The Good Thief: A Novel (Paperback)

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Fall '09/Winter '10 Reading Group List


“Hannah Tinti's The Good Thief features an orphan, a con man, a giant zombie, a mad doctor, a dwarf, and a sinister factory. Need I say more? It takes a pretty incredible writer to create a 19th-century boy's adventure story with a wry, 21st-century sensibility. Once you begin, you'll be saying 'just one more chapter.'”
— Jessica Stockton, McNally Jackson Books, New York, NY

September 2008 Indie Next List


“Ren, one of many orphans at Saint Anthony's Orphanage for boys, is approaching the age when he will be conscripted into the army. A swaggering Benjamin Nab appears and claims Ren as his long-lost brother. But, as soon as they are on the way, it is clear that Benjamin Nab is not anything he seems to be. Tinti has written a wonderful, compelling novel.”
— Lyn Roberts, Square Books, Oxford, MS

Description


Richly imagined, gothically spooky, and replete with the ingenious storytelling ability of a born novelist, The Good Thief introduces one of the most appealing young heroes in contemporary fiction and ratifies Hannah Tinti as one of our most exciting new talents.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The New York Times Book Review 
The Washington Post  San Francisco Chronicle Kirkus Reviews

Winner of the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and an American Library Association Alex Award

Twelve year-old Ren is missing his left hand. How it was lost is a mystery that Ren has been trying to solve for his entire life, as well as who his parents are, and why he was abandoned as an infant at Saint Anthony’s Orphanage for boys. He longs for a family to call his own and is terrified of the day he will be sent alone into the world.

But then a young man named Benjamin Nab appears, claiming to be Ren’s long-lost brother, and his convincing tale of how Ren lost his hand and his parents persuades the monks at the orphanage to release the boy and to give Ren some hope. But is Benjamin really who he says he is? Journeying through a New England of whaling towns and meadowed farmlands, Ren is introduced to a vibrant world of hardscrabble adventure filled with outrageous scam artists, grave robbers, and petty thieves. If he stays, Ren becomes one of them. If he goes, he’s lost once again. As Ren begins to find clues to his hidden parentage he comes to suspect that Benjamin not only holds the key to his future, but to his past as well.

Praise for The Good Thief

"Every once in a while—if you are very lucky—you come upon a novel so marvelous and enchanting and rare that you wish everyone in the world would read it, as well. The Good Thief is just such a book—a beautifully composed work of literary magic."—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

"Darkly transporting . . . [In] The Good Thief, the reader can find plain-spoken fiction full of traditional virtues: strong plotting, pure lucidity, visceral momentum and a total absence of writerly mannerisms. In Ms. Tinti’s case that means an American Dickensian tale with touches of Harry Potterish whimsy, along with a macabre streak of spooky New England history."New York Times

About the Author


Hannah Tinti's work has appeared in magazines and anthologies, including The Best American Mystery Stories 2003. Her short-story collection, Animal Crackers, has been sold in fifteen countries, and was a runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway Award. She is the editor of One Story magazine.


From the Hardcover edition.

Praise For…


"Every once in a while—if you are very lucky—you come upon a novel so marvelous and enchanting and rare that you wish everyone in the world would read it, as well. The Good Thief is just such a book—a beautifully composed work of literary magic."—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

"Darkly transporting . . . [In] The Good Thief, the reader can find plain-spoken fiction full of traditional virtues: strong plotting, pure lucidity, visceral momentum and a total absence of writerly mannerisms. In Ms. Tinti’s case that means an American Dickensian tale with touches of Harry Potterish whimsy, along with a macabre streak of spooky New England history."New York Times

"Tinti, like John Barth with his postmodern picturesque classic, The Sot-Weed Factor, has created one of the freshest, most beguiling narratives this side of Oliver Twist."O: The Oprah Magazine

"Hannah Tinti has written a lightning strike of a novel—beautiful and haunting and ever so bright. She is a 21st century Robert Louis Stevenson, an adventuress who lays bare her character's hearts with a precision and a fearlessness that will leave you shaken."—Junot Díaz

"The Good Thief's characters are weird and wonderful. . . . [It] has all the makings of a classic—a hero, a villain and a rollicking good tale set in 19th century New England about a good boy who gets mixed up with a lot of bad men. . . . All of that, along with its humor, ingenuity and fast pace, make The Good Thief compelling."San Francisco Chronicle

“Ren lives every child's fantasy, to leave a mundane life for an adventure in which he discovers who he was supposed to be and who he could yet become. . . . [His] mischievous ways earned the character comparisons to Huck Finn and Oliver Twist. And the plot, which winds its way through a mousetrap factory and the memory of a family tragedy, certainly give him a literary playground in which to frolic.”—Associated Press

“The key to Tinti's success with this novel is the constant tension between tenderness and peril, a tension that she ratchets up until the final pages. . . . [With] enough harrowing scrapes and turns to satisfy your inner Dickens.”Washington Post Book World

“Difficult to put down . . . A cavalcade of chase scenes, suspenseful moments and revelations.”Seattle Times

“The kind of story that might have kept you reading all day when you were home sick from school. . . . Writing for adults while keeping to a child’s perspective isn’t easy, and Tinti makes it look effortless.”The New York Times Book Review

“Tinti secures her place as one of the sharpest, slyest young American novelists."Entertainment Weekly

“[A] striking debut novel . . . Unfolds like a Robert Louis Stevenson tale retold amid the hardscrabble squalor of Colonial New England.  The sheer strangeness of the story is beguiling. . . . Good fun.”The New Yorker
Product Details
ISBN: 9780385337465
ISBN-10: 0385337469
Publisher: Dial Press Trade Paperback
Publication Date: August 11th, 2009
Pages: 368
Language: English