Charlotte's Reviews > Theft: A Love Story

Theft by Peter Carey
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's review
Dec 01, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: novels-literature

I cant quite decide if I enjoyed this book or simply finished out of a sense of commitment to reach the end. The plot seemed captivating, hence why I started reading in the first place, but it was difficult to immerse myself wholly in the story. The unfamiliar landscape of Australia and constant jumps into individual trails of thought was both distracting and charming. One difficult tendency was the lack of segue between key events, often times travel and great changes were only offhandedly remarked upon in Hugh’s poetic ramblings.

The story is narrated by two brothers, Michael “Butcher” Boone and Hugh “Slow Bones” Boone. Michael is a bitter, lone-wolf type character who was formally a famous oil-painter. He recently experienced a traumatic divorce and separation from his wife and son and has since become the caretaker of his brother, Hugh. Hugh is mentally challenged with an unspecified illness, although he is immature in many ways, he is also very clever and a keen observer. In Hugh’s passages, the author created a very convincing approach to stream of consciousness; he is poetic and frightfully honest and confusing all at once. Butcher and Slow Bones are last of their immediate family and are isolated as such. Although they are not discussed in great detail, their mother and father are recalled often and with casual reflection that touches on deeper memories and themes which weave throughout the book.

Overall, the story managed to feel uneventful despite the outrageous sequence of events brought on by the arrival of a third character, Marlene. The plot took a backseat to the narration of the tale, as the three main characters matured as both individuals and in their mutual understanding of one another. Together they became entwined in a great adventure spanning multiple continents, a great scandal and the theft of a famous artwork. The conclusion to the tale was disappointing. I wanted to understanding what exactly had happened but didn’t feel the itch for more – that feeling of dread when a great books ends and you wished to live in the world for just a bit longer - that was not a feeling I shared with this particular novel.
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Reading Progress

December 1, 2008 – Shelved
Started Reading
December 16, 2008 – Finished Reading
January 16, 2014 – Shelved as: novels-literature

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Ermy Rukmana My sentiments exactly!

Kevin Tole I felt the same.... but diferent!!! ;-). My review is here
I didn't find the disjunction you felt but I felt it pretty sketchy on character back story and hence the believability got suspended. I should add that I am a painter too.

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