Monday, January 18, 2010

The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti

A one handed boy meets a lot of quirky eccentrics as he searches for his family

This was a hard book for me to get through – it meanders. Ren, the boy, is claimed from an orphanage, encounters lots of spooky characters and situations in a sort of fairy tale time and place. But Ren left me cold as a main character, but how could a sensitive orphan with a weakness for thievery leave me cold? He doesn’t yearn for anything and is passive? The details are unique, imaginative and numerous, but the tension never builds. Only at the end, when the boy is claimed by his uncle, that I started to get drawn into the story. About a fourth of the way in, I decided to grit my teeth and finish it (for the book seems rather short), but it was painful. The prose style was vivid and succeeded in producing an odd tone – we clearly are in a distinct different world. I like the fact the time and the setting are not quite realistic.

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