Thief, Liar, Gentleman?

Book - 2006
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In Victorian London, after his life is saved by a young physician, a thief utilizes the knowledge he gains in prison and from the scientific lectures he attends as the physician's case study exhibit to create a new, highly successful, double life for himself.
Publisher: Waterville, ME: Thorndike Press, 2006, c2003
ISBN: 9780786286430
Characteristics: 248 p. ; 22 cm


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Aug 10, 2017

This sucked me in just as fast as it did when I was a kid! The tension throughout the book is really great, and it's a nice easy heist read (maybe good for kids who like heists but are not ready yet for Six of Crows.) The ending does feel pretty rushed, but given that there is now an entire series (!!!) that did not exist when I first read this 10+ years ago, that rushed ending may not be as big a deal. I am definitely interested in what goes on in the other books in the series!

Apr 03, 2015

This book was extremely well-written. Though it was a little graphic at times while describing Prisoner 493's injuries, it has been one of the best books that I have read as of late. I would have enjoyed some romance between Scarper and Mrs. Evans, although I understand that that was not really the tone of the novel. Maybe there'll be some romance in book two. Cissie was hilarious. Incredibly annoying, but hilarious.

Jan 19, 2015

A wonderfully soul-satisfying transformation story on par with those of Dickens, Dumas and Balzac. Updale has the magic and discipline of a great artist (unlike J.K. Rowling, in my opinion, despite her remarkable fame). Stephen Fry gives an excellent narration on the eAudiobook, which is available on Overdrive. What an excellent TV mini-series it would make, too! Recommended for all ages but for all children, be prepared to discuss at length various social/moral issues that arise. Children have an innate sense of natural justice and will demand explanations.

Jun 29, 2013

Montmorency experiences a rebirth as it were. After he crashes through a skylight while comitting a crime, his life is saved by a doctor who then uses the thief as a visual aid for his lectures. While at these lectures, Montmorency hatches the plan to lead a double life. He will be Montmorency, dapper gentleman and respectable member of society. But he will also be Scrapper, the lower class thief who uses the sewers to evade the police. Montmorency lives this double life, evading detection, until an opportunity to serve his country presents itself and changes his life forever.

This was a fun book to read. The double life of Montmorency keeps readers on the edge of their seats. Updale has created a character that is compelling. Good YA read.

Sep 22, 2012

Not the greatest book ever. The plot somehow went crazy slow despite covering 5 years in like 200 pages.

olson_ys Feb 20, 2012

Prisoner 493 has been given a second chance at life. The fall he took on the night he was caught by police should have been the end of him, but it wasn’t. Instead, he became an experiment of Dr. Farcett, a brilliant young surgeon in Victorian England. His recovery is a painful one but the prisoner, now called “Montmorency,” gains priceless knowledge during his time spent with the doctor and other members of the Scientific Society. He learns all about the new sewer system being built beneath London and before long has hatched an underhanded plan for when he returns to society. Upon his release from prison, Montmorency puts his plan into action. By day he is the well-dressed and sophisticated Montmorency. By night he is Scarper; the foul-smelling thief who uses the sewer system to go about London stealing from homes and businesses. With Scarper working at night Montmorency is able to maintain the appearance of a wealthy Londoner without anyone suspecting otherwise. But how long can he keep up the ruse? How long until someone recognizes him? This is a fast-moving story full of shady characters, close calls and good laughs.

Aug 11, 2011

epic storyline... i am still in awe!!!

jayliss May 15, 2011

A disgusting excuse for a book. The main character has the personality of a footstool: no friends, history, or quotable phrases. The plot crawls, slowly - like a wounded snail that refuses to accept its death with any sort of dignity. I laughed when it tried to be sad. I wept when it tried to be funny. I think the author was high.
This is the kind of literature that could kill puppies. But if you are intent on finishing it (or killing puppies) you will find a highly unsatisfactory ending involving a made up country called "Mauramania." Mauramania! That sounds like the kind of disease you get from reading "Montmorency."


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