1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
wrote this book. Adam Langer is the well-regarded author of three wonderfully sly novels set in Chicago and New York, and one interesting memoir about his father. I've read and enjoyed all four books. While he's not - as far as I can tell, anyway - a mega-bestselling author like Grisham or Brown - his writing seems to have been well received. The character in "Thieves", Ian Minot, is a never-succeeding writer in Manhattan - the one in New York state - who sees success all around him, but never manages to attain it for himself. He sees writers less talented than he is take advantage of - or are taken advantage by - the literary establishment in New York. He's particularly bitter about the authors who write "memoirs" that are fake but go on to literary glory. Ian sees this as a large system of fraud, from the writers to the reps to the publishing houses, who are making a lot off phony memoirs. Ian falls into on ongoing plot with several other failing writers and the plot of the book he writes turns real.
So I don't think Langer wrote this novel - which is very good and funny - as a bitter rejoinder to the literary world for not seeing his talent. He's clearly NOT the character "Ian Minot", but he's obviously distressed at the state of the literary society today where authors and agents and publishers play a game with literary output. I couldn't help but laugh at the number of "blurbs" from other well-known writers praising Langer's book.
I think I'll wait awhile to see what others say about "Thieves of Manhattan" and Langer's reason for writing it. I have a feeling that either the book will be ignored or will actually bring about some valid questioning of the literary establishment.
In any case, as always, Langer's novel is a great read. I also think its great that the book was published in trade paper instead of hard back.