The Readymade Thief
Lee Cuddy is seventeen years old and on the run. Betrayed by her family after taking the fall for a friend, she finds refuge in a cooperative of runaways holed up in an abandoned building they call the Crystal Castle, but the façade of the Castle conceals a far more sinister agenda, one hatched by a society of fanatical men set on decoding a series of powerful secrets hidden in plain sight. They believe Lee holds the key to it all.Aided by Tomi, a young hacker and artist with whom she has struck a wary alliance, Lee escapes into the unmapped corners of the city—empty aquariums, deserted motels, patrolled museums, and even the homes of vacationing families, but the deeper she goes underground, the more tightly she finds herself bound in the strange web she’s trying to elude. Desperate and out of options, Lee steps from the shadows to face who is after her—and why.

The Readymade Thief Details

TitleThe Readymade Thief
Author
FormatHardcover
ReleaseAug 1st, 2017
PublisherViking
ISBN0735221839
ISBN-139780735221833
Number of pages384 pages
Rating
GenreMystery, Fiction, Thriller, Adult

The Readymade Thief Review

  • Paromjit
    July 12, 2017
    This is a superbly intricate debut novel that I absolutely adored reading. Set in Philadelphia, Lee Cuddy is the invisible girl, vulnerable to any attention that she gets to secure validation of her existence, leaving her wide open to being the fall girl, taken advantage of, and facing betrayal from almost every quarter. She's a thief, professionally expert, a readymade thief that parallels the readymade art of the avante-garde artist Marcel Duchamps. The trajectory of Lee's life feels surreal i This is a superbly intricate debut novel that I absolutely adored reading. Set in Philadelphia, Lee Cuddy is the invisible girl, vulnerable to any attention that she gets to secure validation of her existence, leaving her wide open to being the fall girl, taken advantage of, and facing betrayal from almost every quarter. She's a thief, professionally expert, a readymade thief that parallels the readymade art of the avante-garde artist Marcel Duchamps. The trajectory of Lee's life feels surreal in the novel, structured like a cubist painting, a puzzle where the pieces feel discordant until they begin to connect. This is a story of love, loss, art, obsession, science and the efforts of Lee to carve her own path, free from shadowy entities with their own sinister plans for her. Lee ends up in a Juvenile Detention Centre thanks to her 'friend' Edie's treachery until she manages to escape. She gets signs that help will come from the Station Master. This brings her to the Crystal Castle where strange happenings and a disturbing photograph of a woman who looks like her has Lee leaving with a stolen object. There are missing young people and exclusive invitation only parties at the Silo where people are dressed up and Lee becomes the 'Bride'. She is the focus of attention of what appears to be a cult group known as the Societe Anonyme, and the 9 Batchelors, including the Priest, Undertaker, and the Station Master. Lee meets Tomi, and goes on creeps in the city at night with him to abandoned sites like the aquarium, and underground places in the city. Trailing Lee is an intense aura of menace, a rising pile of dead bodies, where places of safety prove to be extraordinarily elusive. Lee encounters love, a deeper knowledge of Marcel Duchamps as she realises she is the target of a murderous group obsessed with the artist, his works and driven with the belief that Duchamps had the answers to the deepest conundrums in the universe.This is a beautifully written and atmospheric novel that weaves a compulsive hold on the reader. It weaves a mystery, with art, science and the metaphysical interpretations of Duchamps art pieces. Amidst all this, is Lee, a complex and hypnotic character, forced into homelessness and precarious living as the world crumbles around her, fighting a losing battle to untangle herself from the whims of the Societe Anonyme's batchelors and a blood soaked trail of death that touches those close to her. Augustus Rose has penned an erudite and imaginative debut novel which ensnares the reader with ease. It is hard to believe this is his first book. I highly recommend this to those who like intelligent, imaginative and thrilling mysteries. Many thanks to Random House Cornerstone for an ARC.
    more
  • Mohammed Arabey
    July 2, 2017
    A ‘Readymade’ Novel..Creative overall.. but with a very ordinary plot..Could’ve used the Conspiracy Theories & Mind-blowing twists here in much better -faster- plot. The Duchamp CodeA young girl became a ‘ready-made’ thief due to her sad, lonely childhood.Mysterious 1920s-style parties for selective teens....some mysteriously disappear after.....or back with ‘lost’ behavior..Then our young protagonist “heroine?!” finds herself amidst all that..all by chance..Discovering that she has been wat A ‘Readymade’ Novel..Creative overall.. but with a very ordinary plot..Could’ve used the Conspiracy Theories & Mind-blowing twists here in much better -faster- plot. The Duchamp CodeA young girl became a ‘ready-made’ thief due to her sad, lonely childhood.Mysterious 1920s-style parties for selective teens....some mysteriously disappear after.....or back with ‘lost’ behavior..Then our young protagonist “heroine?!” finds herself amidst all that..all by chance..Discovering that she has been watched by some strange mysterious cult or organisation for a long time.And, also by chance, amidst her tragic, bizarre falling apart life, she steals something that made everything more bizarre..A ‘Readymade’ Art.. by a visionary artist from the early 20th century..Marcel Duchamp.. the inventor of this kind of art.. The Readymade Art ;“An ordinary object elevated to the dignity of a work of art by the mere choice of an artist.” And That's exactly what I felt about the plot..The Plot's very ordinary.. kinda slow -too slow for my taste- It lingered too much on the drama in a slow way.. and kept skipping wide-open-doors for a massive creepy and fast action scenes and potential wilder storylines. The drugs.. the parties.. the strange watchers.. the Darknet....even the whole theories on Duchamp’s works that preceded Einstein’s theories on physics.. which introduced brilliantly interesting.... “There’s a contradiction in physics that no one has yet been able to solve. Einstein’s theory of general relativity precisely explains the workings of the large- scale universe— from solar systems to planetary bodies to objects as small as a grain of sand. And quantum theory explains with equal precision the workings of the subatomic universe— photons and neutrons and quarks and all the rest.The problem is that these two theories are incompatible. They can’t be reconciled. What works to explain the macro- universe goes contrary to what works to explain the subatomic universe, and vice versa. Both can’t be correct, and yet somehow both are.”He paused, waiting for her excitement to catch up to his. “For both to be valid, there must be a theory that ties them together. A unified field theory. It’s only hypothetical, but it’s the Holy Grail of physics. There are those who say that solving it would be akin to reading the mind of God.” The whole thing is huge… yet at the same time it ended drastically as if it was just nothing you have anticipated.. I always felt The Da Vinci Code went too far... well here it didn't went anywhere for me..May be it's just how Duchamp's love to do his work... “ ‘Le hasard est une pute qui butine de maquereau en maquereau.’ ” *** The Pros *** ** The detailed analysis of Duchamp's Art and the theories of his scientific hints were perfect.As well as the parts of the mind and consciousness, the chances... it was so deep.. the dream to change chances...control minds..But where did that lead us?Who knows... may be that's what Duchamp intended from the beginning.. “It’s French. Translated it means . . . something like ‘Chance is a whore who flits from pimp to pimp.’ ” Also the Darknet use, it came here so well and detailed a bit to serve the story..that was interesting.Also naming each part with an Art by Duchamp was fun specially when adding a scene with the reference to the title.~~~~~~~~~ *** The Cons *** The Problem with the story is the plot is so slow... kinda not much happening as it could have.It's kinda full of Lee’s (the protagonist) drama... normal tragic separated parents... small stealings to shoplifting to theft to professional thief (That's why I called her a 'Readymade Thief' herself. - not just a thief who stole a 'Readymade'.. brilliant title really.)The sad thing is that it's very detailed drama as well, most of it could have removed of fastening a bit.ALSO the world of the novel building was nothing but dull ordinary 2012 normal world...It's not the bizarre sci-fi or even futuristic or original world setting.-as publishers deceived me as a 'new voice in fiction for fans of Ernest Cline.' Come on.. I didn't see a resampling but in the word 'ready' and 2 pages of her living in van at an old car dumb...And a hint of Orwellian government that never mentioned later but briefly once after the first page...