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River Thieves Paperback – Aug 27 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor Canada (Aug. 27 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385658176
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385658171
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 12.7 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #69,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L. Stenzel on Sept. 23 2002
Format: Paperback
Whether real or imagined I seem to be reading more work by writers and stories about Newfoundland. This is the first novel by Michael Crummey and, "River Thieves", is a very strong debut. The book has been compared to, "Cold Mountain", that I have not read, and to, "In The Fall", which I very much enjoyed. This work is not as sweeping a story as Jeffrey Lent's first book, however if you enjoy his writing you will enjoy this tale as well.
This story takes place primarily in the very early 19th Century although there are references to years that bracket the story. The atmosphere I take to be absolutely on point, as the author was borne and continues to live in the same settings on which his book takes place. This leap of faith is difficult to make when the reader has never been to the locale of the book, but Michael Crummey makes the presumption effortless.
The story is ostensibly about the demise of the, "Red Indians", or "The Beothuk". The reasons for the near extinction of these people is the result of the same effects felt throughout the Americas that settlers from Europe either brought with them, or practiced, disease or their desire to take the native population's land. Had the author restricted himself to this review of history, the book would have been too familiar. Instead the author gets deeply involved with a variety of players, and by sharing their stories reveals the fate of the Beothuk as well.
Included are settlers, criminals from England that have been transported, as well as the government officials that were the rule of law. The author also departs from attitudes and the people who hold and act on them.
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By Pat Heasman on July 24 2011
Format: Paperback
I have read three novels about the demise of the Beothic Indians in Newfoundland one after the other. Michael Crummey's vision of events draws you in as being real. He can make the reader feel the cold, taste the almost raw moose meat, see the river ice breaking up underfoot. The story is plausible and well researched. River Thieves has several good side stories which keep one guessing about the characters along with the main theme. The reader gets to know these fictional characters whilst learning what is known about the life and times of the Red Indians and early days in the Newfoundland colony.
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Format: Paperback
A superb work of historical fiction, recreating this period of Newfoundland history with unforgettable living breathing three-dimensional characters, among whom the land itself is one. Some of the descriptive passages are so exquisite that I had to re-read them slowly to savour them.
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By Rodge TOP 50 REVIEWER on Feb. 11 2010
Format: Paperback
Rather than checking out Galore which was getting good reviews, I decided to have a go at River Thieves first. It was a bit poetic and meandering for my taste, but I can't deny the skill and the worthiness of the story. The narrative structure is a bit convenient, parts of the tale moved all around in an attempt to maximize impact. Nothing wrong with telling a story that way, but I found the big revelations less impactful due to the fact that the skeleton the writer had put in place was a little too visible, so to speak.

Considering how Crummey has researched and brought history to life in a way that goes beyond recreation of events and avoids cheap dramatic devices, this is a book that demands I proceed to the next to see how Crummey develops his craft.
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By Diane M. Schuller TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Sept. 18 2003
Format: Paperback
Michael Crummey's enjoyable story of the Beothuk is engaging, shocking, and full of well researched history. But, don't expect a textbook here, this is pure and fulfilling fiction.
To avoid restating the other review, this is a well-told story with some unfolding mystery and very fine use of language: strong nouns and verbs don't need the supporting cast of adjectives often used by other writers.
Definitely a recommended read. And, no, this is not a woman-only book: MEN, you'll definitely enjoy this.
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