Saturday, February 28, 2009

"The Good Thief" - Hannah 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.


moonrat said...

Iiii'm inclined to agree. I read this book and simply didn't find anything there for me. I didn't review it on thebookbook because all the critical reviews have been so positive, I figured I must have missed something.

Kristin Dodge said...

Then we both missed it. Or we read much more powerful books for comparison's sake.