-Her encounter with the creepy parts like the Silo and parties invitations and the weird eyed young girls was drown into the slow pace.Those who has been following her, the strange people ... all that almost came and gone without much explanations or answers.. ir even proper ends..Even the character of her boy-friend-father-of-unborn-child wasn't strong for me... unlike Lee. Then I should be back to the ; *** The Pros *** As I said, Yet.. the detailed theories was a good read.. but detailed drama wasn't matching at all..The drama of Lee was too much, so sad.. BUT I won't say that didn't help me feeling more sympathy for her character .. her need of a friend most of the time, her feeling of betrayal...yet she kept caring for her friends and family..And I felt really close to her... felt the anticipations of unlocking the secret why she had been watched all that time... and kinda disappointed after. “It was a book about a man who was hired to investigate another man, unaware that the man he was investigating was himself. Only the man being investigated knew that the man doing the investigation was himself.” -Somehow I wished for a kind of twist like this description of the novel Lee was reading... By the way, does anyone know if it was a real novel? -And then, although I was totally shocked by the calm ending… I felt satisfied with Lee’s fate and her few reunions by the end.. may be that feeling what made me won't rate it 2 and rate it 3 (it's still 2.5)I felt despite my disappointment that I cared for Lee after all.. “It means chance is a fickle bitch.” May be it's not how they made publicity for... but still it's a creative idea...just in an ordinary plot...As a Readymade Art.... The Readymade Novel..Mohammed ArabeyAn ARC from the publisher Penguin.From 2nd July 2017To 8th July 2017
    more
  • Eve Recinella (Between The Bookends)
    June 1, 2017
    Excellent cover on this book. Great representation of the story. It's very unique and eye-catching and has great composition. OMG, this book was FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC and it's a debut novel to boot! This reads very much like a Dan Brown book for the younger crowd. Secret societies. Symbolism. Abandoned places. Riddles and codes. Murder and mystery. Art. The Darknet. Science. Twists and Turns. Phenomenal writing. Well paced. An intriguing and unique plot. A cast of interesting and well-developed cha Excellent cover on this book. Great representation of the story. It's very unique and eye-catching and has great composition. OMG, this book was FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC and it's a debut novel to boot! This reads very much like a Dan Brown book for the younger crowd. Secret societies. Symbolism. Abandoned places. Riddles and codes. Murder and mystery. Art. The Darknet. Science. Twists and Turns. Phenomenal writing. Well paced. An intriguing and unique plot. A cast of interesting and well-developed characters. I am blown away that this is the author's first book.Not much more to say really. I LOVED every second of this one. I was sucked in and walked around with my nose glued to my tablet. I am hoping there will be more of this story in a second book. My heart hurts over a certain incident, but I am hoping maybe just maybe not all is as it seems. A girl can dream, right? In any case, this one gets two HUGE thumbs up from yours truly.
    more
  • Quirkyreader
    June 25, 2017
    First off, I received this as an ARC from Penguin.Five stars all around for this story. It is an intricate web built upon lies and mistruth. But who is lying and who is telling the truth.For me one of the things I enjoyed most was the use of the artist Marcel Duchamp in the story. I have seen some of his works in person. Also I liked his concept of readymade art. As you can guess Duchamp's form of art has inspired the tittle of this book.Something that might help readers who are a bit confused a First off, I received this as an ARC from Penguin.Five stars all around for this story. It is an intricate web built upon lies and mistruth. But who is lying and who is telling the truth.For me one of the things I enjoyed most was the use of the artist Marcel Duchamp in the story. I have seen some of his works in person. Also I liked his concept of readymade art. As you can guess Duchamp's form of art has inspired the tittle of this book.Something that might help readers who are a bit confused about the art while reading the story is to look at photos of the works. Because for a time Duchamp flipped the art world on its ear.Try and get a copy of this fascinating "Art Mystery" when it comes out.
    more
  • Manon
    July 17, 2017
    I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Lee steals. It’s her thing. When she gets arrested for something she didn’t do, she is sent to juvenile detention. After escaping, she finds herself in the middle of a secret society. But what is it they want with her? And how important is that object she stole?This book wasn’t bad. It just didn’t grab me. It also wasn’t what I thought it was gonna be. The beginning was painfully slow and I couldn’t figure out where it was goin I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Lee steals. It’s her thing. When she gets arrested for something she didn’t do, she is sent to juvenile detention. After escaping, she finds herself in the middle of a secret society. But what is it they want with her? And how important is that object she stole?This book wasn’t bad. It just didn’t grab me. It also wasn’t what I thought it was gonna be. The beginning was painfully slow and I couldn’t figure out where it was going or what the point even was. After a while, I got more into the story but I still couldn’t really focus and I mostly didn’t care.The intrigue was technically interesting but it lost me over and over again. The whole alchemy/Marcel Duchamp thing, I found to be really complicated and I couldn’t focus enough to try to make sense of it. I mostly skimmed those parts and it’s a huge part of the intrigue.I found the main character layered and interesting though and I mostly liked her. I felt her pain too from time to time, when I could find it in me to care.Finally, the chapters were sooooooooooooooo long… I hate long chapters, they make me sleepy as fuck….Basically, I think this book has amazing potential but it wasn’t for me...
    more
  • Imi
    July 24, 2017
    Ouch. This was such a bitter disappointment...I'm slightly unsure how to go about writing this review, because explaining why I didn't like this may mean going into plot spoilers. It was one of my most anticipated new releases of the year, as I was hoping for something in the vein of Marisha Pessl. A literary puzzle, a dark underground organisation, urban exploration... The blurb really made it sound exciting, so I can't fully express my disappointment. For now I'll just briefly outline why I co Ouch. This was such a bitter disappointment...I'm slightly unsure how to go about writing this review, because explaining why I didn't like this may mean going into plot spoilers. It was one of my most anticipated new releases of the year, as I was hoping for something in the vein of Marisha Pessl. A literary puzzle, a dark underground organisation, urban exploration... The blurb really made it sound exciting, so I can't fully express my disappointment. For now I'll just briefly outline why I couldn't stand most of this book:- The pacing was completely off for a thriller. It started off unbearably slow, picked up somewhat in the middle, but then the conclusion is an intricate hot mess as the author attempts to find links between abstract art and convoluted science. It really felt like the author was grasping at straws to find a plot here.- A lot of the plot was moved forward due to a level of utterly unrealistic luck for the protagonist. On top of that, several random characters continue to be overly helpful towards her for no apparent reason.- Use of tropes that I quite honestly hate in fiction, but again as that would mean going into spoilers, I'll leave those unnamed...- The protagonist, seventeen year old Lee, is a one-dimensional cardboard cutout of what the author thinks a teenager must be like. No spark, no charm, no common sense. She's stubborn and immature, which would be fine (at least they're character traits), but everything else about her is bland. She's barely a character.- In fact, all the teenage characters seem completely fake and unrealistic. YA fiction seems intent on convincing me that teenage life is filled with fantastical drugs, "epic" partying, danger and heroism.. but, lets be honest, there is so much more to being a teenage, and indeed being a person then this mess. I just don't believe it and I don't care. Even in thrillers, I want believable characters and scenario. It feels like the author tried to pump every trope about rebellious teens that he could think of, to the point that it's just utterly ridiculous and I lost interest. (On a side note, I know this isn't being marketed as YA fiction, but, come on, with such a focus on supposed teenage life, this is most definitely YA. I don't know why publishers refuse to market some books as YA, when it would be completely appropriate considering the characters and subject matter, but then other books are marketed as YA when it seems completely inappropriate.)- Talking of poor characterisation, Lee's family were like something out of a Roald Dahl book, but without the humour and wit, of course... I think we were meant to take these characters seriously? And they also added absolutely nothing to the plot, so what was the point?- So many characters appear for a moment only to then never be heard from again (or (view spoiler)[conveniently killed off (hide spoiler)]).- Trust no-one. Obviously. A betrayal is no longer shocking if it's clear that the protagonist shouldn't trust anyone. Zzzzz.
