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13 January 2013

Book Review: Thieves of Manhattan


The Thieves of ManhattanThe Thieves of Manhattan by Adam Langer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So, hmmm.  Hip, sly, outrageous, ridiculous, meta, snarky, fake memoir which lampoons memoirs professing to be real, the publishing industry, authors, liars, truth-tellers, the creation of literature and truth itself.

For the first 60 pages or so, I kept dogearing pages with words that made no sense to me;  "she'd been smoking vonneguts" "pedestrians clutching black poppinses" "wearing a gatsby" "covering my portnoy"

Then, while the narrator, Ian, is reading the book A Thief in Manhattan, he says "What I liked most were Roth's knowing literary references ... Throughout, Roth employed a literary sort of slang; he called an overcoat a "gogol," a smile a "cheshire," and an umbrella a "poppins."  He called trains "highsmiths," because they appeared so often in Patricia Highsmith's thrillers, and referred to money as "daisies," since in The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald describes Daisy Buchanan's voice as being "full of money."  At the end of Roth's manuscript, he included a glossary of literary terms ..."

On a whim, I turned to the back of Langer's book.  Glossary of terms.

And at some point, Ian's manuscript is too long.  He must cut it down to 250 pages.  The Thieves of Manhattan, in it's paperback published form, runs 253 pages.

And while it got a little too Da Vinci Code in the end (perhaps purposefully so?) I enjoyed it immensely and read it in one night.



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