Friday, July 21, 2017

FFB: Heist Week, July 21, 2017

 HEIST SOCIETY (No. 1) Ally Carter

I spent a lot of time, a really lot of time, looking for the right book to read for this topic. Although I have seen dozens of movies about heists, I had never read one. Well. maybe I had and just don't remember it. I must have read a Westlake one.
I took a handful of books out of the library, and none of them grabbed me. Although I loved the topic onscreen, perhaps for me heists are visual subjects.
As I looked for books online, the name Ally Carter kept popping up. I saw her first book in a series was available for almost nothing online so I downloaded it, still not realizing it was a YA book. I don't read YA books really. Well, I read THE HUNGER GAMES and the Greene one about the girl with cancer but on the whole, no.
And then I became fascinated with how an author was going to write a series about a girl burglar. How could she justify it satisfactorily? She certainly didn't want to encourage teenage crime.
She gets off the hook by having her heroine disavow a life of crime and then constructing the plot around the idea that the girl's father is accused of stealing famous paintings. And it is up to Katarina Bishop to find the stolen paintings and prove it was not the work of her father. To this end, she does the time-honored thing and assembles a group of teens to help her.
Carter manages to be witty and fun throughout the book and yet, I found it wanting. I can see that full-fledged adults would be able to read this for the fun of it without thinking the author was endorsing a life of crime. Yet if a twelve year old reads this, what is their takeaway? I am not sure.. I guess my uncertainty stems from the fact that I was reading adult novels and not YA novels from 12-16. So yes, I was reading some pretty questionable narratives in terms of morality. But those books were not written with a teenage reader in mind. If you are writing YA, what is your responsibility? Yes, Katarina only steals for the greater good. But she puts herself, (a fifteen  year old) in harms way to do it. Carter has written several more additions to this series. I am pretty sure they are based on the same formula: Katarina is asked to use her gift for humanity's good.
Looking at the reviews of this book afterwards, clearly the majority of readers saw it as a romance. Maybe as it should be seen. Maybe all YA girls see books as romantic.

The H connotes books that deal with a heist or a similar theme. 

Sergio Angelini, THE FRUMIOUS BANDERSNATCH, Ed McBain
Yvette Banek, ARROW POINTING NOWHERE, Elizabeth Daly
Joe Barone, MERCY FALLS, William Ken Kruger
Les Blatt, CLUTCH OF CONSTABLES, Ngaio March
Elgin Bleecker, THE MONEY TRAP, Lionel White (H)
Alice Chang, THE HOW OF HAPPINESS, Sonia Lyubomirsky
Bill Crider, ROSS MACDONALD'S INWARD JOURNEY, Ralph Sipper. ed
Rick Horton, Ring Around the Sun, by Clifford D. Simak/Cosmic Manhunt, by L. Sprague de Camp
Jerry House, BLOOD ON THE MOON, Basil Cooper
George Kelley, MARILYN K and THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR, Lionel White (H)
Margot Kinberg, TALKING TO THE DEAD, Harry Bingham
Rob Kitchin, DEAD WATER, Ann Cleves
K.A. Laity, FRENCHMEN'S CREEK, Daphne DuMaurier (H)
B.V. Lawson, OLD SLEUTH'S FREAKY FEMALE DETECTIVES (H)
Evan Lewis, Forgotten Adaptations of Books
Steve Lewis/Bill Pronzini, A TASTE OF ASHES, Howard Browne
Todd Mason,  ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW by William P. McGivern (Dodd, Mead 1957); YA birthday bonus heistlet: FROM THE MIXED UP FILES OF MRS BASIL E. FRANKWEILER by E. L. Konigsburg (H)
J.F. Norris, DEAD RECKONING. Bruce Hamilton
Matt Paust, WHERE THE MONEY WAS, Willie Sutton with Edward Linn (H)
James Reasoner, HIGH LONESOME, Lous L'Amour; WE ARE ALL DEAD, Bruno Fischer (H)
Richard Robinson, A SIX-LETTER WORD FOR DEATH, Patricia Moyes
Gerard Saylor, THE UNBURIED DEAD, Douglas Lindsay
TomCat, BOOK OF MURDER, Frederick Irving Anderson
TracyK, THE MAN WITH THE GETAWAY FACE, Richard Stark (H)
Zybahn, A TWIST OF FATE: THE LOCKET, John Saul 