    more
  • Mary ★
    July 7, 2017
    DNF. Just not my kind of story 😬
  • Megalion
    February 21, 2017
    This wasn't a bad book. But I think I was far too distracted by real life and put the kindle down too much.The bulk of the reviews as of today, 6/27/17, indicate a rather deep experience. Reminds me of Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age In that the first time I read it, I got to the end but wasn't sure what I'd read. My experience was superficial. But this was Neal Stephenson! My bf's favorite author back in 1997. When Amazon was just a brand new way to find and buy books you'd heard of but neve This wasn't a bad book. But I think I was far too distracted by real life and put the kindle down too much.The bulk of the reviews as of today, 6/27/17, indicate a rather deep experience. Reminds me of Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age In that the first time I read it, I got to the end but wasn't sure what I'd read. My experience was superficial. But this was Neal Stephenson! My bf's favorite author back in 1997. When Amazon was just a brand new way to find and buy books you'd heard of but never was able to find.So I had to read it again. The era is important because the digital age dramatically changed EVERYTHING and increased at a dramatic exponential level every year. At that time, I re-read books all the time because I was loathe to waste money or time trying to find new authors to read.I can't tell you how many times I've re-read the Diamond Age but close to a dozen would be fair guess.These days, is a luxury to deliberately pick up a book to re-read. Especially with arcs one feels obligated to read instead.My point is, I wonder if I'd come to love this like I grew to love Diamond Age with another re-read or two.Thus, I can't say how I feel about the book. It didn't suck. But don't have time or desire right now to re-read first time. Yet. This isn't an actual review but the best I can offer: a feeling that I'll really like it when I do.I read an advanced copy provided free by publisher in exchange for honest review. Can't get more honest than this non review. Heh
    more
  • just.one.more.paige
    July 22, 2017
    Truly this story defies labels and classifications. It seemed to morph as I read, representing many different genres, existing almost in a dimension beyond what we’ve discovered (very apt, really, considering what it’s about). The book follows Lee through just over a year in her life. When we meet her, she is a normal-ish 17-year-old high school student, trying to fit in and make friends and stealing/selling drugs to make money for college. But then things take some pretty crazy turns, a betraya Truly this story defies labels and classifications. It seemed to morph as I read, representing many different genres, existing almost in a dimension beyond what we’ve discovered (very apt, really, considering what it’s about). The book follows Lee through just over a year in her life. When we meet her, she is a normal-ish 17-year-old high school student, trying to fit in and make friends and stealing/selling drugs to make money for college. But then things take some pretty crazy turns, a betrayal from a “friend” that lands her in juve, abandoned by her family and, eventually, on the run. Homeless and without friends/funds, Lee thinks she finds refuge with a group of others living “underground,” but things are definitely not what they seem. Somehow, Lee gets sucked into the world of a hidden society, founded by a group of fanatical men attempting to decode the secrets of a higher understanding, a mix of science and art and alchemy, left behind by the early 20th century French artist Marcel Duchamp. A society that, for some reason, thinks she holds the key to Duchamp’s secrets and seem willing to do anything (literally anything), or go through anyone, to get their hands on her. And she meets a young artist/computer genius, Tomi, who may or may not be involved with this secret society, that nevertheless manages to insinuate himself deeply into her life (and maybe her heart?). This was an interesting mix of page turner and slow-moving plot development. I am not actually sure how else to describe it. I was literally always on the edge of my seat, because you never knew when the next development, or devolvement, would happen – it was always fast and sudden. But at the same time, I sometimes felt like some of the details (especially regarding the descriptions on the specifics of “creeping” - the practice of exploring abandoned buildings, “thief training” – for last of a better term, and some of the art and philosophy discussions) dragged on a little. I’ve taken a whole day between finishing and writing this review to think about how to categorize this story, but, as I mentioned above, it truly is unclassifiable. I actually wrote to myself at the beginning, probably through the first third or so, that I got a creepy 21st century Oliver Twist sort of vide. Then, things started to turn a little more mystery/thriller, lots of danger and looking over one’s shoulder at all times. As we start to learn more about the S.A., the secret society tracking Lee, things turn super theoretical and philosophical and treasure hunt-y (with a Dan Brown sort of vibe, but grittier, gothic-ier, crepuscular - in general, way cooler than Dan Brown). And throughout it all, there’s a heavy air of classic tragedy, with everything that Lee deals with, feeling left behind, let down, unable to trust anyone, and struggling to get by without a home or way to make money. Honestly, I have no idea how the author got all that into one book in a way that truly does fit together. Plus, the amount of research, on such a huge variety of topics – from juve to alchemy to hacking/the Darknet to Duchamp, just to name a few - is impressive, really. A couple things rubbed me the wrong way while reading – there were some times where a person, or persons, took care of or helped Lee to an extent that seemed unrealistic to me (not because I don’t have faith in people, but just based on the logistics of the situations). I felt like Lee was able to accomplish things that bordered on too fantastic/lucky just one or two too many times (like her return to the Silo at the very end, and what she finds there). At times, as I mentioned earlier, I got a little lost in the descriptions/explanations and things slowed down more than I wanted them too. And, though it is, in fact, totally realistic/possible, it just made me sad how alone Lee was at times. However, on a larger scale, there were a lot of things I loved about this book. I think Tomi was amazing, as a character in general and also the way his relationship with Lee was written and developed with time (even after things…changed - *no spoilers*). I loved reading (almost) every scene he was in. And though I don’t know anything about it (so this could be a completely false representation of it), the parts related to the Darknet/Subnet, the characters there, and the various roles it played in the story were some of my favorite parts to read. The way that Duchamp and his art and theories and followers’ devotion was woven through the entire story was done with great skill. The small things, like the way the title fits in, and each section is named after one of his works, were nice touches. But it’s the overall feel that it most impressive. It’s the way that the book is focused around his art and the theories (whether true or not) spun around them regarding science and alchemy and explanations for the world that connect everything and was simultaneously written to match. At one point, Duchamp is quoted as saying “…the artist is ‘a mediumistic being who, from the labyrinth beyond time and space, seeks his way out to a clearing.’” And that metaphysical outlook is exactly the inspiration for the way this story based on his works was written. The way the author creates that feel throughout the entirety of this tale was beautiful. In addition, you could really tell how much time and effort went into each of the details in this story. There are no ends left hanging or unexplained side storylines. At all. That alone is evidence of the care the author took. But it’s more than that too, everything is tied up very adroitly. “What do you do when the one true thing in your life turns out to be a lie?” This quote turns up about a third of the way through the novel and, for me, really represents Lee’s story from start to finish. It is by no means a happy story, but somehow, you still come away from it feeling hopeful for her. Augustus Rose takes Lee, and us readers, on a wild ride in this genre-defying novel. And it’s a ride a recommend you take.
    more
  • Jamie
    February 24, 2017
    Wow... Okay, first of all? Plot. Plot plot plot plot. I'm not exceedingly used to such a plot-heavy literary novel, and this one blew my brain for a while. But it's the kind of twisty, tricksy plot that blew my mind more for the intelligence and the amount of research (GOOD GOD HOW DID HE DO THE RESEARCH - Duchamp, obviously, but there were so many specifics of so many different niche specialties that I really had to marvel at the Rose's skill) that had to go into it to make all the pieces of th Wow... Okay, first of all? Plot. Plot plot plot plot. I'm not exceedingly used to such a plot-heavy literary novel, and this one blew my brain for a while. But it's the kind of twisty, tricksy plot that blew my mind more for the intelligence and the amount of research (GOOD GOD HOW DID HE DO THE RESEARCH - Duchamp, obviously, but there were so many specifics of so many different niche specialties that I really had to marvel at the Rose's skill) that had to go into it to make all the pieces of the book fall into place believably. At turns suspenseful, delightful, creepy, heartbreaking, paranoid... This is pretty good stuff.
