THE MAN WHO LOVED BOOKS TOO MUCH by Allison Hoover Bartlett
Read: Oct 21 - 28
Source: Penquin Group for review
Category: New Writer
John Gilkey is a thief, but not a normal thief, he steals rare books from anywhere and anyone and anytime. This is the story of a man who criminally and repeatedly steals rare books, not to read but because he felt that they made him a more important person if they were in his possession.
The narrative is by a writer who is researching a book about rare books and the criminals who market stolen tomes and reveals the rare book market in a strange light.
I had a very difficult time with this book for several reasons. First, at no point anywhere near the beginning is the reader given any idea of the tract that the story is headed - meaning I saw no plotline. I was about 75 pages into the book when I figured that no plot was the plot and just went with it.
Next, I wasn't sure whether the book was supposed to be about John Gilkey (the book thief) or Ken Sanders (who was a book security specialist) and worked to recover lost stolen books. I also did not like the way that the author/writer in the story kept trying to justify Gilkey's behavior or make it seem as if it was understadable considering his background.
Lastly, when I finally decided that Gilkey was the center figure, I came to that conclusion simply because the writer kept going on and on with him about how he stole this book and how he would steal that book. It got pretty boring toward the end. Informative to a degree but definitely not a keeper.