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The Good Thief

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About the Author

Hannah Tinti grew up in Salem, Massachusetts. Her work has appeared in publications including 'Story', 'Epoch', 'Alaska Quarterly Review' and 'Best American Mystery Stories 2003'. She earned her M.A. from New York University's Graduate Creative Writing Program and has been awarded residency fellowships from, among others, the New York State Writers Institute. She is currently the editor of 'One Story' magazine.


Set in New England, presumably in the 19th century, Tinti's Disney-ready first novel (after story collection Animal Crackers) follows one-handed orphan Ren's not quite rags-to-riches tale. Ren, with his love for religion and penchant for thievery, is immediately likable, and when rugged, tall-tale spinning con man Benjamin Nab strolls into Ren's orphanage one day and claims Ren as his brother, it seems too good to be true, and it is. Benjamin, along with boozy partner-in-crime Tom, lead Ren throughout New England, using the endearing, crippled orphan to "open doors" and make their hustling life easier. When they finally end up in North Umbrage, a town that looms large in Benjamin's past, the trio's luck dries up, and Ren must decide who he can trust and what he is willing to sacrifice in order to have this family. For a novel full of scams, shams and underhanded deals and populated by hustlers, thieves and grave robbers, the sense of menace is muted, but as an adventure yarn with YA crossover appeal, it's tough to beat. (Aug.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

'A confident whirl of a read, with pathos and drama nicely juxtaposed' -- Guardian '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' -- Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love 'A joy to read!well-drawn, evocative characters and fantastical imagination' -- Metro 'a beautiful novel, a dazzling debut' -- Sunday Telegraph, Sydney

This recipient of the 2008 American Library Association's Alex Award solidifies Tinti (Animal Crackers) as one of the most exciting new novelists of our time. Her gothic depiction of a gritty Colonial New England provides the perfect backdrop for this bizarre tale of a light-fingered, one-handed adolescent who is rescued from a Catholic orphanage only to be introduced to an ethereal underworld of charismatic grave robbers, gargantuan assassins, rooftop-dwelling dwarves, black-market dentists, and somewhat sanguinary surgeons. William Dufris (the original voice of Bob the Builder in the animated TV series of the same name) jumps among the myriad characters convincingly and without missing a beat. Recommended for YA and adult audiences who appreciate all-boys adventures in the vein of Dickens and Twain.-Isela Pena-Rager, San Dimas, CA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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