Customer Reviews for

The Good Thief

Average Rating 4
( 97 )
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5 Star

(49)

4 Star

(22)

3 Star

(15)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(7)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

The Good Thief

Ren is an orphan who does not know his age, last name, who his parents are or how he lost his left hand. With that important limb missing, he is routinely passed over by the visitors to Saint Anthony's orphanage, who come seeking to adopt a son or hire a worker. But the...
Ren is an orphan who does not know his age, last name, who his parents are or how he lost his left hand. With that important limb missing, he is routinely passed over by the visitors to Saint Anthony's orphanage, who come seeking to adopt a son or hire a worker. But then handsome Benjamin Nab arrives one day and claims Ren is his brother. The boy cannot believe his luck, even when Nab - clearly not his brother - turns out to be a silver-tongued man with a grave-robbing sideline. 'This is not a child,' he tells his alcoholic friend Tom after showing him Ren's stump. 'This is a gold mine.' It is impossible to read Tinti's first novel, set in the sinister town of North Umbrage in 19th-century England, without continually referencing Dickens. The Oliver Twist grimness of the orphanage soon gives way to a Great Expectations-style adventure with larger-than-life characters. These include Dolly, a giant murderer that Ren befriends, and McGinty, the menacing owner of North Umbrage's huge mousetrap factory. But Tinti also brings her own skills to the table: brevity of languageas well as a masterful ability to marry terror and humor. She also crafts her characters with such humanity and sympathy that their lack of morality just seems like good business sense. 'No heroics,' Tom says to Ren as they set out for their first con job. 'If something goes wrong, I want you to run.' Ren is himself a good thief, in both senses of the phrase: a deft purloiner, as well as a kind fingersmith. Like all of Tinti's other characters, he is an interesting study in amorality: Even as it chills him to stand next to a murderer, he cannot help wondering what it would be like 'to have no feelings, no guilt. To never say penance again'. The novel takes a slightly surreal turn in the last half when Ren is persecuted by McGinty over a dark secret. But it remains a shining example of that rare breed of book: a good, solid read.

posted by Anonymous on September 17, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Odd book- not recommended

The story seemed interesting and the other reviews proclaimed The Good Thief to be such an excellent read, so I ordered the book. I found it to be okay, hardly excellent. The characters were memorable to a certain degree but the story itself was just odd. Digging up bod...
The story seemed interesting and the other reviews proclaimed The Good Thief to be such an excellent read, so I ordered the book. I found it to be okay, hardly excellent. The characters were memorable to a certain degree but the story itself was just odd. Digging up bodies for medical knowledge may be a fact of the past but its weird to link a story about a child without a family and a mysterious past to that. Every character had some bizarre characteristic. Ren didn't have a hand. Dolly, who was a large man killed people for a living and slept all the time... added nothing to the story. The dwarf, yes dwarf, on the roof added nothing to the story. Mrs Sands screamed everytime she talked. The villian had a speech impediment and owned a mousetrap factory -of all things - which ultimately saved the town. Hairlip- the heroine if you will, didn't have to have a hairlip. Tom had a drinking problem. It was all so out there that it was almost stupid. The ending was disappointing. Would not recommend this book.

posted by 1273948 on December 29, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2010

    Odd book- not recommended

    The story seemed interesting and the other reviews proclaimed The Good Thief to be such an excellent read, so I ordered the book. I found it to be okay, hardly excellent. The characters were memorable to a certain degree but the story itself was just odd. Digging up bodies for medical knowledge may be a fact of the past but its weird to link a story about a child without a family and a mysterious past to that. Every character had some bizarre characteristic. Ren didn't have a hand. Dolly, who was a large man killed people for a living and slept all the time... added nothing to the story. The dwarf, yes dwarf, on the roof added nothing to the story. Mrs Sands screamed everytime she talked. The villian had a speech impediment and owned a mousetrap factory -of all things - which ultimately saved the town. Hairlip- the heroine if you will, didn't have to have a hairlip. Tom had a drinking problem. It was all so out there that it was almost stupid. The ending was disappointing. Would not recommend this book.

    3 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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