The Thieves of Manhattan

Movel of the Month

The Thieves of ManhattenI was in the mood for something light and funny, so I thought this book would do the trick.  The main character definitely makes it easy to get into the plot of the story.  Ian Minot is desperately trying to get his fiction published, while he works at a café to pay his bills.  Meanwhile, another author has just topped the bestseller charts with his debut memoir, which is everything but true.   Added to that frustration is the fact that Ian’s Romanian girlfriend is also having more success than him and you have the recipe for a pretty melancholy character, who is struggling to get noticed for his work.  This is kind of like a spin-off or farce of the whole incident with James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces.  Ian is then approached by a mysterious man who visits the café and offers him a tempting opportunity to get a title on the bestseller list: what if Ian puts his name to someone else’s fictional work and calls it his memoir?   Will the trouble be worth it?  Can Ian really pull off the plan and still be a respectable writer?

HisLit title read-alikes:
Did you like this book by Langer?  Maybe you would be interested in other novels that are similar.  Here are a few suggestions:
How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely
Hotel Honolulu by Paul Theroux
The Mystic Masseur by V.S. Naipaul

HisLit author read-alikes:
It takes a certain skill to write funny novels, which also have interesting plots.  These authors have a similar style to Langer and will get you laughing:
-Christopher Buckley (He primarily writes comic fiction.  His timely novels — barbed, witty, refined — are aimed at the larger political issues of the day.  Buckley takes on political correctness, the president’s wife, American diplomacy in the Middle East and China, arms dealers, and more.  He also concocts byzantine plots, ridiculous characters, foolish situations, all the while pointing out the ineptitude of America’s upper echelon.  Start with: The White House Mess.)
-Nick Hornby (He made his mark in fiction writing funny, warm novels that capture the life and experience of the modern male.  His novels reveal that people come-of-age at all stages in life.  He is a modern author and his novels depict life in the modern age–often funny, sometimes a little dark, and always filled with surprising moments of tenderness and heart.  Start with: About a Boy).
-Carl Hiaasen (His hilarious satiric thrillers for adults combine bizarre characters, madcap antics, caustic wit, and a vivid depiction of Florida as a sultry natural paradise debased by human greed and folly.  Start with: Tourist Season).

Whether it is a political thriller, adventure or mystery, I think it is even better when the story is told with plenty of humour.  Prepare to be entertained and let a few chuckles out!  Things can’t be serious all the time and the above examples are just a small indication that laughter is good medicine.

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