    more
  • Jena
    July 17, 2017
    "What do you do when the one true thing in your life turns out to be a lie?"Lee Cuddy is used to being invisible. She isn't seen by her father, who leaves without a goodbye or even a forwarding address. She isn't seen by her mother, who quickly succumbs to her new boyfriends whims and wishes. She isn't even really seen by her peers, until she becomes useful to them."It wasn't that they teased her or ostracized her or thought her weird, but none of them seemed to see her, either."All of this invi "What do you do when the one true thing in your life turns out to be a lie?"Lee Cuddy is used to being invisible. She isn't seen by her father, who leaves without a goodbye or even a forwarding address. She isn't seen by her mother, who quickly succumbs to her new boyfriends whims and wishes. She isn't even really seen by her peers, until she becomes useful to them."It wasn't that they teased her or ostracized her or thought her weird, but none of them seemed to see her, either."All of this invisibility makes stealing easy and she quickly graduates to shoplifting. This readymade ability quickly gives her a reputation and she finds a place in popularity as Edie takes her under her wing.But, easy come, easy go, and betrayal follows when Edie finds her the easiest way out of her own troubles.Lee quickly sees that it isn't just Edie that is quick to dispose of her. Her own mother, guided by Steve, allows her to take the fall, refusing to even give her the money she stashed for her defense. Life in the Juvenile Detention Center is worse than anything thrown at her so far, and a nervous breakdown lands her in the psych ward. But lower security also provides the opportunity for a quiet and invisible girl to find a way out.The Readymade Thief is a novel that is both fast paced and maddeningly slow. This combination doesn't seem possible, and yet it is. Every page is written so that you know something is happening, but you aren't quite sure what. The result is you feel as on edge and unsure as Lee.Once Lee escapes from JDC we are introduced to even more subterfuge and intrigue. We are thrown into the world of secret societies and underground movements. The S.A. parties continue to pop up, inviting her to join their world, except her gut instinct screams to stay away. Fear for her friend Edie, even after her betrayal, compels her to go searching and almost leads to disaster.Tomi, a mysterious young man, saves her and takes her in. He introduces her to life underground, the world of abandoned building hunts and secrets of the Subnet. She wants to trust him but every turn in her life has led to betrayal and lies. Still, it's easy to fall into his earnestness, especially given her connection to him.Lee discovers that S.A., a secret society devoted to uncovering the hidden puzzles and meanings behind the artwork of Marcel Duchamp. She unwillingly and unknowingly finds herself at the heart of their obsession. Somehow they think she is a key to their mystery, even though she has no idea how. No matter where she turns, or what she does, she finds herself a pawn in their games, time and time again. They are always one step ahead, always surrounding her, always controlling the circumstances of her life.This secret society is obsessed with more than just art. They are also responsible for a chilling new drug that leaves its users docile and empty. Creatures willing to do anything suggested with little or no reaction. Unable to take care of themselves, many of them end up in JDC or worse; the Crystal Castle.This book has a lot of layers going on in it. It is easy to get overwhelmed, or lost in the information. You want to keep pushing ahead to find out what is happening, but I found myself going back to reread portions at a slower pace to really understand what was being said. This is a book that needs more than one read through to really appreciate all the detail and nuance written into the plot.One of the examples of the level of detail and intricacy is the title. Duchamp created artworks that he called 'readymades'. Essentially, he viewed art of the time as 'retinal art'. Easy to look at and pleasing to the eye, but there wasn't anything more in depth than that. His response was to take everyday items and make minor changes to them, thus instantly turning them into art. Readymade art. The title, Readymade Thief, refers to Lee, already a shoplifter and petty thief, who has been repurposed for the societies use.Usually, reading the line of phrase that uses the title of a book is a quick AHA moment. One that makes sense in terms of a character or event. In this case, the moment isn't written out or explained by the author so much as hinted at. You are led to it, able to uncover it's meaning as you read. I think it's very clever.There is a lot of art history, specifically to the work of Duchamp. I have no idea how much is based in truth and how much created for fiction. Some parts of this history lesson got very confusing for me. It was a lot of information given. Again, I think this is an example of why the book needs more than one reading. There is just so much to dissect at once.Rose manages to pull off quite an elaborate story. There are clues placed at the very beginning that aren't noticed until they are pointed out later. Things suddenly make sense, and the level of betrayal in Lee's life is astounding. Everything in this novel is connected somehow, even if you can't see how or why, you will in the end. The pure genius is that the end answers questions you didn't even know you had.This book will be enjoyable for anyone who loves mysteries and suspense novels. The art history is impressive and I can't imagine the amount of research that went into composing this plot. It's astounding! Weaving the art into a secret society will delight any conspiracy theory lover.Thank you First to Read, Penguin Random House and Viking books for giving me an early copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
    more
  • Kim McGee
    July 9, 2017
    Lee is a thief, a homeless waif who gets wrapped up in a strange myriad of secret societies, urban abandoned building exploration and halfway houses that kidnap and drug children. The secret society is obsessed with an artist's last work and when Lee finds a piece of that puzzle the society will stop at nothing to get it back. Along the way she falls in love with Tomi and he introduces her to his passion of exploring abandoned museums and other relics along with squatting at nice homes of people Lee is a thief, a homeless waif who gets wrapped up in a strange myriad of secret societies, urban abandoned building exploration and halfway houses that kidnap and drug children. The secret society is obsessed with an artist's last work and when Lee finds a piece of that puzzle the society will stop at nothing to get it back. Along the way she falls in love with Tomi and he introduces her to his passion of exploring abandoned museums and other relics along with squatting at nice homes of people away on vacation. Dark, mysterious, unsettling and like nothing you have read, this book is hard to pigeonhole into one genre. You will find yourself getting pulled in, eagerly following Lee into the tunnels rooting for her happiness and survival.My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.
    more
  • Jessica Howard
    June 24, 2017
    Full review coming for Shelf Awareness.I genuinely don't know if I liked this or not?? It was dense and disturbing and fascinating and unputdownable. A mix of art and urban exploration and physics and drugs and secret societies... I'm interviewing this author for Shelf Awareness next week and I am going to have to put a ton of time into thinking up my questions for him!
    more
  • Meg
    June 15, 2017
    Trust me: buy this book when it comes out in August.
  • Faith
    July 21, 2017
    I just couldn't get into this one. I gave it 94 pages and quit. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
  • Justin Sorbara-Hosker
    January 10, 2017
    3.5 rounding up. Not the kind of thing I usually read, but found it hard to put down.
