_The Thief_, with spoilers galore--extra long for your enjoyment

Robyn Starkey rohina at shaw.ca
Sat Mar 9 17:13:30 EST 2002

>But this brings up an interesting question that really hasn't been
>addressed:  What do you think _The Thief_ is meant to be?  Is this a history
>novel?  A story Gen is telling in a bar somewhere (as I think someone
>mentioned)? Or the blow-by-blow account that we as readers get to see as it
>unfolds?  I lean toward the third, mainly because I don't see any evidence
>that it's intended to be otherwise, but if you read it another way, that
>changes the set of expectations you bring to the book.

Well, at the end of the book, he says he is writing it down to explain how 
events unfolded to people who know the outcome, eg Eddis. So, in a way that 
lets him off the hook for cheating, because the reader supposedly knows the 
outcome, and he's just explaining how he did it. But the problem with this 
is he patently doesn't explain an important incident.

>That's sort of why I think the true climax is handing over the stone,
>because I personally think it was easier to figure out who Gen was than to
>figure out what he'd done.  Sort of a double McGuffin to make sure there's
>something to surprise everyone except Robyn.  :)

I have to admit I had issues with the identity thing, mainly because I 
spent the first couple of chapters sure that Gen was female; but I was 
always fairly sure he wasn't the simple gutter thief he was pretending to be.

I think the reason I didn't believe the deception with the "lost" stone was 
because I couldn't believe that Gen just handed it over when he could have 
pretended not to get it or something. I was outraged when the Magus got 
hold of the stone in the first place, like the little boy in the Princess 
Bride, I just wasn't willing to accept that as a reality. Also, I did think 
it was a bit unlikely that if you had to have the favour of the gods to get 
the stone, it was possible to just lose it in a river.


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