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The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti
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The Good Thief

by Hannah Tinti

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1,4201287,762 (3.69)134
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Showing 1-5 of 127 (next | show all)
I think I was expecting too much from this book, highly recommended by some, disliked by others. A cast of rowdy characters and young orphan boys are swept into circumstances that are quite unbelievable. Thievery and violence took over the plot, leaving me somewhat depressed and disappointed in the book. I found some portions to be clever and original, but all in all I'm not impressed with this author's style. My humble opinion. I'm swaying between 2 and 3 stars, but giving the benefit of the doubt. ( )
  NanceeM | Dec 23, 2017 |
Beautifully written. Ren, a one-handed orphan left at a monastery as an infant is surprised when a man turns up claiming to be his long lost brother. Armed with a story of how Indians scalped their parents, he rescues Ren from his lonely life and takes him on the road, conning locals wherever they end up. Was he conning Ren as well? ( )
  04hcarter | Jul 18, 2017 |
This is a wonderful, touching novel full of characters that you root for and come to care about. The time period is not specified, but feels early 1900's. The main character is Ren, a young boy raised in a Catholic orphanage and missing one hand. He was left at the orphanage as a baby in secret, and no one knows who his parents were and why he was left there. Men come occasionally to the orphanage to adopt a child, but no one wants a boy with one hand. Ren yearns for a family and dreads his inevitable induction into the army, but one day a miracle occurs. A man named Benjamin shows up claiming Ren as his brother, and tells a long tale of an Indiana attack that killed their parents and took Ren’s missing hand. Ren’s dream of being adopted comes true, but Benjamin is not the brother he claims, and soon Ren is involved in small-time cons, thievery and grave-robbing adventures with Benjamin and his partner Tom. I really enjoyed reading this story and loved the many different characters. Personally I’m hoping for a sequel to find out what happened next. ( )
  dorie.craig | Jun 22, 2017 |
This is one book that has been superbly done as an audio title. The reader uses many voices to convey the characters, but he gives special meaning to Dolly. I suspect I would have loved the hard copy version of this book as much as the audio (although the reverse is not always true.
I just loved the blend of the characters, their foibles, and their humanity. ( )
  Eye_Gee | May 8, 2017 |
Loved the premise of this book: orphaned one-armed young boy being claimed by a man who claims to be his brother in the early years in New England. Ren only knows his name due to a small scrap of fabric that was found with him when he was abandoned at the St. Anthony Orphanage. When Benjamin Nab comes to the orphanage, he claims him as his long lost brother and tells a wild tale about how the boy lost his arm. Benjamin is, in fact, a swindler and con artist along with his friend Tom. They use Ren as a part of their schemes at time such as selling a potion for bad behaving children.

The story is sort of a Dickensian adventure story as the group as one adventure after the other eventually leading to grave robbery which was profitable as a local surgeon would pay for the bodies to help him study. Along the way they meet other colorful characters such as Dolly, the giant who is paid to kill people with this own hands, and Mrs. Sands, the deaf owner of a boarding house for the girls who work at the McGlinty Mousetrap factory.

One trouble leads to another and it is eventually Ren discovers his real name, the story of his dead mother, and his relationship to Benjamin.

I probably read the first half of the book in one setting loving the characters and adventure. However, time interfered and I lost part of the plot. At times, it had almost a touch of magical realism such as the digging up of Dolly in a grave. The ending is perhaps a bit too pat, but overall I enjoyed the story even though it is filled with violence and terrible situations, but always told with a light hand. ( )
  maryreinert | Apr 18, 2017 |
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Epigraph
If a man can write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mousetrap than his neighbor, though he build his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Dedication
For my sisters, Hester and Honorah
First words
The man arrived after morning prayers.
Quotations
Ren had read the ending many times, and he still felt terrible about it. Hawkeye spent the entire novel fighting Indians and righting wrongs, but when he left Judith to her lonely fate, he always seemed less of a hero.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385337450, Hardcover)

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.

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:03 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Growing up in a New England orphanage unaware of his family and of how he had lost his left hand as an infant, twelve-year-old Ren is terrified of the future, until a young man shows up claiming to be his long-lost brother, with whom he embarks on an adventure-filled odyssey of scam artists, petty criminals, and resurrection men.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

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Hannah Tinti chatted with LibraryThing members from Aug 24, 2009 to Sep 4, 2009. Read the chat.

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