"thoughtful as it is madcap"-The Nation, Richard Rayner performs an inspired act of retrieval to bring us one of the most extraordinary coming-of-age confessions ever written.
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Sleaze meets scholarship in this compelling combination of crisply sketched childhood miseries, Cambridge recollections, and compulsive stealing. The slightly offbeat title--a passing nod to crime classics--suggests there's a mystery to be solved, and indeed there is: the mystery of compulsive behavior. Rayner's compulsion is manifested in--among other things--his relationship with books. He is a book collector, although the term collector hardly does him justice: he has " ... bookcases stuffed with first editions" by the likes of Byron, Leslie Marchand, Frank O'Hara, and Raymond Chandler. "I'm obsessed with books," he says, "and I'd accumulated more than three thousand since we'd been here, to add to the eight thousand back in London and the mere thousand in Yorkshire, where I was born." Rayner steals books compulsively, as if they will supply him with a sense of identity.
First published in 1995, Rayner's recollection begins in the present time but travels far beyond; the understated, candid prose builds terrific suspense as he unearths the details of his life, from childhood--the three-year stint in a turreted Victorian boarding school in Northern Wales--to young adulthood, and reveals his very peculiar brand of thievery. It's a poignant and bizarre exploration of self-loathing and subsequent redemption.About the Author:
Richard Rayner, a frequent contributor to Granta, the New York Times Magazine, and other publications, lives in Los Angeles.
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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Bookseller Inventory # GOR007740271
Book Description Picador 12/04/1996, 1996. Book Condition: Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Bookseller Inventory # 2341-9780330344449
Book Description Picador 12/04/1996, 1996. Book Condition: Very Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in very good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Bookseller Inventory # 6545-9780330344449
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Book Description -. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. The Blue Suit This book is in good or better condition. It has no tears to the pages and no pages will be missing from the book. The spine of the book is still in great condition and the front cover is generally unmarked. It has signs of previous use but overall is in really nice, tight condition. Shipping is normally same day from our UK warehouse. We offer a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780330344449
Book Description Picador 12/04/1996, 1996. Book Condition: Good. Will be shipped promptly from UK warehouse. Book is in good condition with no missing pages, no damage or soiling and tight spine. There may be some dog-eared pages showing previous use but overall a great book. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780330344449
Book Description Picador, UK, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Remainder marks. Very clean interior. Bookseller Inventory # 0238990