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The Thieves of Manhattan by Adam Langer

Readers Recommend

Posted 1.12.12

“After a year of reading books that ranged from the all-time classics to the recently acclaimed, I was surprised to realize that the best book I read in 2011 was Adam Langer's The Thieves of Manhattan (Spiegel & Grau, 2010), a book I was given as a gift and which I’d never heard of before. It was by no means the most intellectual or emotional book I read in the past year, but it was by far the most unique, engaging, and simply enjoyable novel I’ve read in a while. The Thieves of Manhattan is a literary novel disguised as a mystery-adventure, somewhat reminiscent of Motherless Brooklyn (Doubleday, 1999) by Jonathan Lethem, but with a voice all its own. Set in the literary world of New York City, the story revolves around young writers, old publishers, and a mysterious book at the center of it all. The novel explores the ideas of storytelling, of truth, and of identity, while keeping the reader guessing at what will happen next. As a writer, I definitely didn’t expect the book to have an impact on my own writing when I first started reading it. Yet, by the end of the novel, I felt that The Thieves of Manhattan had reminded me of something important as both a writer and a reader: Intelligent literature doesn’t have to be an intense meditation on the human condition; it can be funny, and colorful, and larger than life, and it can be incredibly entertaining.”

—Jonathan Horowitz from Brooklyn, New York

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