The Good Thief

The Good Thief

by Hannah Tinti
4.0 97

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Good Thief 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 96 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
jaimi1 More than 1 year ago
I really didn't know what to expect from this novel and I was very surprised. I found it amusing, entertaining, poignant, and scrappy. I believe it it would make a great movie and to see this book on the screen would be so much fun.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Almost quite literally impossible to put down and even if your mother steals your copy for a week or so (as mine did), you live with the characters in the meantime and pick right up with them after you get it back from her. Especially nice to read a novel that takes place in the past but doesn't have 'research' screaming from between the lines. As you read it you just feel like you're back there, then, with this boy and these con artists--and that there and then is where you want to be. It had been quite a while since I'd gotten this lost in a book--took me back to those great reading days of childhood and adolescence.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read a great deal of contemporary fiction and this was one of the best books I ever read. The characters were well drawn and I was pulled helplessly into the life of Ren, the main character, just as he is pulled helplessly into the adventures that befall him. The plot is exciting and filled with surprises. The writing is excellent and I couldn't wait to enter the world that Hannah Tinti created.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ren had no memory of his life before St. Anthony's. The only clues to his past is the initials REN sewn into the collar of his nightshirt and his missing left hand. One day a stranger, Benjamin Nab, comes to St. Anthony's looking for him, claiming to be his older brother, and reeling off a story of high adventure that explains both how Ren lost his hand and the reason he was left at St. Anthony's. However, Ren soon discovers that Benjamin Nab is not at all who he claims to be, but instead is ...more Ren had no memory of his life before St. Anthony's. The only clues to his past is the initials REN sewn into the collar of his nightshirt and his missing left hand. One day a stranger, Benjamin Nab, comes to St. Anthony's looking for him, claiming to be his older brother, and reeling off a story of high adventure that explains both how Ren lost his hand and the reason he was left at St. Anthony's. However, Ren soon discovers that Benjamin Nab is not at all who he claims to be, but instead is a smooth talking con man that hopes to use Ren's disability in order to pull off more lucrative cons. When Ren decides, against his better judgment, to throw his lot in with Nab, he realizes that his life is never going to be the same again. This contemporary book is a classic adventure story with the literary style and singular characters that will remind the reader of the works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Dickens, and/or Mark Twain. It is a well-written, fast-plotted, thoroughly enjoyable read that holds up very well to these hefty comparisons.
LovelyLitLady More than 1 year ago
While usually I try to stay away from books that are dark and disturbing, this book drew me in and I just couldn't put it down. I even woke up early to finish it this morning and I'm not a morning person. While the details are gory and often times unpleasant, Tinti composes her prose in a way that is honest and tugs at your heart. Some authors add gore as shock value but she used it to further the plot and make you care for Ren. This book is a true mix of fantasy and reality that will make you cringe, smile and possibly cry. Tinti has such a flare for writing. I haven't seen this quality of work in a very long time. Her literary skills could set her in the ranks of the classics. It will be interesting to see what she comes up with next.
KENH1 More than 1 year ago
If you were to mix Dickens with a shot of Twain, and economize the amount of words, you would get something like this. It is, oversimply, a gothic tale of an orphan searching for answers to his mysterious past - most notably, his missing hand. On his journey, he encounters con men, petty thieves, grave robbers, and a mousetrap factory. It is a joy to read, a treasure of the best kind.
Golden_Reader12 More than 1 year ago
For a while there, I was in dire need of a new book. That's when I found the Good Thief! For me this book was a breath of fresh air. I became fascinated with the characters as they traveled from one adventure to the next. This is definitely one of those books that can trasnport you back in time. You can't help but to fall in love with all the characters and be intirgued with the plot. A great gothic type novel for a wide range of readers!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved her first book, Animal Crackers, so I knew I couldn't wait to read this one. She made me love all the characters despite their flaws. This novel has an old world feel. i devoured this book in only a weeks time. If you are looking for a book to take you away this summer -this is the one for you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this book is fantastic! The main charatcer Ren, is so lovable, it was really hard for me to put this book down. I would reccommend this book to anyone! I hope she writes a sequel!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In New England at Saint Anthony¿s for Boys orphanage, twelve years old resident Ren wonders how he lost his left hand and who his biological parents are. He has tried to solve both puzzles for as long as he can remember, but has made no progress on either of his inquiries. He especially would like to find his family as he fears the Brothers who run the facility will soon toss him out into the real world.----------------- Adult Benjamin Nab arrives at Saint Antony with an astonishing claim that Ren is his younger brother. He backs his declaration by explaining how the preadolescent lost his hand and ended up in an orphanage. The Brothers feels good for Ren that his older sibling has come to take him home. However, Benjamin and his partner Tom are con artists whose newest ploy is to use a young angelic looking cripple to expedite the swindle. This proves quite lucrative as Ren takes to a life of crime as if he was born to it Benjamin and Tom are family to him until they reach North Umbrage where everything unravels.------------------- This engaging historical stars three fascinating crooks with radically different personalities whose adventures in con crime is somewhat abated. Readers especially the young adult audience will relish Ren¿s escapades but also undertsanbd his obsessive need to belong to someone who cares about him even if that means criminal activities this is similar to youngsters joining gangs. Hannah Tinti provides a deep look at THE GOOD THIEF whose psychological relational needs are the driving elements to this enjoyable nineteenth century character driven thriller.------------- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reading it for a book club and really enjoying it! There are a couple of mistakes in the eBook, but nothing to bad where it hinders reading. Glad this was our book club pick. It is a book that anyone who likes fiction, its hard to find a book that a group of girls who read a lot have never read and on that fits all of our styles.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is really awesome. I read it cover to cover in one day. Highly recommended!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Engaging characters, great narrative voice and an amazing story make this book a genuine masterpiece. I genuinely pity anyone who doesn't 'get' it. Read this book!!!
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