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The Good Thief: A Novel

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The Good Thief: A Novel Cover

ISBN13: 9780385337458
ISBN10: 0385337450
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Richly imagined, gothically spooky, and replete with the ingenious storytelling ability of a born novelist, The Good Thief introduces one of the most appealing young heroes in contemporary fiction and ratifies Hannah Tinti as one of our most exciting new talents.

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 Anthony's 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 Ren's 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, he's 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.

Review:

"Set in New England, presumably in the 19th century, Tinti's Disney-ready first novel (after story collection Animal Crackers) follows one-handed orphan Ren's not quite rags-to-riches tale. Ren, with his love for religion and penchant for thievery, is immediately likable, and when rugged, tall-tale spinning con man Benjamin Nab strolls into Ren's orphanage one day and claims Ren as his brother, it seems too good to be true, and it is. Benjamin, along with boozy partner-in-crime Tom, lead Ren throughout New England, using the endearing, crippled orphan to 'open doors' and make their hustling life easier. When they finally end up in North Umbrage, a town that looms large in Benjamin's past, the trio's luck dries up, and Ren must decide who he can trust and what he is willing to sacrifice in order to have this family. For a novel full of scams, shams and underhanded deals and populated by hustlers, thieves and grave robbers, the sense of menace is muted, but as an adventure yarn with YA crossover appeal, it's tough to beat." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

It may be too quaint to imagine there are still families reading aloud together at night (so many Web sites, so little time), but if you're out there, consider Hannah Tinti's charming first novel. Set in the dark woods of 19th-century New England, "The Good Thief" follows a bright, one-handed orphan through enough harrowing scrapes and turns to satisfy your inner Dickens. That Tinti is the young co-founder... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"[A] moody, twisty, and assured first novel....Tinti secures her place as one of the sharpest, slyest young American novelists. (Grade: A-)" Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"Marvelously satisfying...rich with sensory details, surprising twists and living, breathing characters to root for." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Review:

"In her highly original debut novel, [Tinti] renders the horrors and wonders she concocts utterly believable and rich in implication as she creates a darkly comedic and bewitching, sinister yet life-affirming tale about the eternal battle between good and evil." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"Hannah Tinti has written a lightning strike of a novel — beautiful and haunting and ever so bright. She is a 21st century Robert Louis Stevenson, an adventuress who lays bare her characters' hearts with a precision and a fearlessness that will leave you shaken." Junot Diaz, Pulitzer-Prize winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Review:

"Every once in a while — if you are very lucky — you come upon a novel so marvelous and enchanting and rare that you wish everyone in the world would read it, as well. The Good Thief is just such a book — a beautifully composed work of literary magic." Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

Review:

"[T]he reader can find plain-spoken fiction full of traditional virtues: strong plotting, pure lucidity, visceral momentum and a total absence of writerly mannerisms....Ms. Tinti has a surprising talent of her own. It will interest many." Janet Maslin, The New York Times

Review:

"The Good Thief's characters are weird and wonderful, its setting and tale every bit as macabre as those in Tinti's short-story collection, Animal Crackers. All of that, along with its humor, ingenuity and fast pace, make The Good Thief compelling." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"The Good Thief instantly transports us into another time and place and creates adventure without romanticism: no mean feat. Tinti's imaginative powers, as manifested through those of her creation, Ren, reacquaint us with our own. And that's a gift to be cherished by readers of any age." The Boston Globe

Review:

"[A] refreshing fairy tale, a delightful piece with both Charles Dickens and J.K. Rowling at heart....The story is whimsical, but the narrative world Tinti paints is complex and full of deception." Philadelphia Inquirer

Review:

"Tinti is lavish with her story­telling gifts — which are prodigious....You can't push too hard at the logic of some of the novel's events, but you wouldn't want to: they're there for the mystery, for the beauty and terror of the images, and for the way they appeal to desire in their audience." Maile Meloy, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Hannah Tinti's novel The Good Thief is wry, wise, deeply felt and ingeniously plotted, a wonderful, riveting spin on the tale of abandoned boys gone bad, or good, or both. Move over Huck Finn and Oliver Twist, make room for Ren, The Good Thief's one handed but quick fingered and witted orphan, thief, hero — I loved him, and his book." Brock Clarke, author of An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England

Review:

"The Good Thief is a book that deserves comparison to the work of classic authors like Robert Louis Stevenson and Charles Dickens." Dan Chaon, National Book Award finalist and author of Among the Missing and You Remind Me of Me

Review:

"The Good Thief is a magical book. Everything worth writing about is in it: love, death and — more than anything else — family. I wish I'd written it." Daniel Wallace, author of Big Fish and Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician

Review:

"This wonderfully old-fashioned novel, rendered with great heart and imagination, demonstrates that Hannah Tinti's talents are as awe-inspiring as the story she tells. Tinti is a formidable writer, and The Good Thief is a stay-up-all-night sort of read." Brady Udall, author of The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint

Synopsis:

A Dickensian cast of characters in 19th-century New England comes brilliantly to life in this wondrous debut novel about an orphaned boy and the colorful con man who claims to be his brother.

