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The Snack Thief Paperback – May 31 2005

4.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (May 31 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142004731
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142004739
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.3 x 19.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 358 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #134,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In his third Inspector Salvo Montalbano mystery to be made available in the U.S., Camilleri (The Shape of Water) displays all the storytelling skills that have made him an international bestseller. When gunfire from a Tunisian patrol boat kills a worker on an Italian fishing trawler, the worldly Sicilian police inspector knows that this is just the type of situation his overly ambitious second-in-command, Mimi Augello, will want to exploit. Meanwhile, Montalbano has to look into the stabbing death of a retiree in the elevator of the victim's apartment building. While the trawler incident appears to resolve itself, the elevator slaying gets more complex by the minute. Soon Montalbano is searching for the retiree's beautiful housekeeper (and sometimes prostitute) and her son. It's only when he finds the boy (the snack thief of the title) that Montalbano learns the true nature of the case, its relation to the trawler shooting and the danger it poses. Although warned to keep his distance, Montalbano, who can't deny his investigative instincts any more than he can refuse a hardy portion of sardines a beccafico, proceeds headlong into the thick of government corruption with a risky plan to set things right. Montalbano, despite his curmudgeonly exterior, has a depth to him that charms. Readers are sure to savor this engrossing, Mafia-free Sicilian mystery.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

In the third Inspector Montalbano mystery to appear in the U.S., the maverick Sicilian cop is once again convinced that the fix is in and determined to unfix it. This time Montalbano suspects a link between the stabbing of a businessman in an apartment-house elevator and the shooting of a crewman on a fishing boat. Connecting the two are an enterprising Tunisian prostitute, now vanished, and her young son, who has been surviving by stealing lunches from schoolchildren. Montalbano fits the pieces together gradually, taking time, as always, for plenty of leisurely lunches but eventually exposing a wide-ranging plot fuelled by high-level corruption. What makes this series so good is Camilleri's unsurpassed ability to mix hard-boiled terror with the comic frustrations of daily life. Montalbano is the southern Italian equivalent of Magdalen Nabb's Marshal Guarnaccia, also a Sicilian but stationed in Florence. Both men covet the quiet pleasures of food, drink, and female companionship, but neither is quite able to resist the compulsion to help others. In the tension between those two forces, the Italian crime novel thrives. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The best, I think, of the series. I literally laughed out loud at some points, because Montalbano is such a great and quirky character. He's wonderful in so many ways -- from his foul mouth to his love of fine food to his ability to see smells in color. This book is a feast for the senses, delicious in all ways. It's just as good as The Terra Cota Dog and better, I think, than The Shape Of Water. One of the things I like most about this book is how Montalbano retains his hard edges but becomes softer and more sensitive because of the "snack thief" and his effect on the inspector. My advice: read Camilleri rather than Dona Leon, who cannot and does not capture the beauty and wonder of Italy the way Camilleri does, and whose mysteries aren't as interesting as Camelleri's. The latter's writing is so spare and so wonderful; he gets to the heart of the matter without seeming to try at all. Despite this simplicity, Italy comes alive with all its colors and smells and beauty. I love this author and can't wait to read the next book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Inspector Montalbano has two cases competing for his attention. In one, an Italian fishing boat was fired upon by a Tunisian gunboat, killing a fisherman. In the second, a retired man was found murdered in his apartment elevator. As Montalbano investigates (without missing a single meal), he discovers a bizarre connection between the deaths--a connection that includes the ever-present official corruption Sicily suffers from and that ties into all of Montalbano's hidden issues.
With his usual style (apparently bumbling but barely hiding a sharp wit), Montalbano is able to 'solve' the mysteries. But knowing the answer and bringing some sort of justice are very different things. Montalbano has to dig deep into his bag of tricks to pull out a solution that satisfies his own peculiar sense of morality. Worse, from his perspective, it isn't only himself involved. A little boy and Montalbano's longtime lover, Livia are also at risk.
Author Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano series combines humor, solid sleuthing; a wonderful view of small town life in Sicily that is alien but fascinating to most of its readers, and charming to everyone; with compelling social commentary. Although the setting is in Italy, the issues that Montalbano faces are universal.
I have enjoyed the entire Inspector Montalbano series but so far, THE SNACK THIEF is the most powerful of a very strong series. Well done, Andrea Camilleri.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Andrea Camilleri is one fine author that you've got to read. Yes, he's Italian, and yes, his books have a definite Italian prose but the writing is so intriguing how can you resist? Much like the Inspector Montalbano enjoys his good food and wine, you'll find yourself savoring each and every page. In this, his 3rd book about life in Sicily and Inspector Montalbano, we are presented with the mysterious death of an older gentleman in an elevator, and the murder of a Tunisian sailor off the coast on a fishing boat, and a series of snack robberies, which are seemingly unrelated, but later find out to be seriously connected. Of course there is the usual banter between the inspector and his collegues and his girlfriend, Livia, and the usual surprising personality of the good inspector, and often genuinely humorous situations. His first book, "The Shape of Water", which I read was at first a little difficult to follow; ie; names and names of places in Sicily and too the way it's written, not American english or English english, but different. But his stories are so interesting that after a few pages it really doesn't matter that it's different, in fact it makes reading them that much more entertaining because they are different. His descriptions of places and peoples are right on spot. In Snack Thief you'll be amazed and entertained by the manner in which Inspector Montalbano goes about solving the crimes but too how he manipulates the press, and his superiors and other higher ups in the government. Montalbano who isn't perfect has faults and some striking traits that makes him very real and makes Camilleri's novels that much more interesting. There's really no one to compare Camilleri to, he's in a class all by himself. If you're looking for something a little different, or just something intriguing, then read Snack Thief. Trust me, you won't stop here, you'll read all of Camilleri's books, finding yourself like me; spellbound.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
If multiculturalism is not a dirty word to you, and you are from an English speaking background, then this book might be of interest. You can soak up the ambience of other societies, in the format of a fictional narrative. As contrasted perhaps to reading a dry sociology text.
The backdrop of the book is complicated. Set in Sicily, it depicts the interleaving of Italian, Arab and French cultures. The plotline has these intricately entangled, due to geography and history. Plus, there are allusions to the different Italian regions and the concomitant stereotypes. For example, the hero is Sicilian, but his girlfriend is Ligurian. At one point, he contrasts their backgrounds in a brief remark. An Italian would catch these immediately, based on her background. But for me, and possibly for you too, these remain opaque.
An analogy might be familiar to you. Think of the various British regional demotics: The dour Scot, the garrulous, overfriendly Cockney, the bloody minded Yorkshireman. Please understand that I do not say these are at all correct, or that I agree with them. But if you are British or American, these should be known to you. Well, something similar is going on in this novel.
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