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The Art of the Heist: Confessions of a Master Art Thief, Rock-and-Roller, and Prodigal Son

3.24  ·  Rating Details  ·  339 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
From New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, to the Smithsonian Institution in D.C., to Boston's Museum of Fine Art, to dozens of regional museums throughout the United States, no museum was off-limits to legendary art thief Myles Connor. He has used every technique in the book, from breaking and entering, to cat burglary, to false identities and elaborate con jobs. He once ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 21st 2009 by Harper (first published 2009)
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Jul 08, 2009 Karen rated it it was ok
The Art of the Heist was written by Connor with help from a real writer. Hard to keep going--I kept skimming, hoping to find passages which were not full of pompous bloviation on the part of Connor. The blurbs are really misleading, almost bait and switch, since Connor is the supposed prime suspect for the Gardner heist, as the publisher keeps shouting at us, but the book only covers a short period in the 70s--ten years or so before the 1990 heist. So, he never really says he did it, one of the ...more
Γιώργος Λιαδής
Η αυτοβιογραφία ενός (μεταξύ άλλων) κλέφτη έργων τέχνης.
Το βιβλίο δεν έχει ιδιαίτερη λογοτεχνική αξία, αν και είναι γραμμένο απλά και στρωτά σαν αφήγηση. Η ιστορία του τύπου είναι πραγματικά απίστευτη, αλλά ο ίδιος δεν είναι ένας συμπαθητικός άνθρωπος. Αυτό μου άρεσε. Δεν είναι άγγελος και δεν προσπαθεί να περάσει τον εαυτό του σαν τέτοιο (έι, πουλούσε και ναρκωτικά εξάλλου) αλλά είναι αυτή ακριβώς η ειλικρίνεια που το κάνει ένα συναρπαστικό ανάγνωσμα. Από όσα βιβλία true crime έχω διαβάσει τελ
Jul 21, 2009 Kate rated it did not like it
Dad HATED this one! The guy thought he was SSOO cool and apparently it was pretty sickening.
Dec 27, 2012 G rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
OK, a bit of background first. I am a sucker for a good heist story. I am a double sucker for a true crime heist story. I love loveable con men, and rougish yet brilliant thieves who walk away with a pile of cash or a Monet that used to belong to some rich ass hole. I don’t really like the Ann Rule sort of true crime- crazy killers killing in a crazy way. I see crazy people at work all the time. They do not fascinate me as much as crafty people do. I like my criminals more Thomas Crown or Doug S ...more
Oct 27, 2012 Sara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: should-ve-quit
I was hoping this was going to be a real life Ocean's Thirteen or The Italian Job. You know, good looking people who are carrying out a heist because some really bad person has it coming.

Unfortunately, crime in real life is not like crime in the movies. Nobody is attractive, all the sociopathic tendencies are front and center and the characters are all repellent, violent jerks instead of suave, funny, smooth-talkers.

The man at the center of this story is possibly the most odious, hateful, foul
Wayland Smith
I will admit, I didn't care for this book. Reading about Connor relating his life story, one thought I returned to again and again was he never found himself in a situation which he couldn't make worse. Connor has the combination of cockiness, vengefulness, and the inability to take responsibility for his own actions that I've seen in many "career criminals." Yes, I'm in law enforcement, yes that may bias me.

Somewhat improbably, Connor claims to be an art connoisseur, master thief, martial arts
Christina Boyle
First off - the writer who did the interviews and put into narrative all these insane stories from Myles Connor is a hero and an incredible writer.

But I have to say - my overriding thought while reading the stories is the same thought that I have when I see teens spout a fountain of knowledge about arcane material about a video game .... what if they applied all that passion to learning Mandarin or ... higher math .... or learning the art of negotiations for hostage retrieval. ... or really anyt
May 04, 2011 Katie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Miles is a bit off a show off. It's hard to believe that this is all true.
I did enjoy all the mentions of local spots. And yes i did go to the Gardener Museum after finishing!!

Jun 29, 2009 Magda rated it did not like it
You'd have known if it was me. I would have taken the Titian.

But drawn to each other by our mutual love of animals and by a shared interest in martial arts, we quickly became friends.
Rosie Beck
May 06, 2009 Rosie Beck rated it it was ok
I expected more from this bio of master art thief Myles J Connor, but he just didn't deliver. Needed a ghost writer to help punch up what probably was a remarkable life.
James Vachowski
Jun 13, 2012 James Vachowski rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
For a guy who claims to have been a "master art thief", the author sure did spend a lot of time in prison...
Patrick O'Neil
Jul 22, 2009 Patrick O'Neil rated it really liked it

There are certain rules to bragging rights. When you've done something really cool, totally outrageous, insane or unbelievable – you've the right to a little boasting. Hell, a lot of boasting actually. Then of course there's the clause that the more unbelievable, outrageous, or insane the bragging is, the better the story, so really go for it and write a tell all memoir. And while telling unlikely tales is something most memoirs are accused of these days, one such unbelievable story is The Art o
Nov 04, 2015 Teresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The problem with reading a book written by a known liar and thief is that a lot of it is going to be very hard to believe. Myles Connor admits to bank robberies and museum thefts, but his insistence on being someone who objects to violence often sounds like the someone who doth protest too much. He paints himself as blameless as he can given his circumstances, and it doesn't sound very plausible. That said, the crimes Connor is accused of escalate from theft to double murder very quickly and it' ...more
Linda Lipko
I'm giving this one negative ten stars! This is the sad, pitiful tale of a thug whose ego and self agrandizing mannerisms are larger than the amount of treasures and banks he has robbed.

