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Burglar Who Studied Spinoza Mass Market Paperback – Nov 23 1998


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (MM); Reprint edition (Nov. 23 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451194888
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451194886
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 10.2 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,721,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Around five-thirty I put down the book I'd been reading and started shooing customers out of the store. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not pleasant reading. By this statement I don't mean that the writer was not an excellent observer of the society in which he lived. Quite the contrary. The book was written in 1980, and the author picked up the atmosphere painstakingly.
The women are coarse and promiscuous, there is not only one token gay person, but two, and jumping from bed to bed is the style of the day. No wonder that the little thief Bernie, who wouldn't kill anyone, comes out as the most sympathetic and genuine person.
I don't pretend to know whether nowadays the situation is much different. But the former arrogance is no longer there.
However, Block was, of course, right. That time, 30 years ago, I happened to be teaching a world literature in a college. My students, the girls, were 24+ years old and I was unable to convince them that the text we were reading was a love story. They were just waiting when "he" will betray "her". Men were considered traitors, a priori, and there was no expectation and no feelings in those girls. They were brainwashed before they had lived. Because they didn't expect anything, therefore, to most of them, nothing happened.
The book is highly educated, but for me it was not enough to compensate for the unpleasant feeling.
So, it stands as a testimony about a different age, not so long ago, for those who may not believe us.
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on May 8 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Lawrence Block is one of our most talented mystery authors. In the Bernie Rhodenbarr series he explores how an ordinary, but intelligent, "honest" person might go about pursuing a life of crime as a fastidious and talented burglar who isn't proud of what he does, doesn't like to hang out with criminals, and really gets a big thrill out of breaking and entering . . . and removing valuables. As you can see, there's a sitcom set-up to provide lots of humor. But the humor works well in part because Mr. Block is able to put the reader in the Bernie's shoes while he breaks, enters and steals . . . and evades the long arm of the law. To balance the "honest" burglar is an array of "dishonest" and equally easy-money loving cops. As a result, you're in a funny moral never-never land while your stomach tightens and your arm muscles twitch as tension builds. To make matters even more topsy-turvy, Bernie at some point in every story turns into an investigator who must figure out "who-dun-it" for some crime that he personally didn't do. It's almost like one of those "mystery at home" games where the victim comes back as the police investigator, playing two roles. Very nice!
So much for explaining the concept of the series. The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza is the fourth book in the series. I strongly suggest that you begin the series by reading Burglars Can't Be Choosers and follow it up with The Burglar in the Closet and The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling. Each story in the series adds information and characters in a way that will reduce your pleasure of the others if read out of order. Although, I originally read them out of order and liked them well enough. I'm rereading them now in order, and like it much better this way. The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian comes next in the series.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
With two deaths associated with a rare coin, Bernie the Burglar is trying to figure out who and why, partly to avenge his friend and fellow Spinoza afficionado, Abel Crowe. Unlike most of the books in this series, the police quickly lose interest in Bernie after the prime victim fails to identify him. Nevertheless, Bernie goes through an imaginitive investigation of his own, calling several museum curators to research the 1913 V nickel, and getting medical attention for his "Morton's feet". The climatic scene is particularly good, as Bernie plays the part of minister, presiding over a funeral, while assembling the suspects for the showdown where he lays out the evidence.
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By Frank on Nov. 30 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is a good quick read, well-written and a page-turner. The interplay of the characters is entertaining and inviting, even the final "Charlie Chan movie" type scene where the characters are brought together and the murderer revealed -- the only thing missing in the book is the lights being turned off and the quick scuffle as the perpetrator tries to escape. The author uses occasional deft and subtle humor and brings in interesting tidbits from Spinoza.
The description of the first murder crime scene (paperback page 78) led me to a correct guess of the murderer's identity.
And strangely for a book where much of the plot turns around the type of glove Bernie wore for the burglary (rubber, with the palm removed), the cover shows Bernie taking the nickel from the safe while wearing a complete leather glove.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
When Bernie and Carolyn enter the Colcannon home to ply their trade, they find that they are the second burglars to be in the in the house that night. Bernie takes a valuable 1913-V nickel from the safe. The Colcannons come home early, and when Mrs. Colcannon is murdered, guess who is blamed. . .? Of course, Bernie. When a friend of Bernie's (also the fence with the 1913-V nickel) is also murdered, Bernie must become sleuth to clear his name, and find out who killed these 2 people. A strong addition to a very funny and entertaining series.
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