Tinti (editor-in-chief of the amazing One Story magazine) earned plenty of comparisons to Robert Louis Stevenson for this let-me-just-read-a-few-pages-oh-my-god-how-is-it-already-2-am debut novel, a loving homage to 19th-century adventure stories. Not only does she keep her plot rolling along with expert pacing, but Tinti renders her cast of misfits—assassins, grave robbers, one-handed orphans—so compassionately that I was heartbroken to watch them go.
Fall '09/Winter '10 Reading Group List
“Hannah Tinti's The Good Thief features an orphan, a con man, a giant zombie, a mad doctor, a dwarf, and a sinister factory. Need I say more? It takes a pretty incredible writer to create a 19th-century boy's adventure story with a wry, 21st-century sensibility. Once you begin, you'll be saying 'just one more chapter.'”
— Jessica Stockton, McNally Jackson Books, New York, NY
September 2008 Indie Next List
“Ren, one of many orphans at Saint Anthony's Orphanage for boys, is approaching the age when he will be conscripted into the army. A swaggering Benjamin Nab appears and claims Ren as his long-lost brother. But, as soon as they are on the way, it is clear that Benjamin Nab is not anything he seems to be. Tinti has written a wonderful, compelling novel.”
— Lyn Roberts, Square Books, Oxford, MS
Richly imagined, gothically spooky, and replete with the ingenious storytelling ability of a born novelist, The Good Thief introduces one of the most appealing young heroes in contemporary fiction and ratifies Hannah Tinti as one of our most exciting new talents. Twelve-year-old Ren is missing his left hand. How it was lost is a mystery that Ren has been trying to solve for his entire life, as well as who his parents are, and why he was abandoned as an infant at Saint Anthony's Orphanage for boys. He longs for a family to call his own and is terrified of the day he will be sent alone into the world. But then a young man named Benjamin Nab appears, claiming to be Ren's long-lost brother, and his convincing tale of how Ren lost his hand and his parents persuades the monks at the orphanage to release the boy and to give Ren some hope. But is Benjamin really who he says he is? Journeying through a New England of whaling towns and meadowed farmlands, Ren is introduced to a vibrant world of hardscrabble adventure filled with outrageous scam artists, grave robbers, and petty thieves. If he stays, Ren becomes one of them. If he goes, he's lost once again. As Ren begins to find clues to his hidden parentage he comes to suspect that Benjamin not only holds the key to his future, but to his past as well.
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