Review: The Readymade Thief

The Readymade Thief
The Readymade Thief by Augustus Rose
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received an advance reader copy of this book through Penguin’s First to Read program.
I really, really enjoyed this book. I thought the broken bird main character, Lee, was well realized, even if, at a certain point, you had to wonder how much bad luck could dog one person.
Augustus Rose did an excellent job balancing the internal thoughts and feelings of the main character with plenty of action. The secondary characters were well painted and none of them felt overly cardboard, even the folks who were known, for the most part, only by their mysterious titles (the Undertaker, the Busboy, the Priest — like some kind of professional wrestling circuit inspired by Marchel Duchamp (more on that in a sec)). The breakneck pace, the high stakes, and shadowy conspiracy all played well together without veering into being overbearing. I found this book was far, far better than a few of the comps it had been pitched as (Ready Player One, which was really good in its own right, and Mr Penumbra’s, which wasn’t). I’m not super familiar with Marcel Duchamp, the artist at the heart of this book’s web, and while I found myself occasionally wanting to look certain pieces mentioned up to see if they were actual creations of his, I didn’t ever feel like I was missing out on anything by not having any insider knowledge. All along it was a compelling read I kept coming back to and snuck time, whenever I could, to find out what happened next.

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