Saturday, February 28, 2009

17. "The Good Thief" - Hanna Tinti

I thought I was getting "The Book Thief," which tickled my imagination. I'm not sure if it is even a book, but this is what I ended up taking home from the library instead.

Ren is a 12-year-old boy living in a New England Catholic orphanage. He fears growing out of the system, when the army will take him, but his lack of a hand makes him unwanted by the local farmers.

Enter Benjamin Nab, a trickster and schemer who takes Ren away under the guise of brother. Joining Nab's friend, Tom, the trio sell everything from fake potions to dead bodies.

I could have loved this book, but what charmed many people frustrated me. There are no normal characters. From the landlady to the nuns, not a single character has predictable behavior or habits. Without some semblence of normalcy, how do we compare the rest of the crazies? Perhaps if placed in a fairy tale world, it would not have seemed over the top. Placed in a small town in New England, it simply felt like one long tall tale with no honesty. Perhaps the "good thief" is the author, herself.

2.75 out of 5.0 Goods.


Kristin Dodge said...

And, feeling very stupid, yes, there is "The Book Thief." I read it and loved it. Thank ye gods that I have this blog because I'm losing my memory quickly.

Steph said...

Well, it may be the opposite of what you intended, but your review has actually intrigued me regarding this book, and I want to give it a shot!

I have to say, the typeface used for the cover, as well as the illustration style made me think that this book was somewhere in Asia, filled with shoguns and warriors. I guess this is why one is not supposed to judge books by their covers!

Jason said...

I love your take on this book. You're so damn smart. Miss Smartypants.

Kristin Dodge said...

Jason, read your blog.

Steph, I had the same impression, after I got over my initial impression of "this is not the right book." It seems that I'm in the minority on this one, though. Critics love it. Not this critic, though. Sorry, Hannah (yes, I got the email that I spelled your name wrong... it stays because I'm not in a nice mood).

LisaMM said...

I really enjoyed this one but I agree that the characters are quirky!