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The Sacred Art Of Stealing [Paperback]

Christopher Brookmyre
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Oct 2002

Their eyes met across a crowded room. She was just a poor servant girl and he was the son of a rich industrialist.

Er, no, this is a Christopher Brookmyre novel, although the eyes meeting across a crowded room part is true. Where it differs from the fairy tales is that the room in question was crowded with hostages and armed bank-robbers, and his eyes were the only part of him she could see behind the mask. He is an art-thief par excellence and she is a connoisseur of crooks. Her job is to hunt him to extinction; his is to avoid being caught and he also has a secret agenda more valuable than anything he might steal. There are risks he can take without jeopardising his plans. He can afford to play cat-and-mouse with the female cop who's on his tail; it might even arguably be necessary. What he can't afford is to let her get too close: he could could end up in jail or, even more scary, he could end up in love ...



Product details

  • Paperback: 409 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus (3 Oct 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349115540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349115542
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 893,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chris Brookmyre was a journalist before becoming a full time novelist with the publication of QUITE UGLY ONE MORNING. Since writing A BIG BOY DID IT AND RAN AWAY he and his family decided to move away from Aberdeen and now live near Glasgow.

Product Description

Review

A thriller, love story, social satire and a warning against taking absurdism too seriously.. (TIME OUT)

Chris Brookmyre is a genius. (DAILY MIRROR)

Brookmyre has no equal. (MAXIM)

Exhilarating linguistic fluency and keenly subversive intelligence (SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY)

Book Description

A robbery in Glasgow might not seem an unusual background for a crime novel - until it's put into the hands of Britain's leading satirist ...

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brookmyre's best 13 Jan 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Ingenious, amusing, entertaining. I've read all his books and the style and humour have always outweighed the diatribes against politically obvious targets. This time he gets the balance just right and the plot twists are brilliant, particualrly in the original bank robbery. His best, i think, although it's a tough fight against One Fine Day...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A breath of fresh air 11 Aug 2005
Format:Paperback
Picking up a book by accident by an author unknown to you, more often that not, is disappointing. Brookmyre's "The sacred art of stealing" was a joy to read. Refreshingly different, viciously subversive and, in the main, great entertainment. The opening chapter was hilarious, identifying with half the population and the writing is of the highest order and its content made it a rivetting introduction to the rest of the book. The description later of the gang's entry to the precinct and subsequent act of robbery is class. I will make a point of reading more of Brookmyre.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Anqelique de Xavia (A Big Boy, etc.) returns in a book that shows a slight homage to Soderbergh's "Out of Touch" - only the film wasn't quite as funny and featured fewer invectives about Glaswegian Football fans.
The oddest bank robbery ever takes place in Buchanan St and de Xavia ends up as part of the show. Still not over the events in the previous book (a terrorist attack at a Scottish dam) she is feeling restless (it being her 30th birthday doesn't help). And her response to the robbers' leader clashes pretty seriously with her professional responsibilities.
The book has as much anger as you expect from Brookmyre, and while not as funny as "One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night" it can certainly cause you to embarrass yourself on crowded transport - several LOLs are a cert.
As usual there are the comparisons to Hiassen, but reading Brookmyre I get something I never get from Hiassen's books - I know where he is coming from. I recognise the backdrop and the politics, and it gives it so much more meaning. It was years before I knew about the provenance of some of Hiassen's characters (sugar - say no more) and it adds so much more. Brookmyre is a damn fine writer - but I can't help looking forward to each book even more because I recognise so much that is brilliantly transferred into print.
And the evil treatment of a right wing journalist should certainly warn anyone who intends to argue his politics of what the response may be!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The sacred art of writing great books... 18 Oct 2002
By nic
Format:Paperback
Once again Christopher Brookmyre has excelled himself. The Sacred Art of Stealing is incredibly well-written - from the excellently observed characterisations, to the truly funny dialogue and a plot that twists and turns more times than a big bowl of spaghetti. It's just as tasty and satisfying too, while being much, much more witty and entertaining.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and will probably read it again very soon, just to check out exactly how the plot was set and then unravelled so magnificently. If you're after a good read, and a few laughs along the way, this is your book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilariously funny and very very clever 29 Dec 2004
Format:Paperback
This is the first Brookmere novel I've read and I loved it.
The ingeneous plot is peppered with clever twists and turns. The characterisation and dialog is superb. The author has a way of creating and describing side-splittingly funny situations and several times I found myself in stitches laughing as events unfolded.
I obviously can't compare this novel to the author's other work but on the strength of this one (and the comments of other reviewers here) I will certainly be settling down to read some of the others.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not his best but very close 21 July 2006
By Mr. Terence Jones VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
I've got every Christopher Brookmyre book having been introduced to him by a friend who was a fan a good while ago. My first book i read was A Big Boy Did It, i then went back and purchased and read (in order of publication) The previous 5 books. I am now onto his 7th book (this one) and having met the man himself (he's from a town 2 miles from me) i can say that you really get a feel for what Brookmyre is about in this book. Although i haven't read his latest 3 novels(Be My Enemy, All Fun And Games, A Tale Etched In Blood) this in my opinion is his second best novel (his best is One Fine Day In The Middle Of The Night)