  • Jen Hanson
    July 20, 2017
    What is my final review?First off thank you Viking & FTR program for this advanced review copy in exchange for an honest review. The characters? Lee Cuddy was okay. She is a seventeen turned eighteen-year-old girl later on in the book. I found her to be a frustrating character due to the fact that she keeps making one bad mistake after another. It's like the author tried to make her smarter than what she was towards the end of the book. It fell into that typical "immature" teenager stereotyp What is my final review?First off thank you Viking & FTR program for this advanced review copy in exchange for an honest review. The characters? Lee Cuddy was okay. She is a seventeen turned eighteen-year-old girl later on in the book. I found her to be a frustrating character due to the fact that she keeps making one bad mistake after another. It's like the author tried to make her smarter than what she was towards the end of the book. It fell into that typical "immature" teenager stereotype. To me, she fell a bit flat. I liked her but there wasn't enough believable words that would come out of her mouth towards the end of the novel. I gave the author 2/5 for this section.The plot(s)? I'm still shaking my head at this one. I won't tell you the ending because it was a huge letdown for me. It could have been better, I'll just leave it at that. People are dying left and right for an art piece. That is the plot. It didn't really explain why the group SA wanted her. Why Lee was so important. I'm disappointed. 2/5 for this section.The grammar, spelling, etc? This was a well-written novel for the most part. I didn't stumble over the words or anything like that. However, the prologue was written in second POV and it kicked me out of the story right away. The next problem was a weak beginning. It had wonky sentences in the beginning that were too long for me. At times, there was info dump and useless information. At one point, I felt like I was reading an art book. This is supposed to be fiction. On page 184, there is an extra pair of quotations, "Which just means he had a hand in making it."" There was no reason for that extra set of quotation marks. And the final straw, the redundancy of meaning, meaningless on page 339. Five times in one paragraph. Meaningless is a common theme throughout this book. I gave it a 3/5 for this section.The formatting? Don't get me started on the formatting. With the copy I received, paragraphs weren't indented enough for me. You would have one paragraph indented, and the next wouldn't be. Consistency would be nice. And I hope this book is checked again because I found actual editor's notes on page 231 and page 339. Just friendly advice, you might want to delete those before your release date. I expected better from a big publishing company. 1/5 for this section. The book cover? Yes, the book cover pertains to the book. 5/5 for this section.What is the final score? 2+2+3+1+5=13 or 2.6 for a rating of 3/5 stars.What are my personal thoughts? I wish there were more dimensions with Lee Cuddy. The formatting and weak beginning killed it for me. I hope the editor does a fine job with editing this book before it's a release date. I can fault the author for the characters. I fault the publishing company for doing a disservice to this author's book. It's sloppy and unprofessional. Self-published authors would be rammed for these errors. Get it together! If I were the author, I would spit nails at the editing and formatting team. If you love science and art, this book is for you. --As always, I'm just another asshole with an opinion.
    more
  • Jackie Taylor
    July 10, 2017
    Thank you to first reads as always. They did not play any part in influencing the review below.If I had to give this novel a rating, I'd waver between a 3.5 and 4. Initially, the story begins at a 4, but not in a feel-good kind of way. This is not your happy beach read, but it is a compelling story, it is written in a riveting way (or at least in a way that moves the text along), and the plot is mostly unique. If I had to compare it to another fiction book, then I would say parts of it resemble Thank you to first reads as always. They did not play any part in influencing the review below.If I had to give this novel a rating, I'd waver between a 3.5 and 4. Initially, the story begins at a 4, but not in a feel-good kind of way. This is not your happy beach read, but it is a compelling story, it is written in a riveting way (or at least in a way that moves the text along), and the plot is mostly unique. If I had to compare it to another fiction book, then I would say parts of it resemble The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, but that is mainly based on the fact that the protagonist has a depressing life and art is interwoven throughout the main story, helping to propel the main character along.Lee is the main character here. I give her credit for her grit and in the beginning, it is definitely possible to feel sympathy for her, but as the novel goes on, you have to grasp that she is as depressed as humanly possible or you will not be able to fathom why she does certain things. Her romance with Tomi is interesting. That definitely was a plus in the story. Another plus is that the author was able to take such a depressing narrative and still leave a trail of hope.The Duchamp parts are interesting. There is definitely a mystery/thriller, steampunk aspect to the whole urbex theme. I felt like it could have gone deeper in to Duchamp and talked more about that instead of Mr. Velasquez chapters and a few other things the editor could have removed to make room to develop the art side of things. There was more that could have happened there and even though it is the primary point of the book, there was not enough of it. The last half of the book felt rushed. I thought it tied up too quickly and oddly. The climax was kind of a let down considering Lee's mindset for a good portion of the book. It just didn't fit with the flow as well as it could have or maybe more needed to be explained. Overall, it is different. I am not one to stick with a sad story if I do not have to, but there was something about this that made me wonder how it would end and even if you do not care for the ending like me, it is still a unique and very well written story.
    more
  • Jessica
    July 13, 2017
    The Readymade Thief by Augustus Rose tells the story of Lee Cuddy, a seventeen-year-old girl who takes the fall for a friend and is forced to run away when her family turns their back on her. On her own and desperate, she connects with other runaways and attempts to join their community. Lee quickly learns that the group she has fallen in with is part of a larger and more nefarious secret society obsessed with the works of a famous artist. They believe that Lee is the missing link that will enab The Readymade Thief by Augustus Rose tells the story of Lee Cuddy, a seventeen-year-old girl who takes the fall for a friend and is forced to run away when her family turns their back on her. On her own and desperate, she connects with other runaways and attempts to join their community. Lee quickly learns that the group she has fallen in with is part of a larger and more nefarious secret society obsessed with the works of a famous artist. They believe that Lee is the missing link that will enable them to uncover the puzzles hidden within these works of art, thus revealing powerful secrets.On her journey to escape from and discover the truth about the intentions of this secret society, Lee makes a tentative alliance with a young computer hacker named Tomi. Together they hide out in abandoned buildings, long deserted attractions, and the homes of vacationing families. Lee, realizing she can’t escape the reach of the secret society, is forced to confront them about why they are after her and what role she plays in their intricate conspiracy theories. I liked, but did not love this book. I was very taken in at the beginning as Lee’s story unfolded, but once the story became more about the secret society and less about Lee’s coming of age, I enjoyed it less. The author did a tremendous job of researching the real life artist (Marcel Duchamp) that is the focus of the secret society’s obsession, and masterfully intertwined many existing pieces of art into this book. However, I felt that the later portions of the story were bogged down by all of the art-related minutiae and slowed down the pacing and the emotional investment in the characters. I found myself confused and ultimately feeling sort of dumb for not being able to track everything that was happening. The conclusion of the mystery sort of fell flat.Ultimately, I am sure there are people that will strongly connect with the parts of this book that were not for me. This is the author’s debut and it is very creative and well thought out. I am sure we will be hearing more from him in the future.The Readymade Thief will be released on August 1, 2017. Thank you to the publisher and to Edelweiss for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
    more
  • Matthew
    June 28, 2017
    I received an advance reader copy of this book through Penguin's First to Read program.I really, really enjoyed this book. I thought the broken bird main character, Lee, was well realized, even if, at a certain point, you had to wonder how much bad luck could dog one person.Augustus Rose did an excellent job balancing the internal thoughts and feelings of the main character with plenty of action. The secondary characters were well painted and none of them felt overly cardboard, even the folks wh I received an advance reader copy of this book through Penguin's First to Read program.I really, really enjoyed this book. I thought the broken bird main character, Lee, was well realized, even if, at a certain point, you had to wonder how much bad luck could dog one person.Augustus Rose did an excellent job balancing the internal thoughts and feelings of the main character with plenty of action. The secondary characters were well painted and none of them felt overly cardboard, even the folks who were known, for the most part, only by their mysterious titles (the Undertaker, the Busboy, the Priest -- like some kind of professional wrestling circuit inspired by Marchel Duchamp (more on that in a sec)). The breakneck pace, the high stakes, and shadowy conspiracy all played well together without veering into being overbearing. I found this book was far, far better than a few of the comps it had been pitched as (Ready Player One, which was really good in its own right, and Mr Penumbra's, which wasn't). I'm not super familiar with Marcel Duchamp, the artist at the heart of this book's web, and while I found myself occasionally wanting to look certain pieces mentioned up to see if they were actual creations of his, I didn't ever feel like I was missing out on anything by not having any insider knowledge. All along it was a compelling read I kept coming back to and snuck time, whenever I could, to find out what happened next.
