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Gentleman Thief: The Recollections of a Cat Burglar Hardcover – 6 Nov 1995


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition, First Impression edition (6 Nov 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002555654
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002555654
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.7 x 4.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 361,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

'The anticipation of larceny was like an imminent orgasm, a joist so adjacent to sex with a tart that it was hard to say which he preferred’: so writes the legendary rogue and Mayfair cat burglar Peter Scott, whose spate of rooftop jewel thefts over 30 years was to earn him the newspaper nickname 'the Human Fly'.'

In his candid and racy memoirs, told in his own words in the third person, the Ulster-born, public-school educated charmer describes how his 'obscene passion for larceny' led him to a life of pillage, a career of wine, women and gambling – and twelve years in jail.

Targeting film stars and the super-rich, as well as posh London furriers, jewellers and galleries, and usually equipped with nothing more than his own agility and a ladder, this real-life Raffles robbed a host of the high and mighty, famously ending up on one occasion with Sophia Loren's knickers and on another in the arms of a duchess.

The £30 million Scott stole was quickly spent. Today he lives, a repentant sinner, under his real name of Peter Craig Gulston in a council flat in north London, charging a tenner a time as a 'tennis bum'.

‘At the height of his career, Peter Scott was probably the country's most successful professional cat burglar… He has taken to writing with a passion as intense as the one he used to feel for burglary. He is a natural author… fascinating stuff.’
MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS

‘His autobiography omits nothing… the quality of a top-class novel… humour, satire, social observation and psychological insight’
DAILY EXPRESS

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

In Peter Scott`s candid and racy memoirs, told in his own words in the third person, the Ulster-born, public-school educated charmer describes how his ‘obscene passion for larceny’ led him to a life of pillage, a career of wine, women and gambling – and twelve years in jail.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By cchatwood2000@yahoo.com on 11 Nov 2000
Format: Paperback
I bought this book for my Dad as he believed he had met Peter Scott on holiday. As it turned out he hadn't met THIS Peter Scott, but having read the book, he now wishes he had! I subsequently read it and found it to be one of the most unbelievable stories I have ever read. From being a big time thief who mixed with the highest celebrities of the day to a man down his luck. This man must pinch himself from time to time just to see if his life hasn't been one long dream - or, at times, a nightmare.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ian Millard on 10 Mar 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The autobiographist was one of the leading "non-violent" criminals of his era. I was particularly interested to read this, having lived for years in the area where he spent a lot of time, lived for part of his life, socialized and played tennis: Little Venice and Maida Vale. Although I am not a tennis player, I used to all but live in Raoul's Cafe, which he mentions several times. He was, it seems, an habitue of the tiny Windsor Castle pub, which I occasionally used despite its local repuation as "the gangster pub" (never any trouble, but sometimes VERY expensive motors parked out front...) and he seems to have been enamoured in some way with Sheila, the VERY formidable landlady, who ruled over her lovely little stable of pretty barmaids with what seemed to be a rod of iron. Well, who am I to say? Scott (real name Gulston) obviously knew the place better than a mere local resident like me...and he uses her full name. But I cannot recall having noticed him around. Why would I, though? Although he says he had tanned looks and was "flash", that could cover half the chancers and posers in Maida Vale lol!

As to his life, he was born in Belfast of middle class stock, though the family had a religious extremism rare even in that gloomy part of the world: Plymouth Brethren (like the family of Aleister Crowley). He started burgling while a teenager and got away with about 150, until locked up at Crumlin Road Prison. Burgling somehow grew alongside his sexualization and he seems to have had a lot of erotic feelings mixed up with the larcenous ones.

Later, in London, he specialized in crossing roofs and climbing drainpipes to loot furs in bulk as well as the jewels of the rich and famous, Sophia Loren among them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Gould on 27 Mar 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed this book and provided a critique for the version with a somewhat different cover.....

The main purpose of my renewed comment is to advise that Peter Scott aka Peter Craig Gulston died on the 17th March 2013 aged 82 and his obituary appears in The Times ( 25/3/2013 )

He had declared himself Bankrupt and in recent years lived on Benefits in a Council Flat in Islington, riding a bicycle, working as a tennis coach and tending the flowers in the garden of his local Church.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this book compulsive reading - mainly because it was so literate and so brutally honest. Very well constructed. The surprising thing for me was how many ladders seemed to be so casually available for the break in artist willing to have a go.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
fantastic read what this guy got up to is unbelievable.sometimes meticulous planning went into jobs others were piain smash and grab.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Item in Ok condiotion. As for the contents, it's quite interesting but whilst he trots out his "vengeance on society" excuses, but it's clear (particularly at certain points) that he was a selfish and unscrupulous man.
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