I’ve read lately, and I absolutely loved it! It’s a really fun book with vivid characters, imaginative descriptions, and spot on perfect pacing. The world in this story is brought quickly to life, I came... Read More
Rated of 5
by Roberta Formulaic and Predictable Ending Hannah Tinti has a wonderfully descriptive writing style. She gets her point across without excess and gives you a feel for her main character's thought processes. However, I felt that near the end the storyline simply was too predictable with a... Read More
Resurrection Men When we think of grave-robbing, we usually think of dark tales involving
bandits pillaging graves for jewelry or other valuables. But the value of bodies
in the 19th century stretched far beyond that of their adornments.
Before people began donating their bodies to science, the only legal supply of
cadavers in the UK for medical research and education were those of convicted
murderers sentenced to death and dissection.
As medical science began to flourish in the 19th century, criminals
and doctors became strange bedfellows as dead bodies were bought and sold in a
morally complex quest for medical advancement. At the time, stealing a
corpse was only a misdemeanor, not a felony, and body-snatchers or resurrection
men, as they were called, faced a fine or imprisonment if caught. Authorities
tended to turn a blind eye to these illegal exhumations, and the trade was
sufficiently lucrative to warrant the risk involved. In 1827-28, William Burke
and William Hare upped the ante by murdering 17 people...
Sophisticated, witty, and ingeniously convincing, Susanna Clarke's magisterial novel weaves magic into a flawlessly detailed vision of historical England. She has created a world so thoroughly enchanting that eight hundred pages leave readers longing for more.
After his younger brother narrowly avoids a serious fall, fifteen-year-old David Case realizes the fragility of life and senses impending doom. He changes his name, assumes a new identity, new clothing and new friends, and dares to fall in love.
These are 2 of the 8 readalike suggestions for The Good Thief. Members have full access to all readalikes. If you are a member, please login. To find out more about membership, click here.
Judge rules unused Borders gift cards to be worthless(May 23 2013) Borders owes nothing to holders of roughly $210.5 million of gift cards that had not been used by the time the bookstore chain shut down, a Manhattan federal...