    more
  • Glen
    July 24, 2017
    I received an advanced copy of this book in electronic format from firsttoread.com in exchange for an honest review. I was intrigued when this was posted in advance of the release: “The Readymade Thief heralds the arrival of an astoundingly imaginative and propulsive new voice in fiction for fans of Marisha Pessl and Ernest Cline.”Those are some big shoes to fill and unfortunately, the attempt falls a bit short. Don’t get me wrong, this was an entertaining read. I am giving it three stars as it I received an advanced copy of this book in electronic format from firsttoread.com in exchange for an honest review. I was intrigued when this was posted in advance of the release: “The Readymade Thief heralds the arrival of an astoundingly imaginative and propulsive new voice in fiction for fans of Marisha Pessl and Ernest Cline.”Those are some big shoes to fill and unfortunately, the attempt falls a bit short. Don’t get me wrong, this was an entertaining read. I am giving it three stars as it kept me turning pages. However, with such hype, I think I was destined to be a bit disappointed. The author wanted to write The DaVinci Code, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Special Topics in Calamity Physics all in one book. The story itself is multi-layered but none of the layers were ever developed deep enough to make this book “one for the ages”. As a debut, the author did a fine job and I look forward to future attempts to expand his story telling ability. I’ve read a few books lately that have tried to recreate Lisbeth Salander and has failed. It is the same here; the main character – Lee Cuddy – makes bad choice after bad choice. Her relationships are never solid and she actively acts to keep it this way. The story is centered around artist Marcel Duchamp and a secret society but the premise was weak and forced; the outcome left a lot to be desired.
    more
  • Scarlett Sims
    July 18, 2017
    This book interested me when I saw it described as a combination of Marisha Pessl and Ernest Cline. The latter comparison I think was only made because there are a few references to deep web/computing but the Pessl comparison is spot-on. For the first section, I really would have believed I was reading her latest book. The story starts as a simple story of a high school outcast and then snowballs into an impossibly high-stakes game of cat and mouse. That sounds cliche but it really is a pretty a This book interested me when I saw it described as a combination of Marisha Pessl and Ernest Cline. The latter comparison I think was only made because there are a few references to deep web/computing but the Pessl comparison is spot-on. For the first section, I really would have believed I was reading her latest book. The story starts as a simple story of a high school outcast and then snowballs into an impossibly high-stakes game of cat and mouse. That sounds cliche but it really is a pretty apt description of what happens. However what really hooked me with this book was something I can't believe I didn't pick up on at first. The cover sort of makes it look like ready-made is two words or a hyphenated word, but it's really "readymade," like Duchamp's art. This has tons of references to Duchamp's art, it's actually a major plot point. I was looking up pieces and seeing if they were actually in the museums described. I really love art history and so seeing that as such an important part of the story really made me want to keep reading.I received this book free from Penguin's First to Read.
    more
  • Danielle
    June 28, 2017
    I received an advanced copy of this book through Penguin's First to Read program, and I'm so glad that I did. We first meet Lee, a young girl who has spent much of her youth stealing in order to make both friends and money. During her senior year of high school, two things happen that have a big impact on the next year of her life - she is invited to a party hosted by a secret society, and she is framed by a "friend" during a drug bust and ends up in a juvenile detention center. Lee escapes the I received an advanced copy of this book through Penguin's First to Read program, and I'm so glad that I did. We first meet Lee, a young girl who has spent much of her youth stealing in order to make both friends and money. During her senior year of high school, two things happen that have a big impact on the next year of her life - she is invited to a party hosted by a secret society, and she is framed by a "friend" during a drug bust and ends up in a juvenile detention center. Lee escapes the facility, and soon finds herself in the middle of a mystery. Who are the strangers that always seem to be following her? Why are they so obsessed with Marcel Duchamp and his artwork? Lee ends up on the run with Tomi, one of my favorite characters that I've come across in recent reads. The book is fast-paced, and kept me up reading until all hours of the night. I can see the comparisons to Marisha Pessl's works, as well as Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore and the daVinci Code. It was a great read and I would recommend it in a heartbeat.
    more
  • Melany
    July 14, 2017
    3 just okay stars... I received this complimentary ARC from FIRST TO READ in exchange for an honest review. Lee is a girl who is used to being invisible and only is seen by those when she can be useful to them. She finds herself taking the fall for a friend and lands herself in trouble. After escaping she is taken in by a group of people who she sees as a possible family unit. After realizing there is more to the group than what meets the eye she is on the run again after stealing something that 3 just okay stars... I received this complimentary ARC from FIRST TO READ in exchange for an honest review. Lee is a girl who is used to being invisible and only is seen by those when she can be useful to them. She finds herself taking the fall for a friend and lands herself in trouble. After escaping she is taken in by a group of people who she sees as a possible family unit. After realizing there is more to the group than what meets the eye she is on the run again after stealing something that belongs to the leader. She meets a boy who continues to help her evade the group searching for her, but really things aren't always as they seem.This book was super slow to start. I took me three times as long to read this as it does any other time I start a new book. I will say that the detail put into the history of the art and conspiracies was spot on. The plot twist I felt was not as surpising after learning everything we did throughout the book about Duchamp but that's just me. I wanted to really like this book, and maybe I will if I re read it again in the future but as of right now there was just too much conspiracy theories and scientific talk that is just not my thing. In saying that, if those things are something your interested in and you like a good plot twist, then I have to recommend this for you.
    more
  • Renée Goldfarb
    July 15, 2017
    Thank you to Penguin's First to Read Program for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review. Seventeen-year-old Lee Cuddy is on the run. One moment, she was a normal teenager. Now, she is accidentally involved in something so dangerous that she needs to go underground to save her life without knowing who to trust.I was excited to read this book and in the beginning found that it had a lot of promise. I enjoyed the intricate plot with a sense of urgency that I had a hard t Thank you to Penguin's First to Read Program for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review. Seventeen-year-old Lee Cuddy is on the run. One moment, she was a normal teenager. Now, she is accidentally involved in something so dangerous that she needs to go underground to save her life without knowing who to trust.I was excited to read this book and in the beginning found that it had a lot of promise. I enjoyed the intricate plot with a sense of urgency that I had a hard time putting the book down. Lee was a compelling heroine even though there were times that I thought she made some poor choices throughout the book. But, I reminded myself that Lee is only 17 years old and was thrown into this new life of hers.However, in the end, the book was a huge disappointment. There was so many loose ends with characters who we are introduced to but never hear from again. And, the big conspiracy never really came to fruition. We never find out the motivations of some important characters and I was left completely hanging and wondering if I just wasted my time reading this not so short book. This book is in desperate need of an epilogue to give it some sort of closure. 2-1/2 out of 5 stars.
    more
  • Jenee Rager
    July 12, 2017
    What a unique, hard to categorize novel. It's party mystery, part historical, and almost has a sci-fi vibe. Lee is a 17 year old girl who no one really sees. She makes her way by shoplifting and reselling the goods to her classmates. The story really kicks into gear when she is unfairly placed in a juvenile detention center.When she escapes and is on the run she has a series of encounters with a secret society obsessed with the works of Marcel Duchamp. While simultaneously trying to stay ahead o What a unique, hard to categorize novel. It's party mystery, part historical, and almost has a sci-fi vibe. Lee is a 17 year old girl who no one really sees. She makes her way by shoplifting and reselling the goods to her classmates. The story really kicks into gear when she is unfairly placed in a juvenile detention center.When she escapes and is on the run she has a series of encounters with a secret society obsessed with the works of Marcel Duchamp. While simultaneously trying to stay ahead of the law, her family and the Duchamp society Lee is thrown into a bizarre underworld of secret parties, art, and drugs. It's not until she meets another strange young man, Tomi, that she has any sense of security or what is going on. Again, this book is incredibly hard for me to describe, but very entertaining. I won my copy through a goodreads giveway and am grateful for the opportunity to read it.
