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The Thief of Time

The Thief of Time [Kindle Edition]

John Boyne
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Product Description


An extraordinary début (Sunday Express )

A minor masterpiece (Time Out )

Boyne should be congratulated for his spirited take on an old theme (Guardian )

Boyne is a skilful storyteller, expertly weaving differing stories together (Sunday Tribune )


Praise for "The Thief of Time"""

""The Thief of Time" is a learned and at times provocative read."--"America"""magazine

"This lively historical saga . . . is undyingly recommended."--"Booklist"

"Boyne is creative and entertaining, particularly as he develops his characters."--"Library Journal"
"Extraordinary.... The various strands of the story are resolved with a stylish twist and genuine warmth." --"The Sunday Express"
"A delightful epic, filled with twists and treachery, and vividly told." --"The Herald"
"A minor masterpiece of organisation and historical sampling." --"Time Out"""
"Boyne is a skilful storyteller... The novel is superbly constructed." --"Sunday Tribune"

Praise for "Crippen"
"Wondrous to read."--"Philadelphia"" Inquirer"
"Boyne provides plenty of thrills, chills, ironies and surprises."--"The ""Washington"" Post"
"An addictive tale."--"People"
" "
"His characters are wonderfully memorable an

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 698 KB
  • Print Length: 388 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0312378041
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (14 April 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004TSW6DI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #31,437 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971. The winner of two Irish Book Awards, he is the author of eight novels for adults and four for younger readers, including the international bestseller The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, which was made into a Miramax feature film and has sold more than six million copies worldwide. His novels are published in over forty-five languages. He lives in Dublin.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good old-fashioned storytelling... 25 Aug 2000
By A Customer
Now don't get me wrong - i'm not saying anything against modern hi-tech whizz-bang post-modern storytelling, cut-ups and fold-overs and spiralling internal monologues, but occasionally, just sometimes, it's nice to read a well-thought-out, diligently researched tale that utilises some modern method (time-jumping for one) but otherwise could have come straight from Dickens or Scott at their most imaginative. "The Thief Of Time" will transport you into the mind of a 256-year-old who's seen-it done-it in ways that most contemporary heros can only dream about, and evokes various key points in his story beautifully. I would say that "i couldn't put it down", if that didn't sound too trite. A simple story from a clearly far from simple wordsmith. Congratulations Mr Boyne - i hope your publishers signed your next few tales up as well...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An historical romp that doesn't quite deliver. 30 Mar 2007
The poor Matthieu Zela is at his wits end. His twenty-two-year old nephew Tommy, a hugely popular English television celebrity, just can't look after himself, spending most of his days living on the edge, snorting cocaine and partying to all hours of the morning. Indeed Matthiew fears that Tommy may go the way of Tommy's ancestors, everyone one of whom has met with an unhappy ending.

Matthieu is all too familiar with the various generations of Thomas's as his lineage has always been troublesome. Born in 1743 in Paris, Matthieu seems to have always had a nephew tagging along beside him. Now over 250 years old, Matthieu is well aware of the winds of change, each era in history providing a window of learning for this talented media entrepreneur who over the centuries has courted the rich and famous and witnessed some of the most defining moments of three centuries.

In 1758 the fifteen-year-old Matthieu escapes Paris for Dover, after his stepfather horribly murders his mother. Matthieu takes his five-year-old brother Tomas and his older companion, the lovely Dominique Sauvet, a girl whom he meets on the voyage over. Many adventures await them, as Matthieu struggles to make a life for himself in this new country.