Small in stature and weight, Miles hailed from a middle class family. His father a cop, his mother a good person. This guy's psychological condition could be a case study for counselors. I'm not one, but I'd venture to say that he is a sociopath with a hugely inflated sense of importance.

Rubbing banks, stealing a
Nancy Singel
Someone sure is cocky for having wasted so much obvious talent. Connor is rather smug for someone who spent the majority of his adult life in prison. I am of the opinion he was behind the Gardener heist even if he did not actually participate in the actual theft. Connor's protest reads as hollow as did OJ Simpson's " If I Did It."
Jun 13, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First time I read an autobiography of a criminal. Very cool book. Probably will read again.
Jun 03, 2014 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It feels wrong to say that this book was entertaining and enjoyable (he was a criminal after all) but it was. As a whole, Myles' life was a waste spent in and out of prison, which is kind of sad, but he wouldn't change much if he could.
The book ends with this, "There is no scale on which to set the thrill of holding a Rembrandt in one's hands. No stick by which to measure the cheers of six hundred men in the Walpole prison auditorium. They say most people lead lives of quiet desperatio
May 27, 2009 Kerri rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This was one of those stories that pulled me in and I didn't want to stop until I knew each "what happens next." I had to give it 4 stars (knocked down from 5) for all the foul language, but with this guy's hard-core crime life it is absolutely authentic and not over-bearing. Really fun read - exactly the kind of "summer novel" people recommend, except it's NOT fiction. (I have to say that I even feel kind of bad for how things turned out for him, though he is clearly not wallowing in pity himse ...more
Philip Cook
I saw this book on sale for $6 and decided to take a shot. I was plesantly suprised, it was definatley worth the cost and then some. There were a couple of spots that seemed inaccurate; for example on one heist they are stealing 2 paintings that are worth $450K together then they decide to take a couple turn of the century clocks that are supposed to be priceless and they then say the total take was almost a half million dollars?? Other than a few of these type of "adjustments" it was a good rea ...more
Martin  Poblete
The author was proud of himself and never did show any remorse for any of the wrongs he had done. It would have been a good book if he didnt spend so much time praising himself
Feb 17, 2014 Samantha rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime, own, 2014
This should be called "Connor's Brag Book" or "Connor Recounts his Time in Prison." I was expecting a book that focused on how Connor carried out his art heists. I've read several books about art heists and they are all more interesting that this one. This guy spends so much of this book talking about his time in prison and his plans to get out. He also had a problem with law enforcement and couldn't not resist arrest. I felt like the art thefts and museums heists only made up a small part of th ...more
Jan 07, 2012 Lori rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
While the true part of this story is intriguing, I can't help but feel like it's poorly written. Maybe because it feels like being told a story by some guy in a bar. A little disjointed. A little long winded. And a little unbelievable. I may not finish this takes a lot for me to drop a book halfway through but it's just a bunch of stories in a guys life. I don't feel like the main character is really overcoming challenges and will ultimately change. So no go for me.
Michelle X.
Apr 14, 2014 Michelle X. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting reading on the subject of art theft. Certainly unique in the field in that it's written from the thief's perspective. Connor is a masterful, colorful, engaging storyteller, and while some of what he narrates of his own life may or may not be embellished, it's certainly exciting to read. After reading several books on art crime from the perspective of the museums and art connoisseurs, this was a breath of fresh air.
Dec 21, 2012 Amelia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This guy's ego creates a thick layer of slime over the entire text. If you can scrape it off, adjust to the fact that he's a crappy writer, get past the moralizing and boasting, and don't let your skepticism drag you away, then this is a really fun read. Generally enjoyed the "everybody's dirty" vibe. Too much time is spent trying to sound good, and he doesn't pull that off. A rare sort of romp, highly recommended with some salt.
Jun 28, 2012 Margarita rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This read has to be taken with a grain of salt given Connor's criminal history. It would have been more interesting if he had explored the emotional/psychological side behing his crimes along with the motivations he had in having chosen this path. Although well written and ripe with eventful descriptions, it's hard to not cringe at Connor's bragging and enormous ego. Thankfully, the fluidity of his storytelling holds it together.
Bryan Kornele
For as smart as the author claims he is he seems to do a lot of illegal and dumb stuff. He also writes very arrogantly and the friends that he chooses to help him with his crimes are made out to be dumb as rocks. I did like the book a little though. I would definitely consider it a guide on what not to do with your life. I think most of the museums now are pretty well thief proof. At least I hope they are.
Mar 31, 2012 Melissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
I checked The Art of the Heist out of the library because I thought it was a true crime book about art theft. It was not. The Art of the Heist was about Myles Connor and his stories with only a few of them being about art heists. Most of it was boring and was basically a convicted criminal reminiscing (and bragging) about his exploits regardless of whether they involved art.
Kit Fox
Though, like Iceberg Slim, Myles Connor also boasts about having a genius-level IQ, when it comes down to good old fashioned writing, Connor is no Iceberg Slim. However, the straight forward nuts and bolts of how he pulled off all these art heists does make for some engaging reading. Seriously, this guy is like a real life Eddy Bunker character.
Mary Rose
Jul 14, 2014 Mary Rose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of all the """true""" memoirs of conmen, thieves, and bank robbers, this might be one of my favorites. Connor is a likable thief, pragmatic and interesting. He talks about museum heists in a way that makes him seem sympathetic to the museum workers and also hyper-critical of the art world. I would recommend it.
Darlyne Baugh-Johnson
This was like reading fifty Law & Order scripts. I thought it was about art heists but it turned out to be a hardened criminal's biographer replete with prison breakouts, drug dealing, bank robberies, hurting people, prison life, and corruption 24/7 - am going to read some Proust to clean the soul and palate.
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