In the Tradition Of <I>the Orchid Thief</I>, A Compelling Narrative Set Within The Strange And Genteel World Of Rare-book Collecting: The True Story Of An Infamous Book Thief, His Victims, And The Man Determined To Catch Him.</B>
<P>rare-book Theft Is Even More Widespread Than Fine-art Theft. Most Thieves, Of Course, Steal For Profit. John Charles Gilkey Steals Purely For The Love Of Books. In An Attempt To Understand Him Better, Journalist Allison Hoover Bartlett Plunged Herself Into The World Of Book Lust And Discovered Just How Dangerous It Can Be.
<P>gilkey Is An Obsessed, Unrepentant Book Thief Who Has Stolen Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars' Worth Of Rare Books From Book Fairs, Stores, And Libraries Around The Country. Ken Sanders Is The Self-appointed Bibliodick (book Dealer With A Penchant For Detective Work) Driven To Catch Him. Bartlett Befriended Both Outlandish Characters And Found Herself Caught In The Middle Of Efforts To Recover Hidden Treasure. With A Mixture Of Suspense, Insight, And Humor, She Has Woven This Entertaining Cat-and-mouse Chase Into A Narrative That Not Only Reveals Exactly How Gilkey Pulled Off His Dirtiest Crimes, Where He Stashed The Loot, And How Sanders Ultimately Caught Him But Also Explores The Romance Of Books, The Lure To Collect Them, And The Temptation To Steal Them. Immersing The Reader In A Rich, Wide World Of Literary Obsession, Bartlett Looks At The History Of Book Passion, Collection, And Theft Through The Ages, To Examine The Craving That Makes Some People Willing To Stop At Nothing To Possess The Books They Love.</P>
<P>in The Late 1990s, John Gilkey Stole His Way Through A Significant Number Of Expensive Antiquarian Book Collections. Ken Sanders, A Book Collector And Security Chair For The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association, Noticed The Pattern Of Thefts And Began Pursuing Gilkey, Whose Obsession With His Precious Old Books Led Him To Commit A Flurry Of Other Crimes—stealing Credit Cards And Forging Checks. Bartlett Opens Up The Quirky World Of Book Collecting Fanatics With Respect But Occasionally Too Much Adulation—a Perspective That Judith Brackley Is Guilty Of In Her More Effusive Moments. But On The Whole, Brackley's Enthusiasm Is Welcome; She Excels When Exploring The Minutiae And Arcana Of The Book Collecting Subculture And Executes The Male Voices Well, With A Clear Distinction And Depth. A Riverhead Hardcover (reviews, July 27). (jan.)</P>