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The Art of the Heist: Confessions of a Master Thief

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  522 ratings  ·  69 reviews
“A gripping tell-all….A fascinating look inside the mind of an unrepentant criminal.”
Washington Post

“One of the most beguiling criminal memoirs ever written….A rare gem of a book.”
—T. J. English, New York Times bestselling author of Havana Nocturne


America’s most notorious art thief, Boston-based Myles Connor, tells the unapologetic true story of his life of crime in The
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 7th 2010 by Harper Perennial (first published April 21st 2009)
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Average rating 3.43  · 
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Jul 08, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Kara Babcock
Almost a year ago (has it been that long? gah) I read Master Thieves: The Boston Gangsters Who Pulled Off the World’s Greatest Art Heist . As you will know, I am a sucker for heist stories. That book led me to The Art of the Heist: Confessions of a Master Art Thief, Rock-and-Roller, and Prodigal Son. Myles Connor was (still is) a primary suspect in the Gardner heist, despite the fact he was in jail at the time. Although Connor and coauthor Jenny Siler discuss aspects of the heist (from a pure ...more
Dec 17, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Jul 21, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Dad HATED this one! The guy thought he was SSOO cool and apparently it was pretty sickening.
Oct 17, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Rosie Beck
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. ...more
Jun 21, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
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!!

James Vachowski
Jun 13, 2012 rated it did not like it
For a guy who claims to have been a "master art thief", the author sure did spend a lot of time in prison... ...more
May 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
Reading this book is a little like talking with your friend who just keeps getting back with her clusterfuck of a boyfriend: you love her, she's great fun to talk to, but damn, you wish she'd make better decisions and sometimes it's very, very sad to watch her keep making the same mistakes. That, in a nutshell, is my take on Myles Connor.

My wife and I picked this up to read together after watching Netflix's new documentary about the robbery of the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum. Connor was int
Larry Hostetler
Aug 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
This was an interesting and quick read, if you like true crime books. The author and thief writes in an engaging manner.

But my objection with the book is that it is much more about his trials and time in prison than about art, thievery, and rock and roll.

The corruption of law enforcement in the 70s and 80s in Boston and Massachusetts may or may not be overstated, but it is certainly presented plausibly.

I would have much more appreciated more on his learning and appreciation of art, on his tim
Loreli Cockram
Mar 20, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: biography
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Casey Robinson
Jan 16, 2017 rated it liked it
An enjoyable read, but it bogs at times and Myles spends an awful lot of time letting you know just exactly how awesome he is. Show don't tell, mah dude. ...more
David Morrison
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite true crime books!
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was fascinating. So much so that I kept accidentally staying up past my bedtime to find out what happened next. Review, then: absorbing book, do not read if trying to fall asleep.
Mia Schuler
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very interesting book on the mind of a criminal.
Eugene Cordell
May 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read! I found the author's narrative thought-out, and surprisingly charming. Enjoy the heists, and regret the friendships. A casual read for True Crime enthusiasts. ...more
Mr. Poquette
Nov 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
Picked it up at a library book sale. Took me a long time to get through. Wasn't as good as I had hoped. ...more
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: magpie-house-ref
What an insufferable bastard! I had an incredible time reading this
May 05, 2021 rated it did not like it
I'm on the fence about even claiming I read this. I skimmed most of the last probably 2/3. This should have been interesting, but the sheer pomposity of the author just ruined it. ...more
May 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this outstanding work by Myles J. Connor.
Reviews by Deborah
Jun 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
I read The Art of the Heist: Confessions of a Master Thief at the request of a friend and really enjoyed it.
Jun 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Never a dull moment.
Christina Boyle
Jan 27, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Patrick O'Neil
May 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Wayland Smith
Jul 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dc-challenge
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
Linda Lipko
Mar 22, 2013 added it
Shelves: art
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
May 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 28, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: own, true-crime, 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
Philip Cook
Feb 18, 2012 rated it liked it
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
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