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Dear Thief: A Novel by Samantha Harvey
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Dear Thief: A Novel

by Samantha Harvey

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Because of the way the novel is structured (as a letter to another character), the very fine writing only made me frustrated with the narrator. “You are a fabulous writer who exhibits a great deal of self-awareness,” I wanted to say, “so maybe get up and do something with your life instead of spending several months reliving the past?” (True enough, the protagonist says, “On the whole I do not think of you anymore,” but since a two-hundred page letter follows that declaration, it is difficult to believe.) It is perhaps a tribute to Harvey’s skill as a writer that the book evoked such strong feelings of exasperation in me; there were moment when I wanted to reach into the pages and shake some sense into the protagonist. And yet the book left me frustrated: is this the best use of Harvey’s talent? All those beautiful sentences in service of this story? ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
The book takes the form of of a long letter written to out-of-touch old friend, and the backstory of their lives and relationship is gradually filled in. But this book is not so much about what happens as how it is told. The writing is lush in life, death and decay, reminding me most of all of the richness of a Peter Greenaway film. Perfect for lovers of great writing. ( )
  rrmmff2000 | May 25, 2016 |
The story kept upending my expectations. Just when I thought I knew what was going to happen, the narrative would undermine itself, and I wouldn't be sure any longer how much of the story was made up in the narrator's head, and how much of it was as 'true' as any book of social realism. I became aware too of how much of the story, like any story, was happening in my own head, in the way I imagined its characters and scenes. Harvey allows all of these realities to exist simultaneously.

The writing wavers between "exquisite" and "overwritten." Some scenes are breathtaking. Others are too overladen with loveliness for my tastes. The experience of reading the novel reminded me a great deal of my experience with reading 2005 Booker winner [b:The Sea|3656|The Sea|John Banville|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1386924824s/3656.jpg|987554] by John Banville--like Banville's novel, "Dear Thief" is graceful, and complex, and a little too meandering.

( )
  poingu | Jan 23, 2016 |
An unnamed narrator writes a letter to Nina, or Butterfly, a long missing friend, regurgitating her own life, the stories of their shared life and those of Nicholas her husband, and Teddy her son. There is no telling whether she is a reliable narrator as she shifts forward and back, she makes interpretations, predictions, poses unanswered questions, answers unasked questions, and progresses with her ordinary life, touched by the cafe owner Yannis, and the aged inhabitant Gene in the care home she works at now. Modelling for life classes in her spare time. Sinking herself into memory and its restless toiling. Knitting together reading after reading of their acts, of their lives.

This is a deceptive novel. Relatively plotless, but with powerful sips of narrative. Images that awaken memories of your own as well as those of the narrator. Certainly a novel that benefits from imbibing in long drafts. ( )
  Caroline_McElwee | Aug 23, 2015 |
Lovely writing. ( )
  Sharon.Flesher | Jul 13, 2015 |
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amazon com You were going to work your way into my marriage and you were going to call its new three-way shape holy," writes the unnamed narrator of Dear Thief.

The thief is Nina, or Butterfly, who disappeared eighteen years earlier and who is being summoned by this letter, this bomb, these recollections, revisions, accusations, and confessions.

"Sometimes I imagine, out of sheer playfulness, that I am writing this as a kind of defence for having murdered and buried you under the patio."

Dear Thief is a letter to an old friend, a song, a jewel, and a continuously surprising triangular love story. Samantha Harvey writes with a dazzling blend of fury and beauty about the need for human connection and the brutal vulnerability that need exposes.

"While I write my spare hand might be doing anything for all you know; it might be driving a pin into your voodoo stomach."

Here is a rare novel that traverses the human heart in original and indelible ways.
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