wrote this book. Adam Langer is the well-regarded author of three wonderfully sly novels set in Chicago and New York, and one interesting memoir about his father. I've read and enjoyed all four books. While he's not - as far as I can tell, anyway - a mega-bestselling author like Grisham or Brown - his writing seems to have been well received. The character in "Thieves", Ian Minot, is a never-succeeding writer in Manhattan - the one in New York state - who sees success all around him, but never manages to attain it for himself. He sees writers less talented than he is take advantage of - or are taken advantage by - the literary establishment in New York. He's particularly bitter about the authors who write "memoirs" that are fake but go on to literary glory. Ian sees this as a large system of fraud, from the writers to the reps to the publishing houses, who are making a lot off phony memoirs. Ian falls into on ongoing plot with several other failing writers and the plot of the book he writes turns real.
So I don't think Langer wrote this novel - which is very good and funny - as a bitter rejoinder to the literary world for not seeing his talent. He's clearly NOT the character "Ian Minot", but he's obviously distressed at the state of the literary society today where authors and agents and publishers play a game with literary output. I couldn't help but laugh at the number of "blurbs" from other well-known writers praising Langer's book.
I think I'll wait awhile to see what others say about "Thieves of Manhattan" and Langer's reason for writing it. I have a feeling that either the book will be ignored or will actually bring about some valid questioning of the literary establishment.
In any case, as always, Langer's novel is a great read. I also think its great that the book was published in trade paper instead of hard back.
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In his new novel THE THIEVES OF MANHATTAN author Adam Langer takes us into a spirited tale filled with idioms, metaphors and metonymy. If you have ever viewed an old Cary Grant movie called Mr. Lucky you can get some idea of Langer's style. While Cary referred to "a couple of bottles and stoppers (coppers) searching for a lady from Bristol (a pistol), Langer uses more literary references to identify certain items in his novel such as a Capote (broad brimmed hat), a Highsmith (a train), golightly (little black dress), Gatsby (a man's sportcoat....well you get the idea. Most of the references are easily deciphered, but if you should be unable to make out the meaning of a particular reference, the author has included a Glossary of Selected Terms for the reader to consult.
The novel is filled with wonderful characterizations that are, at once, simple and complex, amusing and devious and a writing style that is ingeniously knowledgeable as it unmasks an unprincipled industry that rewards fakes and hoaxes with celebrity and wealth. (Think of the memoir A Million Little Pieces or Carcaterra's book Sleepers or even Irving's fake Howard Hughes autobiography). This is a must read for anyone looking for an above average suspense novel to cuddle up with in front of the fire.
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