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Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman (Wordsworth…

Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman (Wordsworth Classics) (original 1905; edition 1994)

by E. W. Hornung

Series: Raffles (1)

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5392818,630 (3.31)55
Title:Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman (Wordsworth Classics)
Authors:E. W. Hornung
Info:Wordsworth Editions, Edition: First Thus, Paperback
Collections:Read and passed on

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Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman by E. W. Hornung (1905)

  1. 01
    The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (majkia)
    majkia: Although completely different settings, still the same lighthearted thievery going on.

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» See also 55 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
A. J. Raffles, a gentleman thief, travels among the elite of the London social register. Invited for his classy manners and top cricket playing at many a manor and country estate, he is a bit of a Robin Hood-esque figure crossed with Sherlock Holmes. Being of good manners, he never steals from his hosts, but if there is something amiss he will make it all right.

Harry "Bunny" Manders, an old schoolmate, plays Watson to Raffles. Recording their many adventures while also being the partner in crime.

In "A Jubilee Present", Raffles becomes enamored with a priceless gold cup in the British Museum. Managing to steal it from out of heavy security, it finds it so beautiful that he can't melt it down to sell. Instead he presents it to Queen Victoria in tribute to her Diamond Jubilee. A bit of Robin Hood here.

This is the second collection of short stories recounting some of their adventure. The stories take place later in their careers. This was the first collection published. There are two other books of earlier adventures that were published later. I definitely plan to read them.

Interesting note is that E.W. Hornung was Arthur Conan Doyle's brother-in-law, and felt that Raffles was to be a form of flattery to Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. ( )
  ChazziFrazz | Jun 23, 2016 |
The adventures of Raffles, gentleman jewel thief, as told by his unwilling but adoring friend, Bunny. It's strange but diverting
  amyem58 | Apr 8, 2016 |
recommended to me as: "They're basically Sherlock and Watson, but criminals. It's awesome. http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/706
To make the Raffles books even better - not only are they basically Holmes and Watson but criminals; Hornung was ACD's brother-in-law, and Raffles and Bunny were pretty much an intentional Holmes and Watson parody, complete with OTT slashiness that might actually have been intentional.

Be warned for some A Product Of It's Time casual racism in one or two of the stories, though."
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
This is more of a historical curiosity now as the stories aren't very exciting or clever.

A.J. Raffles is a gentleman thief in late Victorian England whose main cover story of playing cricket allows him some outside excuse for travel. He has a sidekick named Bunny Manders who is the one documenting the stories. There is a main adversary as well in Inspector MacKenzie of Scotland Yard. If these parallels to Sherlock Holmes aren't enough for you, then you should also know that author E.W. Hornung was the brother-in-law of Arthur Conan Doyle.

The stories however usually involve simply quick and bold grabs without any particularly clever scheme, so in comparison to modern day heist thrillers this is pretty tame stuff. Still, it is interesting to see the anti-hero precedents being set here.

For another early (c. 1900) gentleman thief series of books I'd recommend Maurice Leblanc's Arsène Lupin series where the lead character is also quite charming and witty. ( )
  alanteder | Aug 13, 2015 |
This is one of those books that I felt I had to read because I've heard about it so much. It is a slim volume of short stories told in a continuous narrative. Bunny, the narrator, is a friend who was tricked into joining Raffles in crime. After the first time, future crimes naturally follow. The stories are simple, fun, old-fashioned ("It's a fair cop, guv'nor"), although Raffles is not as honourable as I was led to believe. ( )
  VivienneR | Dec 9, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
E. W. Hornungprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Green, Richard LancelynEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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One of the great merits of The Amateur Cracksman is that it can be read for enjoyment without the need for an introduction or for any of the scholarly apparatus which its classic status deserves.
The Ides of March
IT WAS ABOUT HALF-PAST TWELVE when I returned to the Albany as a last desperate resort.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141439335, Mass Market Paperback)

The Ides of March/ A Costume Piece/ Gentlemen and Players/ Le Premier Pas/ Wilful Murder/ Nine Points of the Law/ The Return Match/ The Gift of the Emperor In these stories, Raffles, the public-school gentleman, mixes his aptitude for cricket with his passion for crime. Here we see Raffles stealing from the nouveau riche and outwitting the law, thieving diamonds and bowling like a demon, all with the help of his accomplice and ex-fag Bunny.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:49 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In these stories, Raffles, the public-school gentleman, mixes his aptitude for cricket with his passion for crime. Here we see Raffles stealing from the nouveau riches and outwitting the law, thieving diamonds and bowling like a demon, all with the help of his accomplice and ex-fag Bunny.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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