Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Good Thief

The Good ThiefEver since Hannah Tinti’s The Good Thief was published three years ago, the reader reactions toward the book have been mixed, usually in opposite extremes: either it’s the best thing since Charles Dickens and Robert Louis Stevenson (isn’t everything?), or it is the most grotesque, pointless narrative that the reader has ever read. As always, the truth is somewhere in-between those two extremes.

There is actually something to be said for a Dickens/Stevenson comparison. Unlike ninety-five percent of the cases where this comparison is used, here it makes sense because The Good Thief very obviously mimics both authors. Stevenson was an action/adventure novelist, and his name is probably the first thing to pop into your head when you read the summary on the book’s back cover. The real story, though, isn’t so much an adventure novel like Treasure Island as it is a wandering drama, and in that respect it is much more a Dickensian novel.

The Caves of Steel


I’ve been a fan of science fiction for a couple of years, and when and how that came about I couldn’t say; but the fantasy aspect combined with that bit of reality has always appealed to me.

When it comes to science fiction, those two things are really the only way to pinpoint what is science fiction and what’s not. Most people would consider any story with a spaceship in it science fiction, but according to science fiction writers like Ray Bradbury, even that’s not enough.

Isaac Asimov is a name that anyone familiar with science fiction would probably know; the chances are slim that a science fiction story written now, be it book or movie, could cover an idea Asimov left unexplored in his literally hundreds of books.