Ciska's Book Chest

I am an eclectic reader with preferences for crime/thriller/suspense, historical fiction, literature and contemporary fiction. For more books and other bookish posts visit my blog at Ciska's Book Chest

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession - Allison Hoover Bartlett The authorAllison Hoover Bartlett is the author of the bestselling The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession (Riverhead Books, 2009). She has written on a variety of topics, including travel, art, science and education, for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Salon.com, San Francisco Magazine, and other publications. Her original article on book thief John Gilkey was included in the Best American Crime Reporting 2007, and the book was selected for Barnes and Noble's "Discover Great New Writers" program. Bartlett was named a San Francisco Library Laureate in 2010, and is a member of the writers' groups North 24th and Word of Mouth Bay Area (WOMBA). She and her husband have two children and live in San Francisco. For more information visit http://www.allisonhooverbartlett.com/The synopsisUnrepentant book thief Gilkey has stolen a fortune in rare books from around the country. Yet unlike most thieves, who steal for profit, Gilkey steals for loveā€”the love of books. Perhaps equally obsessive, though, is Ken Sanders, the self-appointed "bibliodick" driven to catch him. Sanders, a lifelong rare book collector and dealer turned amateur detective, will stop at nothing to catch the thief plaguing his trade. In following both of these eccentric characters, journalist Allison Hoover Bartlett plunged deep into a world of fanatical book lust, and ultimately found herself caught between the many people interested in finding Gilkey's stolen treasure and the man who wanted to keep it hidden: the thief himself. With a mixture of suspense, insight, and humor, Bartlett has woven this cat-and-mouse chase into a narrative that not only reveals exactly how Gilkey pulled off his crimes and how Sanders eventually caught him, but also explores the romance of books, the lure to collect them, and the temptation to steal them. All collectors have stories of what first made them fall in love, and Gilkey and Sanders are no different. Bartlett puts their stories into the larger context of book passion, collection, and theft through the ages. The reviewI signed this book up for the book club I am in. I was happy when it got chosen cause I really wanted to read this book and needed an excuse to put it in on my list. From the synopsis I expected more of a story than what this book holds. The book is more like a nice packed diary of meetings the author had with the book thief, the victims and a police man. This was disappointing for me but still the whole book was not bad.It is clear the author spend a great amount of time investigating the world of book collectors. With all description and being able to tell things about most wanted books it is clear there has been a lot of research and love for books put in this story. The way she approaches the story of Gilkey is very nice too. She gives him an honest chance to come clean and tell his story. It still makes me wonder if there is a psychological disorder to be found in that man.From the synopsis I had expected it would have been written more in novel style than it was. Also the theft trough the ages does get touched but is not a very big part of the book. What I did find interesting in the way the story was told was the conscious of the author getting a hold of her now and than. This was interesting to read, how far will a journalist go to get the story. Entertaining read but not spectacular. Worth it if you want to get an insight in the world of rare books and their collectors.