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The Man Who Loved Books Too Much


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About the Author

Allison Hoover Bartlett's writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle Magazine, and other publications. Her original article on John Gilkey was included in The Best American Crime Reporting 2007.


In her first book, freelance writer Bartlett lifts the veil on the methods of John Charles Gilkey, a thief whose prey of choice was rare books (between 1999 and 2003 he stole approximately $100,000 worth of books from dealers nationwide). Equally fascinating is Gilkey's pursuer, Ken Sanders, a rare-books dealer-turned-amateur detective. Listeners are drawn into the convoluted mind of the thief, the determination of the dealer, and the author's own ambivalence as she becomes involved with both figures and begins to question her journalistic impartiality. Narrator Judith Brackley, who has a long career as a voice artist, brings the appropriate degree of calm and matter-of-fact narration to this engaging material. For all book lovers, book collectors, and readers of true crime. [The Riverhead hc was an LJ Best Book of 2009.-Ed.]-J. Sara Paulk, Fitzgerald-Ben Hill Cty. Lib., GA Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

"In this great read about the collector's obsession gone wrong, Ms. Bartlett gives us fascinating glimpses of the rare book world, the criminal mind and the limits of journalistic involvement. Anyone who has trouble passing a used bookstore without going in will love this book."
--Lynn H. Nicholas, author of The Rape of Europa

"Hats off to Allison Bartlett for a splendid contribution to the literature of bibliophilia/bibliomania, the John Gilkey-Ken 'bibliodick' Sanders story is one that cried out to be told, and she has accomplished it with style and substance. Very nicely done."
--Nicholas A. Basbanes, author of A Gentle Madness "A fascinating journey into a strange, obsessive world where a love for books can sometimes become a fatal attraction."
--Simon Worrall, author of The Poet and the Murderer "John Gilkey wanted to own a rich-man's library in the worst way, and was soon acquiring expensive first editions in the very worst way of all: theft. Allison Hoover Bartlett's "The Man Who Loved Books Too Much" is the enthralling account of a gently mad con artist and his fraudulent credit-card scams, but it's also a meditation on the urge to collect and a terrific introduction to the close-knit, swashbuckling world of antiquarian book dealers."
--Michael Dirda, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and author of Classics for Pleasure and the memoir An Open Book "Allison Hoover Bartlett has written a meticulous and fascinating book about a serial bookthief and the persistent sleuth who dogged him for years and finally caught him. It will be especially gripping for those of us who trade in antiquarian books, who owe much to Ken Sanders's persistence. A fine read."
--Larry McMurtry, bestselling author of Books: A Memoir and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lonesome Dove "With its brilliantly observed details, wry humor, and thrilling plot twists, Bartlett's narrative drew me deep into the obsessive world of a book thief and the dealer determined to stop him. It's a captivating cat-and-mouse game and a fascinating exploration of why people are so passionate about books. If you liked The Orchid Thief, you're going to love The Man Who Loved Books Too Much."
--Julia Flynn Siler, author of The House of Mondavi "Bartlett's tale of literary intrigue makes you fall in love with books all over again. From her fascinating descriptions of prized manuscripts to her profile of a man who took an obsession too far, her story will leave you hankering to read more. "
--Julia Scheeres, author of Jesus Land "As a rule I approach unsolicited galleys with the same degree of delight that I reserve for root canals. This book surprised me. I read the first paragraph and was drawn in, not so much by the subject matter as by the author's cozy, quiet style, evocative of the work of Dava Sobel and Janet Malcolm. I found the narrative compelling, and I loved the inside stories about old books."
--Erik Larson, bestselling author of The Devil and the White City

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