Benjamin's Reviews > Burglars Can't Be Choosers

Burglars Can't Be Choosers by Lawrence Block
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's review
Nov 08, 2009

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Read in November, 2009

Picked this out after downloading the Kindle first chapter preview. Didn't know it was the first book in the series -- that was a lucky coincidence. I'd enjoyed Block's Hit Man series, but hadn't pursued his other lines or characters.

Written in 1977, BCBC is a little quaint in the attitude it takes towards the character of a gentleman thief, and a little dated in terms of the lucky, hapless way in which character Bernie Rhodenbarr falls in and out of bed with the women he encounters. It is either a knowing sidestep of the John D. MacDonald character style of sexcapades or a half-hearted attempt at the same romantic hi-jinx.

Charming, literate, but without much oomph, this was pleasant enough to get me to consider reading a follow-up book, but only on an idle Wednesday when nothing springs to my hand from the New Book shelf. that said, The Burglar Who Liked To Quote Kipling is certainly a compelling title. The writing is fine, though, with solid storytelling, good descriptions, and a string sense of humanity throughout. It compares favourably to The Good Thief's Guide To Amsterdam, which starts similarly, but which comes across as both smug and caloric.

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11/05/2009 page 42
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