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The Sucker's Kiss
by Alan Parker
From the highly acclaimed director of Midnight Express and The Commitments comes a sparkling story of a pickpocket's odyssey through America. During the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, seven-year-old Thomas Moran finds himself accidentally embarking on a career in pick-pocketing. In the following years he becomes a master of his dubious craft and grows to manhood traveli ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 29th 2005 by St. Martin's Griffin
(first published 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 158)
This was an entertaining lightweight read about the adventures of a pickpocket, Tommy Moran, taking place during the Great Depression and Prohibition in the San Francisco Bay Area. The story starts during the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco but doesn't really delve into the earthquake situation as deeply as I had hoped. Though I thoroughly enjoyed taking the journey with him, the book came to a rather abrupt conclusion rather than resolving conflicts developed within the storyline. The characte ...more
Another one which made it from the back to the front of the bookcase when i unpacked, but a much luckier find. It follows Tommy, born in 1899, from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake through into the 30's. Tommy lives by picking pockets and keeps on the move across America. The story takes you through prohibition and the depression, and into some fairly shady places, while Tommy is definitely a flawed hero. But he's always written with compassion, and i was rooting for him to get a happier ending ...more
It began as a pickpocket's story. The journey the story travelled took a major detour although it told quite a story! It's told in the first person, and it took quite a while to get accustomed to the way the main character spoke without thinking the writing was awful. The last 50 pages were the most interesting although they really had nothing to do with the way the novel was marketed. Take a pass on this book.
This book was an easy read, but oddly written. Follows the life of a boy who starts picking pockets at 7, is on his own at 14. He travels the country by rail connecting with the underbelly of society. Not really a plot with an ending, rather vignettes of his life. Parker should probably not quit his day job, as this could possibly be turned into a movie, but just didn't have the natural flow of a book.
I have no idea why so many gave this book such a low rating. It is a picaresque Bildungsroman with touches of Oliver Twist, Little Big Man (one of my favorites), Huckleberry Finn, Ragtime, and an added dash of The Scarlet Letter. How could you go wrong? It is entertaining and well researched. I flew through it, at least by my standards of flying.
It reminded me a little of 'Once Upon a Time in America', I think as the author is primarily a film director, I can see how it would work as a film, but it doesn't work as well as a book - there's not enough depth to it somehow. I was confused by the ending too, did his old friend Sammy ultimately stitch him up or help him avoid death row?
Well-written, but choppy. It actually reads like a collection of short stories for the first half due to the nature of the main character's life as a pickpocket vagabond. When the plot does coalesce in the second half, the story gets weighted down and more bleak than I expected.
Another one I picked up at the Goodwill. Cool story about a kid who finds that he has a talent for picking pockets during the San francisco earthquake and makes a career out of it. The story follows him through prohibition and the great depression. The ending isn't that hot though.
a good yarn about a young pickpocket who travels around the US without much purpose, until he meets a girl. The story (along with the young man) gets a bit more grounded and things start to get interesting. Nothing fancy, but quite entertaining.