17 comments:

K. A. Laity said...

It's been ages but I have a FFB and it's even a heist-themed novel, albeit unconventionally so: https://kalaity.com/2017/07/21/ffb-frenchmans-creek-daphne-du-maurier/

Gerard Saylor said...

Nuts. I forgot the theme.

Todd Mason said...

As usual, trying to cut 10K woods worth of thoughts into something more realistic for our purposes here and suffering the distractions of the day, many of them feline. Link is up, and the first paragraph and a couple of images, as I spin my dross.

FFB: Heist Week: ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW, William P. McGivern: FROM THE MIXED UP FILES OF MRS BASIL E. FRANKWEILER , E. L. Knonigsburg (both Hs)

Todd Mason said...

Well, let's try that again:
FFB: Heist Week: ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW by William P. McGivern (Dodd, Mead 1957); YA birthday bonus heistlet: FROM THE MIXED UP FILES OF MRS BASIL E. FRANKWEILER by E. L. Konigsburg (Antheneum 1967)

and therefore:
ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW, William P. McGivern; FROM THE MIXED UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILER, E. L. Konigsburg (both Hs)

Elgin's at the moment is missing its hotlink.

Todd Mason said...

Wooden thoughts. Welcome back!

Alice has one this week, too, if you wanna:
THE HOW OF HAPPINESS, Sonja Lyubomirsky

https://fuzzylogicgamer.blogspot.com/2017/07/the-how-of-happiness-review.html

Fleur Bradley said...

I love heist movies; they're usually so fun. Couldn't think of too many books, so I'll be checking these out.

I do think you have a certain responsibility in YA, and even more so in middle-grade, though I've read a lot of books where the author clearly didn't think about that...

Charles Gramlich said...

I very rarely watch heist movies. I tend to enjoy the ones I've seen but I just don't go out of my way to catch them.

Todd Mason said...

Well, Konigsburg does address the concern the parents would have for their missing children in her novel, though since it's told from their POV and they are cusp of teens having An Adventure, they feel bad about that aspect but still want to do what they set out to do. This has the same sort of appeal to readers of that age that caper novels have to their elders, I'd suggest...Konigsburg, as noted in a SMITHSONIAN article I will have a link to, was a mother of children of that age, working up her first two novels at least through tales she would tell her young adolescent kids and gauging their responses...

Todd Mason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Todd Mason said...

Thanks, Patti! (No one ever has addressed you as P@ti, as yet, I hope.)

pattinase (abbott) said...

Hi Fleur! This is the kind of stuff you must have to consider.
Todd, my kids loved that novel.

J F Norris said...

Mine's up now.

Dead Reckoning by Bruce Hamilton But it's not part of your salute to Heist novels.

Todd Mason said...

As well they might've, Patti. I did/do, too.

Jerry House said...

Mine's up now, Patti. BLOOD ON THE MOON by Basil Copper -- although it centers on a five million dollar theft from a locked box it doesn't quite fit what I would consider "heist" perimeters. Ow well.

Todd Mason said...

Well, I had mine all laden with links and text and suddenly Safari crashed, and Blogspot hadn't bothered to save the last several updates of the post somehow

Prashant Trikannad notes he can't get into Blogspot from his connection in India.

Beware the bugs and or Denial of Service. I'm ungritting my teeth. Mostly. I so love wasting a couple of hours.

bloodymurder said...

I love heist stories Patti - sorry I couldn't join in this Time!

Shay said...

Love this weekly feature; unfortunately, it tends to load up my TBR pile.

Greetings from a former resident of Rosedale Park.