'A' format, re-jacketed edition of classic Bernie,Rhodenbarr story in which the burglar can't resist,the lure of a long lost Kipling poem even if it's,locked inside a millionaire's high security,library.,'Bernie Rhodenbarr doesn't have to try for hipness,because hip is the very air he breathes. The,Burglar is just adorable. He is cute without being,cuddly, he is witty without looking like he's,striving for it, and he's rakish without,possessing a single mean streak in his lithe and,sinuous body.' - The Guardian
Burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr is attempting to go straight by running a secondhand bookstore in New York. However, a collector hires him to steal a rare anti-Semitic poem by Rudyard Kipling. Bernie easily steals the book but loses it when drugged, and he is then framed for murder. With his lesbian friend Carolyn Kaiser, Bernie endeavors to recover the book, locate the true killer, and clear his name. Along the way the listener meets a range of unsavory characters and receives an introduction to the not-always-genteel world of the rare book business. Block (Tanner on Ice, Audio Reviews, LJ 4/15/99) is in top form with this witty and engaging story, and reader Richard Ferrone nicely presents and accents the tale. Required listening for Block lovers and a required purchase for all audio collections. Stephen L. Hupp, Urbana Univ., OH Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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February 28, 2005
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Excerpt from The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling by Lawrence Block
I suppose he must have been in his early twenties. It was hard to be sure of his age because there was so little of his face available for study. His red-brown beard began just below his eyes, which in turn lurked behind thick-lensed horn-rims. He wore a khaki army shirt, unbuttoned, and beneath it his T-shirt advertised the year's fashionable beer, a South Dakota brand reputedly brewed with organic water. His pants were brown corduroy, his running shoes blue with a gold stripe. He was toting a Braniff Airlines flight bag in one ill-manicured hand and the Everyman's Library edition of The Poems of William Cowper in the other.
He set the book down next to the cash register, reached into a pocket, found two quarters, and placed them on the counter alongside the book.
"Ah, poor Cowper," I said, picking up the book. Its binding was shaky, which was why it had found its way to my bargain table. "My favorite's 'The Retired Cat.' I'm pretty sure it's in this edition." He shifted his weight from foot to foot while I scanned the table of contents. "Here it is. Page one-fifty. You know the poem?"
"I don't think so."
"You'll love it. The bargain books are forty cents or three for a dollar, which is even more of a bargain. You just want the one?"
"That's right." He pushed the two quarters an inch or so closer to me. "Just the one."
"Fine," I said. I looked at his face. All I could really see was his brow, and it looked untroubled, and I would have to do something about that. "Forty cents for the Cowper, and three cents for the Governor in Albany, mustn't forget him, and what does that come to?" I leaned over the counter and dazzled him with my pearly-whites. "I make it thirty-two dollars and seventy cents," I said.