August 4th, 2009

there!, Hello

Non Ho Sonno

55) The Thief Who Couldn't Sleep by Lawrence Block (Harper, 2007, 215 pages)
Evan Michael Tanner hasn't slept in over a decade. Not a wink. The sleep center of his brain was ruined in Korea, and now he simply cannot shut down. How does he fill his hours? Writing term papers and dissertations for lazy students, learning a hellofalot of languages, and joining just about every social organization under the sun (even the Flat Earth Society). During the course of his normal day-to-day, he stumbles onto something really interesting: rumors of a fortune in hidden gold in Turkey. Off he goes, through setbacks aplenty (including quite a bit of mistaken identity from just about every espionage group under the sun), on a Europe spanning ride in search of gold. Along the way, he has adventures.

The book is a reprint of a 1966 release. It's a breezy little thing, not terribly serious and certainly not ponderous. The Washington Post Book World calls the author a "master of ingratiating, literate entertainment" and though that's a curious blurb to put on the back of a book, I suppose it's accurate in this case. About as silly and engaging as a good James Bond thriller. It's the first in a series, which I might check out. Or might not.