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Burglar Who Thought He Was Bogart Mass Market Paperback – Jun 24 1996


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Onyx (MM) (June 24 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451186346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451186348
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

This time out, the recently revived Bernie Rhodenbarr, Greenwich Village bookseller and dedicated burglar, is swept away by a gorgeous foreigner who comes into his store one day. They share a passion for old Bogart movies and are soon spending successive nights sharing popcorn at a Bogart film festival. There is even more to Ilona than meets the eye, however, as Bernie finds out after he retrieves a portfolio from a locked apartment for another customer. Soon his client is dead, and so is one of the client's partners, and Bernie is up to his eyes in a bizarre mystery involving exiles from a never-never land in Central Europe, retired CIA men and what may (or may not) be a fortune in ancient bearer bonds. The tale goes down smoothly, much helped by the usual ditsy conversations with Bernie's lesbian best friend Carolyn and some neat use of famous Bogart dialogue. The only thing that keeps this from equaling last year's Ted Williams in the Burglar series is the slightly too fanciful and tangled plot. But even middling Rhodenbarr has entertainment value to burn.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

"Justice gets served last, and usually winds up with leftovers." Yes, it's witty, but what really makes this line work is that the man speaking it, bookstore owner and master burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr, finds not just irony but opportunity in its meaning. That's the thing about the Rhodenbarr mysteries: Bernie keeps you on your toes. He has a heart of gold, but he loves to steal, both for the thrill and the profit. Sentimental, yes, but selfish, too, thank God--sort of like Bogart, which leads us to the just-plain-fun plot of Bernie's latest caper. Out of all the bookstores in all the towns in all the world, this girl named Ilona happens to walk into Bernie's: they get to talking, she buys a book on Bogart, and before you can say, "Here's looking at you, kid," they've made a date to see two Bogey flicks at a New York film festival. After that, it gets complicated fast: they keep going to the Bogey festival every night; Bernie steals some documents; his sort-of-partner is killed; an enigmatic fat man appears, lusting after the documents; Ilona disappears, leaving Bernie holding the popcorn; and, inevitably, Ilona takes the midnight plane, dedicating her life to helping another man achieve an idealistic political dream, but not before Bernie has a chance to mutter, "We'll always have Twenty-fifth Street." What does it all mean? Not much, but if you're a film fan, who cares? It's funny, it's silly, it's stupendously clever, it's drop-dead romantic. Play it again, Bernie. Bill Ott --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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At a quarter after ten on the last Wednesday in May, I put a beautiful woman in a taxi and watched her ride out of my life, or at least out of my neighborhood. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on May 11 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 Thought He Was Bogart is the seventh 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, The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza, The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling, The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian and The Burglar Who Traded Ted Williams. 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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Meet Bernie Rhodenbarr, burglar extra-ordinary. This isn't your
ordinary burglar, however. He is a man who steals only the best:
jewelry, coin collections, works of art and-if it's lying around
in large enough bills-money. But don't worry; he won't bother
most of us. He steals only from the rich, for, "the poor, God
love 'em, have nothing worth taking."
But burglary is only a sideline for Bernie; he also owns a
bookstore, and in there he meets the most interesting people.
Thus one morning he sells a book to Hugh Candlemas, who then asks
him to enter an expensive East Side apartment (after hours, of
course), and "borrow" a stock portfolio, which the two of them
would then split.
Normally Bernie doesn't like partners, but he agrees. But then
events take a rather sinister turn. While he is casing the joint,
he is interrupted by the owner and his girlfriend and is forced
to hide in a closet. When they leave, the portfolio is gone, too.
And when he tries to call Hugh to tell him what had happened, a
stranger answers the phone!
Bernie might just chalk it all off as a bad day, but a couple of
weeks later he is approached by detective Ray Kirshmann. It seems
that Mr. Candlemas has turned up dead-and that the police have
found an empty briefcase in the apartment with his prints!
Bernie's troubles are just beginning, though. He soon realizes
that he is merely a pawn in an international game, and the stakes
are much greater than the money he had thought to gain. In fact,
if he's not careful, his life may be part of the game.
But Lawrence Block's The Burglar Who Thought He Was Bogart is
more than an entertaining mystery.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Bernie may be too generous for his own good in Lawrence Block's seventh Burglar Who..." series. There are many more characters in this fast paced novel, "The Burglar who Thought He Was Bogart." Bernie is over obsessed in attending a Bogart film festival. Night after night he goes to the movies. It is here he first meets Ilona who is a principal player in this novel. Lawrence Block must be a Bogart fan as well. This is evident with the dialog, which is reminiscent of Bogart films such as "Casablanca," New characters are crisp, colorful and convincing. Max Fiddler; a New York can driver appears to pick Bernie up on more than one occasion. (I wonder what the odds are of this happening in NY?) I hope Fiddler returns in a future book. Old characters from pervious novels are mentioned. Carolyn Kaiser, his best friend who runs the Poodle Parlor, a dog grooming place and Ray Kirschmann the best cop money can buy also play important roles as they have in the past. Once again Bernie the burglar turns sleuth to solve the murders. After all what would a " Burglar Who" book be without a murder or two. I am looking forward to the eighth book, "The Burglar in the Library." When I do the review will appear here along with the other Bernie Rhodenbarr books.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Set against the backdrop of Bernie's nightly attendance at a Bogart film festival, THE BURGLAR WHO THOUGHT HE WAS BOGART is unusually moody and not quite up to par. This time out, Bernie tangles with international intrigue and high romance, just like his on-screen hero, Bogie; and while the mix is funny and sporadically engrossing, neither the comedy nor the mystery reach this exceptional series' normal high standards. Block is a master plotter -- so how could he have his characters puzzle over the meaning of the dying message "CAPHOB" without once connecting it with the character (conspicuously and implausibly) named "Captain Hoberman"? That the connection turns out to be a red herring makes it all the worse -- Block squanders a chance to lead readers merrily astray and frustrates them in the process. Much of the plot also feels like a reprise from earlier episodes: Bernie gets locked in a closet as in THE BURGLAR IN THE CLOSET, he repeatedly manages to enter an impregnable apartment building as in THE BURGLAR WHO PAINTED LIKE MONDRIAN, and so on. And, for opposite reasons, both knowledgable Bogart affionados and people who care nothing about Bogart are likely to feel the author spends a bit too much space on plot synopses of Bogart films. Make no mistake -- there is also plenty to enjoy here. But there is more to enjoy in any of the other books in the series. If you've read all the rest and are hungry for more, you shouldn't miss this one; but by all means start with one of the better ones (such as the two mentioned above).
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