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The Good Thief

A Novel

by Hannah Tinti

The Good Thief
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2008, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2009, 352 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Lucia Silva

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Reviews

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There are currently 22 reader reviews for The Good Thief
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Dorian (07/31/08)

A Satisfying Tale
At the beginning of this novel I was worried that it was going to be slow, predictable, and hard to get through. After a few chapters though, I could not put it down. The characters are engaging and I really wanted to get to the end to find out their fate. I felt throughout the book that it was like hearing someone tell a story. There are moments of familiarity and some pretty graphic descriptions, yet they enhance the feeling that the author is tipping her hat to the storytelling tradition.

I definitely recommend this book!
Carol (07/31/08)

A rollicking adventure
The Good Thief includes a cast of characters that you might find in a fairy tale. There are orphaned children, a hustler, an orge, and a dwarf among others. I loved them all..This is a rollicking adventure that is reminiscent of Mark Twain or Charles Dickens.

I couldn't read fast enough to discover how Ren and his family of friends would survive their next ordeal or if Ren would find his true parentage.
Carole (07/31/08)

The Good Thief Steals Reader's Heart
When Ren, the "good thief" of the title is rescued from the Brothers of St. Anthony orphanage by Benjamin Nab, he has with his scant possessions a stolen copy of The Lives of the Saints and a bit of cloth with the letters R E N embroidered on it. The adventures of this one-handed little orphan and his scam-artist companions make for an enjoyable and engrossing read. What lover of books would not warm to author Hanna Tinti when she pens Ren's response to his second purloined volume, The Deerslayer... "At times he felt like he was reading fragments of his own dreams, reassembled into words that pulled at his heart as if there were a string tied somewhere inside his chest that ran down into the book and attached itself to the characters, drawing him through the pages."
Leann (07/31/08)

The Good Thief
I really enjoyed this book. It was a fun read with larger than life characters and plenty of whimsical adventure. The ending is a bit predictable, but Ren and his band of misfits were so engaging, I really didn't mind.
Annie (07/31/08)

The Good Thief--a good lark
A bittersweet romp through 19th-century New England, "The Good Thief" is an adventure story, albeit a self-conscious one, that should appeal to a broad swath of readers. What is good here is very good: secondary characters so real that this reader wept over their misfortunes; occasional lines that take your breath away; fresh descriptions; and vivid scene setting. Less successful is the way the plot hangs together toward the end, and the extended denouement becomes a bit muddled, losing its dramatic impact as, yet again, the characters fight the bad guys. But this is better than 90% of the fiction out there, if not quite as earth-shattering as its blurbs claim.
Lori (07/31/08)

An exceptional tale
Eleven-year-old Ren doesn’t really know why he steals from his fellow orphans at St Anthony’s. But when nothing is yours but a ragged collar with three stitched initials, perhaps you stop believing in stories anymore and instead just reach for what is missing.

Hannah Tinti’s story is of lost boys – of any age -- for whom the dead mean as much as the living. The character of Benjamin Nab, who retrieves young Ren from St Anthony’s, weaves lies and truths together into a fabric that holds him at the same time it threatens to rip apart at any moment.

Ren’s story is well told, with characters that remind a reader of lost opportunity and the ephemeral nature of love and affection.

Characters are sketched with charcoal: gestures, movements, are sometimes finely rendered and other times only broadly suggested, to tell us of their essence. Tinti captures the wonder of small acts to a child and the sharp dangers in Ren’s life in a way that renders a haunting and compelling tale.

An excellent book!
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