Thursday, May 14, 2009


It's evidently been my week of Hanna/Hannahs. First, German Hanna from The Reader and now author Hannah Tinti.

Fun cover, eh? It makes you think it's a YA novel but don't be fooled. The Good Thief starts out in a YA vein but then evolves into something I wouldn't want my child to read. It wasn't crude or vulgar but did have some scenes involving grave digging (with lots of detail about the dead bodies and such), people getting beat up and other sorts of things that an older reading audience (say 11 and up) could appreciate the details more and not get grossed out/scared. It could've been a good YA novel but as the book went on, it just didn't read like one.

The plot is rather Dickensesque. Ren, our young hero, is an orphan living at a Catholic orphanage. He's also missing a hand, which has scared off anyone who would've adopted him. Ren's luck changes when Benjamin Nab adopts him...but it turns out Benjamin is a thief. Fortunately for Benjamin, Ren is also a thief, a naturally talented one.

Benjamin and Ren meet up with Tom, a friend of Benjamin's. They con people, steal stuff, etc. The guys end up in a certain town, where all sorts of plotlines are created and tie together. Tinti definitely created a convoluted plot, but I thought for the most part, it worked--at least in the world that she had created.

I like Tinti's style of writing; it's flowy and detailed and again, reminiscent of Dickens. I bet her later works will be even better--after all, this was her first novel.

Rating: 8/10

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