Ten classic stories about cunning plans and daring escapades.
Of all the crimes that human beings commit, stealing is probably the most common. Thieves!, the latest in the True Stories from the Edge series, brings ten exciting stories of master thieves and their master crimes.
Willie Sutton was casing a bank when he noticed that the manager looked a lot like Sutton himself, so he walked into the vault, loaded up with banknotes, and calmly walked out. D.B. Cooper hijacked a plane, demanded $200,000 in payment, and parachuted from the aircraft. He was never captured.
Other criminals in this book were no less brazen:
- Arthur Barry, the greatest jewel thief in American criminal history
- Vincente Perugia, who boldly stole one of the world's greatest art treasures
- Amil Dinsio, one of the most accomplished bank vault robbers in the U.S.
- Victor Desmarais and Leo Martial, a hapless duo who bungled their getaway
- James Landis, who stole two bricks of freshly printed banknotes from his employer -- the U.S. Treasury
- Adam Worth, the Napoleon of Crime
- the Great Train Robbers, who planned one of the largest heists of all time
- the five heisters of the Great Purolator Caper, whose ineptitude ensured capture
Readers will find nothing but high-stakes action in Thieves!. Though many of the bandits ended their careers broke and disillusioned, these impresarios of crime make for great reading.close this panel
Andreas Schroeder has been a full-time writer for over 30 years. His fiction, non- fiction, radio dramas, journalism, translations, and criticism have appeared in over 200 publications. He lives on British Columbia's Sunshine Coast.close this panel
This is ten stories written by one author. The introduction is as interesting as any of the stories. We are a culture fascinated by thieves, perhaps because, as the author says, 'almost everyone has stolen something at some point in their lives'. These are true stories, and the sources for them are listed in the back of the book. An index is useful to identify the stories and their personages, if you're doing a research report.
Ten high-impact stories... should appeal to the marginal or reluctant reader... pacing is upbeat yet slow enough to develop cause and effect... a worthy addition.
Clear and easy to read... full of excellent descriptive passages that establish place and time... Schroeder is outstanding at setting the story's tone: dramatic, comic, or mysterious.
Of all the kinds of crimes that human beings have committed, stealing is probably the most common. Subtitled Ten Stories of Surprising Heists, Comical Capers, and Daring Escapades, this is a colorful collection of true headline-making crimes. While most thieves are eventually caught, some of the included stories are of thieves who took their ill-gotten gains and disappeared from view. Folk heroes like Robin Hood are rare but there is a documented story of one "Charles Hippolyte" who actually ate the files of 1,153 people condemned to die after the French Revolution. Since the files were missing, the people weren't called and they were saved. Charles, however, soon died from the toxic materials in the papers that he ate. Exciting and suspenseful, the stories read like contemporary news and will catch the attention of those who crave lively reality.
Realistic dialogue and step-by-step descriptions make this work suspenseful and exciting... For true, rousing adventurers, each with one or more sources listed in the bibliography, Schroeder's compilation can't be beat.
The writing, itself, is clear and easy to read. It is also full of excellent descriptive passages that establish place and time. The invented dialogue is very good, creating mood and action. And Schroeder is outstanding at setting the story's tone: dramatic, comic, or mysterious.... The list of sources in the back of the book provides further reading opportunities for those readers who want to know more. This is an excellent addition to a non-fiction book, one which encourages its readers to consider more non-fiction reading. Younger readers will find the language easy to comprehend. The writing style is straightforward and should pose no difficulty at all. The content is so strong, after my grades 4-7 recommendation, based on required reading ability, I also recommend this book for young adults with reading difficulties (especially boys) right up to grade 10. Highly Recommended.