The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett

Why I Read It: A book about a bibliophile? How could I resist?

Where I Got It: The library.

Who I Recommend This To: Those into real crime.

Narrator: Judith Brackley

Publisher: Tantor Audio (2009)

Length: 5 CDs

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much is an interesting little audiobook (only 5 CDs) that takes the reader into the world of bibliophiles, con men, and bibliomaniacs. Allison Hoover Bartlett, a journalist, has given us a very approachable read on John Gilkey, a con man who stole hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of rare and valuable books over the years. She also interviews several book dealers, chiefly Ken Sanders out of Salt Lake City, UT (Ken Sanders Rare Books is still around and accessible via the web).

Join Bartlett in the world of rare and antiquarian books; meet the book dealers who go to uncommon ends to prevent book theft; sit and have tea with a repeat book thieve. If you are reading this , you probably already know the magic and power books hold. This book takes you a bit deeper into the world of bibliophilia, and even into the mind of one bibliomaniac. John Gilkey is the center of this story. In and out of jail and prison for a variety of violations – card theft, writing bad checks, possession of stolen items, etc. The author captures his sense of entitlement and his total lack of guilt over theft.

This book was narrated by Judith Brackley, who has an even, melodious voice. She brought the elements of incredulity, wonder, disgust, and sadness to this tale.

What I Liked: The journalistic voice of the book; book appreciation.

What I Disliked: I could have enjoyed a little more to this book as I felt the ending left the mystery open-ended.

Note: This review was originally published on on 09/13/2011 and republished, and reformatted, here with permission of Lady Darkcargo.

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