Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Burglar Who Thought He Was Bogart by Lawrence Block

Bernie Rhodenbarr. Bookseller by day, burglar by night. Wisecracking good/bad guy with a lazy cat named Raffles who hangs around the bookstore and abuses the customers, and a best friend named Carolyn who, appropriate to the Greenwich Village setting, is a lesbian.

In this seventh installment of the "Burglar Who..." series, Bernie is asked to steal a portfolio belonging, it turns out, to a high-ranking citizen of Anatruria, a currently non-existent country. Also involved are a beautiful dame of Anatrurian descent, a bunch of old boys who'd been involved in deep undercover once upon a time in Anatruria, and a never-ending Bogart film retrospective.

Light, mostly funny fluff that's forgotten as soon as it's been read, The Burglar Who Thought He Was Bogart is best when the dialog is whipping back and forth between Bernie and his friends. Funniest to this reader was the running gag in which Carolyn is constantly looking for, just about to read, or just finishing "the new Sue Grafton....It's really something."

"What's it called, anyway?"

"'I' Is for Claudius." "'A' Is for Train." "'Q' Is for Gardens."

A bitter little recurring competitive theme, but it made me laugh every time.



EnriqueFreeque said...

Hey, can I borrow that book?

Or should I just ... Bogart it?

bookdout said...

I've only read teh first two in this series but enjoyed it, I'll have to put it on my catch up list :)