Introducing Evan Tanner - the first series character created by Lawrence Block, best-selling author of A Walk Among the Tombstones...
Ever since a shred of shrapnel did a number on his brain's sleep center, Even Tanner has been awake 24/7. This gives him more time than your average underachiever. Time to learn the world's languages (he's fluent in Basque, but has trouble with Chinese). Time to embrace the world's lost causes and irredentist movements (The Flat Earth Society, the League for the Restoration of Cilician Armenia, the Society of the Left Hand). Time to write term papers theses for students with more money than knowledge. And, most important, time to do his dreaming while he's wide awake.
The Thief Who Couldn't Sleep is Tanner's first adventure. It finds our insomniacal hero on a mission to recover a hoard of gold coins, stashed 50 years ago in a house in Balekesir by the city's Armenian community. Promptly jailed by the Turks, Tanner escapes and plays hopscotch across the map of Europe, pulling strings, slipping across borders, and, almost incidentally, fomenting a revolution in Macedonia.
Well, these things happen...
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Good Story & Great Narrator
Yes. This is the first book featuring the super spy Evan Tanner (and the first of this character's exploits that I have read). The story is good, fluid and has a lot of great characters. The narration by Theo Holland is simply wonderful. I am a fan of Mr. Holland and I believe his uniqueness is his ability to voice "everyman (and woman)." He is not overly theatrical but with his timing and tone he brings each and every character to life. Mr. Holland also at times vocally presented a line of dialogue where I was able to hear the humor that I might have missed by merely reading the same.
I won't say that the plot itself kept me riveted, but the fluidity of it kept the story from getting stale as it moved right along.
I forget the name, but there is a character who Tanner meets in Spain who wants to become a famous hair stylist in France. Not only was the character funny, but Theo Holland nailed him; he had down the rhythm of speech, and all. Like many characters this one was in only one segment of the book and I was hoping for more because of what Holland was able to bring to him.
I laughed throughout. It is not a knee slapper, but there was enough to make me chuckle or smile.
I am a fan of Lawrence Blocks, but this is the first Evan Tanner I have "read." Based on this book Tanner is my least favorite recurring character of the authors but my hope is that as the series progresses the stories improve on the strengths that are present in this first one.
Great fun, lots of adventure
- Kari Anne