Review: The Burglar Who Thought He Was Bogart

The Burglar Who Thought He Was Bogart
The Burglar Who Thought He Was Bogart by Lawrence Block
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My goal is to read a book a week for the whole year, and even though it’s still only January, I feel like I’m behind. I had to abandon a bad (boring) book after 400 pages, and then another 400 pager took me longer to read than usual. Thank goodness there’s these snappy little Burglar books to get me caught up.

In my review of the previous book to Bogart (Ted Williams) I didn’t have too many good things to say. I liked this one better. Maybe because it was a relief to get back to a straightforward read? Maybe. It had the same old same-old as the previous books: A burglary gone wrong, a slightly contrived plot with a few too many coincidences, a gathering of the players in the end so Bernie can say whodunit.

Or maybe the theme this time was a little more conducive to the “romance” of the gentleman scallywag. Bernie spends half his time at a Bogart film festival, and the novel is laced with quotes and sentiments from the man’s movies– not just Casablanca and The Big Sleep, but some of the obscure ones as well.

It almost reads as an homage (although, full confession, I don’t think I’ve seen a single Bogart film, so I probably don’t know what I’m talking about).

Whatever. In the end I was happy to have read it, to have plowed through it in a day, to have gotten back on track. Here’s looking at me.

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