A first novel of remarkable ingenuity, Bless the Thief is a fast-paced literary mystery involving a secret society, art forgery, and the Hindenburg disaster.
Born to an American mother and a British father, Tom Lynch lives with his mother in America until she sends him off to his appointed guardian in England, Patrick Grimshaw. Grimshaw becomes a surrogate father to Tom, who never knew his real father, and he inducts Tom into the mysterious Delaquay Society, an organization based on the works of Alfred Delaquay, a book illustrator of considerable genius and perversity. The books Delaquay illustrated were produced by hand, seldom in editions of more than one, and their reproduction or sale is prohibited by the Society. As its youngest-ever English secretary, Tom becomes increasingly involved with the Delaquay Society, until a breach of the Society's conventions of secrecy blows apart its hermetic and obsessively closed world and he is caught up in the resulting chaos. As the manner of his life begins to exact a heavy toll, so the Society takes its own terrible revenge, and Tom Lynch comes finally to understand who he really is and where he came from.
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Praise for Bless the Theif
"Full of passion, charged with a sense of the transforming
power of art and with the reality of good and evil. It is an
impressive and unusual debut."
"Elegantly written and intriguing."
--The Literary Review
"Wall's writing can be luminous in its clarity; and Tom's
descent into his own fin-de-siècle hell of alcoholism
and forgery are superbly done."
"An ambitiously twisty intellectual adventure....Profundities--real ones--survive felicitously and well inside an often
sordid tale of mystery and high squalor."
Alan Wall was born in Bradford in the West Riding of Yorkshire and was educated there and at Pembroke College, Oxford. His previous book, Jacob, written in verse and prose, was short-listed for the Hawthornden Prize. Since 1994 he has written regularly for The Spectator, Agenda, and The Jewish Quarterly. He is married with three children and lives in London.
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Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # T008368