Friday, November 14, 2008

The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti

2009 Alex Award Winner!

Have you ever read anything by Charles Dickens? If so, you can't help but think of Dickensian England as you read this adult novel by first time novelist Hannah Tinti.

Ren is an orphan and dreams of finding out who his family is. But then Benjamin Nab claims him as his brother and Ren is thrust into a world of crime and deceit. Nab is a thief and Ren falls quickly into his footsteps. But, remember, I said Dickens? The world is dark, dreary, and full of dangerous factories with working children. There's a dwarf forced to live on rooftops to escape bullying and a giant coerced into killing for a living. There's a woman who yells because she is deaf and people who dig up dead bodies for science. Doctors are amputating and children are stealing to prevent hunger. Add in the nasty Top Hats who maim and kill for their boss McGinty and you've got quite a story.

Did I like it? I'm not sure. And I couldn't sell it to my book club members. It's dark and dreary and very violent at times. But at least the ending is uplifting.

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