Theft by Peter Carey
A Love Story

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Synopsis

Michael "Butcher" Boone is an ex-“really famous" painter, now reduced to living in a remote country house and acting as caretaker for his younger brother, Hugh. Alone together they've forged a delicate equilibrium, a balance instantly destroyed when a mysterious young woman named Marlene walks out of a rainstorm and into their lives. Beautiful, smart, and ambitious, she's also the daughter-in-law of the late great painter Jacques Liebovitz. Soon Marlene sets in motion a chain of events that could be the making--or the ruin--of them all.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Peter Carey

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PETER CAREY is the author of eleven previous novels and has twice received the Booker Prize. His other honors include the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Miles Franklin Literary Award. Born in Australia, he has lived in New York City for twenty years.
 
Published May 9, 2006 by Vintage. 288 pages
Genres: Romance, Literature & Fiction, Business & Economics. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Theft

Kirkus Reviews

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Seducing Butcher is child’s play to this manipulative siren, who gradually involves the agreeably amoral artist in a trip to Japan (for an exhibition which, Marlene promises, will restore his celebrity), duplicitous recreations of canvasses produced by both Leibovitz and his wily mistress, Domini...

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The New York Times

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An intruder interrupts Butcher's anarchic idyll, changing his life and the course of the novel, neither one necessarily for the better.

May 21 2006 | Read Full Review of Theft: A Love Story

The New York Times

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(It's hard to gather a clear sense, from Butcher's frenzied descriptions, of what his work looks like, except that it's vividly colored and embodies texts from the dour religious maxims his late mother used to embroider and frame for hanging in the grim Boone apartment above the butcher shop.) An...

May 21 2006 | Read Full Review of Theft: A Love Story

The Guardian

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Theft: A Love Story by Peter Carey 269pp, Faber, £16.99 "If you are MAKING ART," says a character in Peter Carey's magnificent new novel, "the labour never ends, no peace, no Sabbath, just eternal churning and cursing and worrying and fretting."

May 27 2006 | Read Full Review of Theft: A Love Story

Publishers Weekly

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None of this, however, distracts Butcher from his overpowering love affair with Marlene, which threatens to leave Hugh stranded in an unforgiving world.

Mar 20 2006 | Read Full Review of Theft: A Love Story

BC Books

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The first book I read by Peter Carey was Illywhacker and I was intrigued enough to read Oscar and Lucinda.

May 21 2007 | Read Full Review of Theft: A Love Story

AV Club

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Stuck in a marsh-side cabin with his hulking, brain-damaged brother Hugh, Michael produces some of the best work of his life, and he winds up on the radar screen of upstart art dealer Marlene, who brings him into a counterfeiting conspiracy that involves Japanese collectors, long-lost French pain...

Jun 21 2006 | Read Full Review of Theft: A Love Story

Entertainment Weekly

(She has an appointment with the Boones' rich neighbor, whose expensive old painting soon vanishes.) Carey is clearly having a blast with his material — part art caper, part noir love story — but he never quite brings the colorful Theft into focus.

May 05 2006 | Read Full Review of Theft: A Love Story

Bookmarks Magazine

Ron Charles Philadelphia Inquirer 4 of 5 Stars "Carey captures the tidal wash of an artist’s narcissism—the stewing, the ambition, the adversarial bravado, the retreating, the work, and the strange process by which all this becomes not just an object of art and expression but a commodity."

Aug 21 2007 | Read Full Review of Theft: A Love Story

Project MUSE

Just as his previous novel, My Life as a Fake, fictionalized Australia's most famous literary hoax, Peter Carey's ninth novel, Theft: A Love Story, attempts to offset similar pretensions of the art world by adding some theft and fraud.

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The Blurb

At the stage where I was keener to read the words around the book than the book itself, I was interested to see Carey give thanks to, among others, his friend and fellow novelist Patrick McGrath.

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Reader Rating for Theft
70%

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