    more
  • Suzanne (The Bookish Libra)
    June 20, 2017
    I just finished reading The Readymade Thief and have very mixed feelings about it. Some parts were really great -- in many ways it reminded me of The DaVinci Code except with a younger protagonist. The plot was complex with lots of twists and turns and a huge puzzle to solve, and Lee Cuddy was definitely a protagonist that I could sympathize with and root for since she is clearly an underdog for much of the book. Where I struggled was with pacing and the fact that the book seemed to spend way to I just finished reading The Readymade Thief and have very mixed feelings about it. Some parts were really great -- in many ways it reminded me of The DaVinci Code except with a younger protagonist. The plot was complex with lots of twists and turns and a huge puzzle to solve, and Lee Cuddy was definitely a protagonist that I could sympathize with and root for since she is clearly an underdog for much of the book. Where I struggled was with pacing and the fact that the book seemed to spend way too much time on things that didn't seem all that relevant to the main storyline. The seemingly unnecessary scenes left me bored several times throughout the novel and I nearly gave up on it a couple of times. I am glad I stuck it out though because the second half of the book reads a lot better than the first half and I thought the ending was very satisfying. For me the first half of the book was probably a 2, but then the second half was a solid 4 so I've split the difference and rated it a 3.Thanks to Penguin First to Read, the author, and the publisher for providing me with an advance copy of this book. It in no way impacts my review.
    more
  • Phyllis
    July 31, 2017
    What an addictive, intriguing book! It combines mystery, art, urban exploration, secret societies and alchemy into a fast paced adventure. Lee Cuddy is a seventeen year old runaway who because of her looks finds herself the center of a conspiracy and hunted by a secret society. As she moves from place to place seeking safety, she finds lies and betrayal. The characters and plot are well developed; I was drawn into the story from the beginning and the interest was kept until the end. I’ve gotten What an addictive, intriguing book! It combines mystery, art, urban exploration, secret societies and alchemy into a fast paced adventure. Lee Cuddy is a seventeen year old runaway who because of her looks finds herself the center of a conspiracy and hunted by a secret society. As she moves from place to place seeking safety, she finds lies and betrayal. The characters and plot are well developed; I was drawn into the story from the beginning and the interest was kept until the end. I’ve gotten a little tired of serials but, in this case, I’m really hoping for a sequel. I would definitely recommend this book. I read an early copy from Penguin First To Read.
    more
  • WroteTrips
    July 27, 2017
    Rarely have I felt so passionate about a new author and debut novel that I not only called a regional bookstore about an author signing, I emailed my friends to encourage them to attend.“The Readymade Thief” by Augustus Rose has sent me into an unpaid, handselling frenzy. The blurb from Penguin Random House may mislead some readers, letting them think this one of those ubiquitous teen coming-of-age fantasy novels featuring an at-risk young woman. Rose takes many of the themes found in genre nove Rarely have I felt so passionate about a new author and debut novel that I not only called a regional bookstore about an author signing, I emailed my friends to encourage them to attend.“The Readymade Thief” by Augustus Rose has sent me into an unpaid, handselling frenzy. The blurb from Penguin Random House may mislead some readers, letting them think this one of those ubiquitous teen coming-of-age fantasy novels featuring an at-risk young woman. Rose takes many of the themes found in genre novels and spins them into a kaleidoscopic whirlwind of physical and metaphysical insight.While this may sound challenging, at its heart “The Readymade Thief” is a literary mystery-thriller, featuring a secret society, disappearing teenagers, uber-geeks, the darknet, drugs, raves, and…oh yeah… a kick-ass heroine. Somehow, Rose manages to meld physics and art without losing track of the twisty plot or sacrificing the novel’s pace.I received an advanced copy of this book in electronic format from firsttoread.com in exchange for an honest review. This review has been posted to: Goodreads.comAmazon.com wrotetrips.wordpress.com Facebook.com/WroteTrips
    more
  • Suzanne
    July 12, 2017
    In this story, outsiders become readymade thieves as a way to belong to the mainstream group wherever they are. They derive no real satisfaction from the money gleaned from the sale of their wares or the thrill of the theft. Unless you buy into the central thesis of needing to belong, you miss out on most of the drive of this plot. Which is not to downplay the role that paranoia plays in keeping everything running; its the grease that moves it chapter by chapter. Sprinkle in fascination with the In this story, outsiders become readymade thieves as a way to belong to the mainstream group wherever they are. They derive no real satisfaction from the money gleaned from the sale of their wares or the thrill of the theft. Unless you buy into the central thesis of needing to belong, you miss out on most of the drive of this plot. Which is not to downplay the role that paranoia plays in keeping everything running; its the grease that moves it chapter by chapter. Sprinkle in fascination with the darknet, art, science and runaways and somehow this tale provides something for everyone. Just not enough for me. I wish there was more here: too many tropes about raves and drug addled teens turning into prostitutes after one weekend's bash and pregnant, homeless teens. I received my copy from Penguin's First to Read Program.
    more
  • Jen
    June 25, 2017
    Artists can be some strange people, but in Augustus Rose's The Readymade Thief, Marcel Duchamp is portrayed as an incredibly enigmatic artist, leaving a legacy and body of work eagerly embraced and replicated by an odd group of men in the current day whose actions greatly impact the life of a teenage girl.To read this, and other book reviews, visit my website: http://makinggoodstories.wordpress.com/.Lee is a seventeen year old girl with a knack for stealing things. After taking the fall for the Artists can be some strange people, but in Augustus Rose's The Readymade Thief, Marcel Duchamp is portrayed as an incredibly enigmatic artist, leaving a legacy and body of work eagerly embraced and replicated by an odd group of men in the current day whose actions greatly impact the life of a teenage girl.To read this, and other book reviews, visit my website: http://makinggoodstories.wordpress.com/.Lee is a seventeen year old girl with a knack for stealing things. After taking the fall for the only real friend she had she gets sent to juvenile detention, which she manages to escape from. On her own on the streets of Philadelphia, Lee finds ways to survive, one of which being a place called the Crystal Castle, where many homeless children reside. It's in the Crystal Castle that Lee is introduced to some men she begins to believe is responsible for the drugging and disappearances of children in the area. Having stolen a seemingly strange object she later learns is of keen interest to these men, Lee is rescued from them by Tomi, who shows her his art, the beauty of exploring abandoned buildings, and the secrets held beneath the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which both answers and raises questions about the item Lee stole and the men after her.As someone who lives in Philadelphia, it was interesting to read about the city as it was presented within this story with its (accurately) vast differences from abandoned buildings to snug suburban homes. With a fair amount of intrigue built up around an intricate web of deceit and manipulation to drive Lee's actions, which was quickly devoured, there were a lot of seemingly coincidental, circumstantial events that were conspiring together to influence her in particular ways, which felt a bit forced for the sake of incorporating the various threads of plot in the development of the overarching plot.Overall, I'd give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.
    more
  • J.
    June 21, 2017
    “The Readymade Thief” is a new rendition of “Alice in Wonderland.” As befitting a modern personification for both tales Lee Cuddy is a young woman of seventeen years. Her adventures through the looking glass, in today’s barely distorted Philadelphia, are harrowing, vivid and wild. In this landscape of urban decay and drug fired rage events she finds herself pursued by a sinister organization known as ‘Societe Anonyme” for reasons she cannot fathom. This gang is peopled with devotees of Marcel Du “The Readymade Thief” is a new rendition of “Alice in Wonderland.” As befitting a modern personification for both tales Lee Cuddy is a young woman of seventeen years. Her adventures through the looking glass, in today’s barely distorted Philadelphia, are harrowing, vivid and wild. In this landscape of urban decay and drug fired rage events she finds herself pursued by a sinister organization known as ‘Societe Anonyme” for reasons she cannot fathom. This gang is peopled with devotees of Marcel Duchamp, artist, alchemist, scientist, and joker. His masterwork, “ The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors,” is the altar at which these men worship. They go so far as to go about dressed in early Twentieth Century garb pretending to be the bachelors of the piece: The Station Master, The Priest, The Flunky, The Clown and others. They are further enraged when in escaping their clutches the first time Lee steals a piece of Duchamp’s art. An audacious act which only serves to intensify “S. A.’s” efforts to lay hands on her. The scaffold on which the story rests is Duchamp, his art, and references to it. If you do any research at all, you will find it everywhere: very labyrinthine indeed. The interstices are filled with well-developed characters, believable dialog, riveting scene descriptions and exceptional storytelling. But it is Lee, with her heart, her deviousness, loyalty, bravery, despair and vengefulness that makes the story sing. Congratulations to the author, Augustus Rose. He has written a story that brings to light one of the most influential artists of the last century and managed to make the story fast paced and enjoyable in the bargain. I highly recommend “The Readymade Thief” to you.Viking, Penguin Random House, and www.firsttoread.com provided an advance copy of this novel for review.