But the biggest surprise is that in 1793 the process begins which was to make him truly "a thief of time," and he stops the physical aspects of aging. At first Matthieu is shocked, but as he lives on, he realizes that this kind of enforced longevity perhaps isn't that bad after all. Life continually leads him in completely different and unexpected directions, and what could have begun to unravel, ends up in fact being a life well lived, filled with murder, betrayal, marriage and romance.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read 10 Sep 2001
By A Customer
This is a truly imaginative read - a novel about a man who never dies, just carries on living, year after year, through the centuries. Rich in contrasts, the chapters swing between different eras; one of my favourites were the scenes where he moves to Hollywood and meets Charlie Chaplin, depicting him a cold womaniser off screen. The plot is fast-paced, combining numerous passionate affairs, not to mention the odd murder and chase sequence. This is literary fiction at its most accessible - a novel which you can read & enjoy on the train - but also an enthralling novel which makes you think. A great read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Innovative yarn ... 20 Aug 2000
By A Customer
At first glance, John Boyne The Thief of Time seems like a historical novel, but develops into a sort of high concept Jeffrey Archer yarn. That is meant without criticism however, because I really enjoyed the book, which I predict will gradually become a bestseller in the UK and Ireland. It is, simply, an imaginative and intelligent story, well told. In short, an undemanding novel about a chap who lives for 256 years or more, with a sharp line in social commentary.
I liked it and await a film based on the book. Enjoy!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intricate storyline but limited insight 11 July 2002
This is a story about a man who lives for 256 years; the author narrates his personal history and that of a series of nephews. Due to the long lifetime of the main protaganist, several narrative lines are interwoven, giving the potential for suspense and even cliffhangers. The author concentrates on the lifestory of the protaganist, and the most memorable storylines are in the 'present' - ie 1999 and in the early parts of the protagonists lifetime.
I was moved by the vivid and lifelike portrayal of the 'terror' of the French revolution and also I was intrigued by the references to an anti-communist witch-hunt in the US, which I had not previously been aware of.
However, I did not find the book particularly enjoyable. Although the story-lines drew me at times, they were not the most fascinating I have encountered. I did not see much depth in the characterisation and I found seven generations of nephews too many to worry about.
I learnt by reading this book and I enjoyed parts of it but I would not particularly recommend reading it unless there is nothing else good to hand.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book but falls a little short 22 Jan 2009
By Alison TOP 500 REVIEWER
I quite enjoyed reading this book but I think it fell short of being really good. The nagging feeling I had throughout was why did no-one ask questions about him not aging? Like another reviewer - what about the requirements of birth certificate, proof of identity etc. Sometimes these things can be forgiven for the purpose of fiction, but for me I couldn't forget it. To me it felt (until the very last page) like the 256 years old was just a convenient way to tie all the historical periods into one single book.

Like some of the other reviewers the best part of the book is the French Revolution - it's very well written and interesting. Some of the other periods were less captivating.

I did enjoy the book and it did have much of interest. I liked the ending a lot, but I'd already thought that it might end that way. It's quite good and certainly readable but a book I'd necessarily recommend.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars This book is a must.
Wonderful, so original & a great read. I recommend it. John Boyne is an author who is one of the best
Published 5 hours ago by brenda freemantle
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
A bit confusing at first but persevered and enjoyed book
Published 1 month ago by Minerva
5.0 out of 5 stars Thief of Time
Had thought of John Boyne as a children's writer so was pleasantly surprised by this. Lots of twists. Highly recommended!
Published 2 months ago by Debo
1.0 out of 5 stars Nonsense
I like a good story, but when one is so poorly written as this one, "weaving" together stereotyped images from History, the constant irritations are too difficult to take. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Graeme
2.0 out of 5 stars Someone call the cops
Boyne has stolen several valuable hours from me. I don't intend to waste too many more minutes on this review. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Mr Blue Sky
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected
There is an odd twist to this book which is fairly unique. It retains the snippets of history, which are woven through the plot. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Avidreader
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book, sorry to finish it
My sister recommended this book to me, and she was right. Once I started reading it, I really didn't want to stop. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Francesca Abagnale
4.0 out of 5 stars Time well stolen
What great value to get so cheaply a perfectly acceptable edition of a book I didn't know. Having started with 'Boy in the Striped Pyjamas' I'm working my way through all Mr... Read more
Published 18 months ago by denhamdevil
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
It wasn't the most gripping book and I didn't like it as much as some of the others i've read of his, the story wasn't that believable and it was easy to put down.
Published 20 months ago by Deb
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read!
I read this book in hardcopy years and years ago and it is one of the several physical books that I keep on my shelf and lend to people. Read more
Published on 7 May 2012 by Sarah-KindleFan
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