Tuesday, May 08, 2018

I Read Books: The Amateur Cracksman

This is actually a film poster sorry
I’ve written a comedy crime novel set in the Edwardian period. I would be lying if I said that the adventures of A J Raffles had not influenced me, so let’s just lay it out there; I had Raffles in mind when I started writing it. However I haven’t gone back to it, deliberately, to avoid cross contamination, until now, some six years since I first came up with the idea. Let’s see what I’ve forgotten!

Raffles comes across as quite unlikable. He doesn’t steal from his friends or hosts, but he does take advantage of them. His reason for stealing is because he doesn’t have any money, and he doesn’t try to, for example, find an honest job or even cut down on his expenses (this would, of course, be a disgrace in class terms). He doesn’t tell his cohort Bunny anything, actively misleading him at times.
This creates the tension in most of the stories; Bunny, our narrator, doesn’t know what’s going on so is constantly shocked by events. And in the end of this volume it is Bunny who pays for their crimes.

Also there’s cricket and I had forgotten that is why I put a cricket joke into my novel (available from all good Amazon stores for kindle and in paperback).

Read This: For an early example of the roguish anti-hero character we see a lot of.
Don’t Read This: Though they move fairly quickly for hundred year old stories, they’re fairly languid by modern standards. Also being classics they’ve been mined for ideas so do not appear as clever and original as in their time.
Having Said That: They are out of copyright so available online for free.
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