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About the Author

Hannah Tinti's work has appeared in magazines and anthologies, including The Best American Mystery Stories 2003. Her short-story collection, Animal Crackers, has been sold in fifteen countries, and was a runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway Award. She is the editor of One Story magazine.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

srnm, December 1, 2009 (view all comments by srnm)
Awkwardly written, poor grasp of daily life of the times--simply a poorly written, but targeted for the lists, example of YA at its most historically inept.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
Larry Robinson, March 19, 2009 (view all comments by Larry Robinson)
For good reason, this book landed on multiple Best Of lists in 2008. It is an example of what great historical fiction can be. Great story, wonderful characters, and a fabulous setting. Not to be missed.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
prairiecactus, February 24, 2009 (view all comments by prairiecactus)
A magic, wonderful, masterful book! I loved the characters, all so completely real in their absurdity and humanity. Absolutely brilliant!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 6 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780385337458
Author:
Tinti, Hannah
Publisher:
The Dial Press
Subject:
General
Subject:
History
Subject:
Orphans
Subject:
New england
Subject:
General Fiction
Copyright:
Publication Date:
August 2008
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.08x5.02x1.14 in. .97 lbs.

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Good Thief: A Novel Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Dial Press - English 9780385337458 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Set in New England, presumably in the 19th century, Tinti's Disney-ready first novel (after story collection Animal Crackers) follows one-handed orphan Ren's not quite rags-to-riches tale. Ren, with his love for religion and penchant for thievery, is immediately likable, and when rugged, tall-tale spinning con man Benjamin Nab strolls into Ren's orphanage one day and claims Ren as his brother, it seems too good to be true, and it is. Benjamin, along with boozy partner-in-crime Tom, lead Ren throughout New England, using the endearing, crippled orphan to 'open doors' and make their hustling life easier. When they finally end up in North Umbrage, a town that looms large in Benjamin's past, the trio's luck dries up, and Ren must decide who he can trust and what he is willing to sacrifice in order to have this family. For a novel full of scams, shams and underhanded deals and populated by hustlers, thieves and grave robbers, the sense of menace is muted, but as an adventure yarn with YA crossover appeal, it's tough to beat." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[A] moody, twisty, and assured first novel....Tinti secures her place as one of the sharpest, slyest young American novelists. (Grade: A-)"
"Review" by , "Marvelously satisfying...rich with sensory details, surprising twists and living, breathing characters to root for."
"Review" by , "In her highly original debut novel, [Tinti] renders the horrors and wonders she concocts utterly believable and rich in implication as she creates a darkly comedic and bewitching, sinister yet life-affirming tale about the eternal battle between good and evil."
"Review" by , "Hannah Tinti has written a lightning strike of a novel — beautiful and haunting and ever so bright. She is a 21st century Robert Louis Stevenson, an adventuress who lays bare her characters' hearts with a precision and a fearlessness that will leave you shaken." Junot Diaz, Pulitzer-Prize winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
"Review" by , "Every once in a while — if you are very lucky — you come upon a novel so marvelous and enchanting and rare that you wish everyone in the world would read it, as well. The Good Thief is just such a book — a beautifully composed work of literary magic."
"Review" by , "[T]he reader can find plain-spoken fiction full of traditional virtues: strong plotting, pure lucidity, visceral momentum and a total absence of writerly mannerisms....Ms. Tinti has a surprising talent of her own. It will interest many."
"Review" by , "The Good Thief's characters are weird and wonderful, its setting and tale every bit as macabre as those in Tinti's short-story collection, Animal Crackers. All of that, along with its humor, ingenuity and fast pace, make The Good Thief compelling."
"Review" by , "The Good Thief instantly transports us into another time and place and creates adventure without romanticism: no mean feat. Tinti's imaginative powers, as manifested through those of her creation, Ren, reacquaint us with our own. And that's a gift to be cherished by readers of any age."
"Review" by , "[A] refreshing fairy tale, a delightful piece with both Charles Dickens and J.K. Rowling at heart....The story is whimsical, but the narrative world Tinti paints is complex and full of deception."
"Review" by , "Tinti is lavish with her story­telling gifts — which are prodigious....You can't push too hard at the logic of some of the novel's events, but you wouldn't want to: they're there for the mystery, for the beauty and terror of the images, and for the way they appeal to desire in their audience."
"Review" by , "Hannah Tinti's novel The Good Thief is wry, wise, deeply felt and ingeniously plotted, a wonderful, riveting spin on the tale of abandoned boys gone bad, or good, or both. Move over Huck Finn and Oliver Twist, make room for Ren, The Good Thief's one handed but quick fingered and witted orphan, thief, hero — I loved him, and his book."
"Review" by , "The Good Thief is a book that deserves comparison to the work of classic authors like Robert Louis Stevenson and Charles Dickens." Dan Chaon, National Book Award finalist and author of Among the Missing and You Remind Me of Me
"Review" by , "The Good Thief is a magical book. Everything worth writing about is in it: love, death and — more than anything else — family. I wish I'd written it."
"Review" by , "This wonderfully old-fashioned novel, rendered with great heart and imagination, demonstrates that Hannah Tinti's talents are as awe-inspiring as the story she tells. Tinti is a formidable writer, and The Good Thief is a stay-up-all-night sort of read."
"Synopsis" by , A Dickensian cast of characters in 19th-century New England comes brilliantly to life in this wondrous debut novel about an orphaned boy and the colorful con man who claims to be his brother.
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