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Publisher's Summary

An addictive literary puzzle that introduces an unforgettable young heroine plunged into the twisted world of a secret society with a dark agenda.

Lee Cuddy is 17 years old and on the run, alone on the streets of Philadelphia.

After taking the fall for a rich friend, Lee reluctantly accepts refuge in the Crystal Castle - a cooperative of homeless kids squatting in an austere derelict building. But homeless kids are disappearing from the streets in suspicious numbers, and Lee quickly discovers that the secret society's charitable façade is too good to be true. She finds an unexpected ally in Tomi, a young artist and hacker whose knowledge of the Internet's black market is rivaled only by his ability to break into and out of buildings. From abandoned aquariums to highly patrolled museums to the homes of vacationing Philadelphians, Tomi and Lee can always chart a way to the next perfect hideout.

But the harder Lee tries to escape into the unmapped corners of the city, the closer she unwittingly gets to uncovering the disturbing agenda of the very men who pull the strings of the secret society she's hoped to elude, a group of fanatics obsessed with the secrets encoded in the work of early 20th-century artist Marcel Duchamp. What these men want is more twisted than anything Lee could've imagined, and they believe Lee holds the key to it all.

The Readymade Thief heralds the arrival of an astoundingly imaginative and propulsive new voice in fiction for fans of Marisha Pessl and Ernest Cline.

©2017 Augustus Rose (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"A debut novel that's unexpected, uncategorizable, unputdownable." (Robin Sloan, New York Times best-selling author of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

Based on Robin Sloan's review I had great expectations.
Characters are poorly developed, writing poor quality, and plot fairly absurd.
Show, don't tell.
And give characters consistent personality traits.
I found myself rolling my eyes at the protagonist's actions.
Interesting info about the artist Duchamp was the only thing that kept me listening.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

You're going to hear great things about this book

You're going to hear great things about this book...and they'll be mostly true. It's a great debut novel, that suitably weaved fiction with fact and perhaps a little fantasy too. This story includes robbery, murder, kidnapping, art, drugs, more murder, romance, and did I say murder? It was an enjoyable read. I would have given it 5 stars had the ending been more to the point. There was a moment when the dialogue suggested the big reveal, but it was only partial...only to continue to read on, for another big reveal with a different character.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Intriguing storyline & great performance!

Really loved this book! It was slow at times, but always kept my interest. Great mix of suspense, mystery, and darkness! Definitely recommend if you are into mystery & have an interest in science (I don't but still loved it).

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

this book could have been great

the story seemed to go on and on with more extreme fanatical scenarios that it became beyond believable

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The Readymade Thief

This novel is original. It is sectioned off into different "books" which makes sense since there seems to be several smaller stories inside the larger story. The art / science undertones lost me at some points as the author weaves an intricate story about a secret society tied to an artist's work. The characters are believable and the narrator does an excellent job of portraying each of them. It's a long, detailed mystery but worth the listen.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Long-winded but art historical

It took me a while to get through this book. There was definitely some filler that made it harder to get through