Some of them (Boiling A Frog, Not The End Of The World) are a bit of a struggle to get to the end but this is fantastic. To read it you really need to have read it's predecessor A Big Boy... as it introduces Angelique to you and there are references to events in the previous book. As a work on it's own merits it does stand out. In my opinion the closer Brookmyre sticks to home (Boiling A Frog being an exception) the more likely he is to hit the mark also the more elaborate the setting or plot the more easily distracted he becomes.

I won't spoil the plot but this is based upon a daring bank raid carried out by American crooks in Buchanan St in Glasgow and concerns a game of cat and mouse between the cop (Angelique) and the lead robber. There are Glasgow gangsters and American hardmen thrown in as well but the plot never gets too carried away. It really is riveting but does fall away a bit in the final third but the first half of the book more than makes up for that.

If you are to own some if not all Brookmyre books then this along with Quite Ugly One Morning, A Big Boy Did It And Ran Away and also One Fine Day... are the ones to have. The rest

though quite good in their own right never seem as good as this or One Fine Day.

A very Worthwhile Read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the 3, but start with ABBDIaRA
This is one of my favourite books ever. Don't be put off by the (slightly obscene) first chapter, which is from the POV of a minor character. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Dr. Lisa DeBruine
3.0 out of 5 stars A present.
Bought as a present. A bit of continuity from A Big Boy Did it and Ran Away. Recipient not keen on the sex references and language used. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Bob
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping stuff!
This book is gripping, funny, intelligent and wonderfully written. I struggled to put it down at night and go to sleep!
Published 6 months ago by emma scott
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Excelent evocation of place and the humour of the west coast of Scotland is well captured. Thoroughly enjoyable read. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Polaris
5.0 out of 5 stars clever and funny
This has got to be my favourite Christopher Brookmyre story so far, I thoroughly recommend it. Its funny, witty, charming and clever.
Published 13 months ago by Billie
5.0 out of 5 stars CRACKING READ
I thoroughly enjoyed the book,I am a fan of Brookmyre,and this was one of his best,I rarely recommend,but this book warrants it.
Published 14 months ago by robert smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Could be even better.
Although I did not enjoy this author's Parlabane series I really enjoyed the DI Angelique de Xavia series putting up with the author's
philosophising because the rest of the... Read more
Published 14 months ago by J. Lumsden
5.0 out of 5 stars Ingeniously plotted with a pitch black sense of humour
I'm not going to say anything directly about the plot as I really don't want to risk spoilers. This deliciously dark and twisted tale of deception is set in a Glasgow instantly... Read more
Published 15 months ago by K. Aitken
5.0 out of 5 stars Joyous
A masterclass in writing. Great characterisation, dialogue, plot, And joyous fun with it.

Angelique De Xavia, we know from "a big boy did it and ran away". Read more
Published 15 months ago by Jolyon M. Bain
4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Brookmyre Read
The first forty pages of the book can be hard going but are very necessary for your later pleasure. It made me laugh out loud.
I save Brookmyre for holiday reading.
Published 18 months ago by DC
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