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Criminals (Signed by author)

Livesey, Margot

386 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0679444874 / ISBN 13: 9780679444879
Published by Knopf, New York, 1996
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Monroe Street Books (Middlebury, VT, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

271 pages, SIGNED BY AUTHOR on title page. Very clean and tight copy. Record # 455973. Bookseller Inventory # 455973

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Criminals (Signed by author)

Publisher: Knopf, New York

Publication Date: 1996

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


With dark poetry and domestic acuity, the author of Homework shows how families pull together, form themselves anew, and occasionally fly apart at the seams. Ranging from Scotland to America to Italy--and to a novel-within-a-novel--Criminals brilliantly captures the stories of complicated, sympathetic people who try to do right but turn somehow wrong. LG Alternate.


Criminals is a tweaked gothic. Instead of a dark castle, there is an average Scottish farmhouse, Mill of Fortune. There is nothing supernatural, and the love story is all in one character's mind, nearly losing him his livelihood. Ewan is less a knight-at-arms than a London businessman, and his sister is the madwoman. Mollie, however, is not in the attic, but very much up and about after her novelist-lover has left her. Ewan knows he must check on her and heads for Scotland. During a bus layover, he hears a small whimper and is amazed to find a baby in a bathroom stall. Hearing his bus about to leave, he grabs the bundle and ends up taking it with him.

Unfortunately, Mollie's reaction is not one he had hoped for: instead of calling the police, she lays siege, and their criminal career begins. Margot Livesey is clearly interested in exploring one question: How much do you really know about your family? For six chapters, the narration goes back and forth between brother and sister, but the seventh is a surprise--devoted to the man who left the baby on the filthy floor. Kenneth's thought processes are sinister and idiotic, giving him a great deal of comic energy. Having followed Ewan to Mill of Fortune, he is determined to bilk him out of as much money as possible. "Ideas, he thought, I am an ideas man." As Kenneth does his brutal best and Ewan is caught up in insider-trading complications, Mollie--still hanging onto the child--grows increasingly paranoid: "She heard something. Had Ewan spoken? Had the table? She examined each in turn. The sleek wood had grown oddly smug and duplicitous ..." Livesey is an expert practitioner of the fiction of threat, the novel of isolation and misery in which the family is a nest of sorrows.

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We have an open shop. Hours are: 9AM to 6PM Monday-Saturday and 11AM to 6 PM Sundays. The shop is located at 1485 Route 7 North, 2 miles north of downtown Middlebury, VT. We are located at Paquette self-storage across from Euclide Quenell Farm (It's Vermont!) and have over 150,000 books. Some have said we're the best used book store in the State and Book Lover's Guide has listed us as a "must see." So if you're out our way, please stop in.(When weather VERY bad, please call ahead. We do close during snow storms, etc.)

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Monroe Street Books. Owners: Richard and Flanzy Chodkowski. Mailing address: Monroe Street Books, 70 Monroe Street, Middlebury, Vermont 05753 USA. Store Located at: 1485 Route 7 North, Middlebury, Vermont 05753 USA. Phone: 1-802-398-2200 Email:
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