    more
  • Anne
    June 29, 2017
    Great writing and plot pulled me back to this book each time I put it down. I'm not going into plot because that is readily available. Lee is a bit of a MacGiver as she is fearless in creeping through dark buildings, learns to pick locks, is a 2nd story thief, and can crawl through ducts to escape threats. There were a few moments in the book when I wanted her to choose a different path but she was fending for herself in the best way she could.One of the greatest aspects of the plot is that the Great writing and plot pulled me back to this book each time I put it down. I'm not going into plot because that is readily available. Lee is a bit of a MacGiver as she is fearless in creeping through dark buildings, learns to pick locks, is a 2nd story thief, and can crawl through ducts to escape threats. There were a few moments in the book when I wanted her to choose a different path but she was fending for herself in the best way she could.One of the greatest aspects of the plot is that the reader doesn't know who to trust until the very end. The art brings a very interesting dimension and is based upon the work of Duchamp. I had to look it up to get a better perspective. Thanks to NetGalley and Viking for this advance copy.
    more
  • Angie
    June 28, 2017
    Holy headspin, batman! Weird and wonderful, then weird and gruesome, then just weird, wait back to weird and wonderful. There were times when I felt that the author was pushing too hard, working at it too doggedly, but the effect was creepy and heartwarming at the same time. It's definitely in the down-the-rabbithole genre but a good story with a couple of characters I enjoyed spending time with. Lee and Tomi make a fascinating pair and I was rooting for them. Throw in some odd Duchamp art and q Holy headspin, batman! Weird and wonderful, then weird and gruesome, then just weird, wait back to weird and wonderful. There were times when I felt that the author was pushing too hard, working at it too doggedly, but the effect was creepy and heartwarming at the same time. It's definitely in the down-the-rabbithole genre but a good story with a couple of characters I enjoyed spending time with. Lee and Tomi make a fascinating pair and I was rooting for them. Throw in some odd Duchamp art and questionable general relativity and quantum mechanics references (the science wasn't impressive, but also not too offensive), and there's a story worth the time. I got a copy to review from First to Read.
    more
  • Amy Wolf
    July 16, 2017
    Thank you to First To Read for the copy of THE READYMADE THIEF in exchange for an honest review.WOW! I can tell this book will stay with me for quite some time. When I began the book, it read like a YA novel, a quick easy read. But it quickly turned deep and meaningful and took me for an unforeseen ride. What a fantastic, unexpected story. I found myself completely wrapped up in it, the world around me disappeared. It was thought-provoking, challenging and mysterious. I didn't love the ending, b Thank you to First To Read for the copy of THE READYMADE THIEF in exchange for an honest review.WOW! I can tell this book will stay with me for quite some time. When I began the book, it read like a YA novel, a quick easy read. But it quickly turned deep and meaningful and took me for an unforeseen ride. What a fantastic, unexpected story. I found myself completely wrapped up in it, the world around me disappeared. It was thought-provoking, challenging and mysterious. I didn't love the ending, but the rest of the book was so great, I still had to give it a 5 star rating. If you enjoy stories like The DaVinci Code, you will enjoy this.
    more
  • Katie Palazzolo
    June 14, 2017
    I feel like this was a good book, just not for me.Too dramatic, dangerous, obscure/niche information. which was kinda the point, but made it inaccessible to me I guess...I wanted it to be like Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore, which I loved, but this just left me wanting more i dunno.I really dislike how many people had to die, how stubborn Lee is and continually makes terrible decisions, and how she's pregnant the whole time yet endangers her life constantly and the baby seems to be fine.It sho I feel like this was a good book, just not for me.Too dramatic, dangerous, obscure/niche information. which was kinda the point, but made it inaccessible to me I guess...I wanted it to be like Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore, which I loved, but this just left me wanting more i dunno.I really dislike how many people had to die, how stubborn Lee is and continually makes terrible decisions, and how she's pregnant the whole time yet endangers her life constantly and the baby seems to be fine.It should have gone on to show how she cares for this kid eventually, but no. Just she tells herself she'll be fine, which makes no sense because she's homeless at basically all times.this book made me angry really. but it's not bad. it's pretty well written and a cool concept.
    more
  • Erin
    April 19, 2017
    Lee, an invisible 16-year-old runaway from Philadelphia, steals, deals drugs to her classmates, and is sent to a juvenile detention center after a "friend" turns her in to the police. After escaping, she ends up in the Crystal Castle, a coop of sorts with other teen runaways that is run by a man known as the Station Master. After stealing a briefcase that contains a piece of art, Lee flees to an underground party and finds a friend in a hacker and artist named Tomi, who introduces Lee to creepin Lee, an invisible 16-year-old runaway from Philadelphia, steals, deals drugs to her classmates, and is sent to a juvenile detention center after a "friend" turns her in to the police. After escaping, she ends up in the Crystal Castle, a coop of sorts with other teen runaways that is run by a man known as the Station Master. After stealing a briefcase that contains a piece of art, Lee flees to an underground party and finds a friend in a hacker and artist named Tomi, who introduces Lee to creeping around abandoned buildings and exploring the urban landscape. Lee finds herself entangled with a secret society of fans obsessed with Marcel Duchamp and what they believe is a puzzle Duchamp left that holds the key to immortality. This plot-driven, literary mystery is tightly packed with art history, physics, and adventure that will keep you up at night. For fans of Robin Sloan's "Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore.
    more
  • Tory
    July 9, 2017
    3.5 stars, rounding up to 4. Shades of The Goldfinch; shades of The Agony and the Ecstasy (deciphering the life behind the art); a little bit of steampunk flair and some creepy sci-fi elements. Make sure you have your phone at hand to Google all the different Duchamp works that appear. It's a convoluted, tricksy story that twists and ducks like that ball of string, and there are times when the passage of time is really hard to follow, but it's worth it to stick it out to the end. I dunno -- I al 3.5 stars, rounding up to 4. Shades of The Goldfinch; shades of The Agony and the Ecstasy (deciphering the life behind the art); a little bit of steampunk flair and some creepy sci-fi elements. Make sure you have your phone at hand to Google all the different Duchamp works that appear. It's a convoluted, tricksy story that twists and ducks like that ball of string, and there are times when the passage of time is really hard to follow, but it's worth it to stick it out to the end. I dunno -- I almost feel like it could've been longer? To keep us enmeshed in Lee's world with a little more commitment.Last thoughts: this book would make an amazing parkour/urbex/puzzle-solving videogame.
    more
  • Laurie Jean
    July 25, 2017
    I received this book as an ARC from #FirstToRead and I loved it. It's like a scavenger hunt through the world of art, cults, raves and the underworld of the internet. If you liked Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, you are going to LOVE The Ready-Made Thief. Lee, the main character is engaging and gritty, and brave beyond reason. Lee has a strong sense of morality, even with her family and friends turning their back on her. This book is intelligent, fast passed and it sucks you in and doesn't let I received this book as an ARC from #FirstToRead and I loved it. It's like a scavenger hunt through the world of art, cults, raves and the underworld of the internet. If you liked Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, you are going to LOVE The Ready-Made Thief. Lee, the main character is engaging and gritty, and brave beyond reason. Lee has a strong sense of morality, even with her family and friends turning their back on her. This book is intelligent, fast passed and it sucks you in and doesn't let go. THe ending was satisfying but I want more of these characters and this world. You have got to read this book.
    more
  • Jessica
    March 9, 2017
    I received an eGalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.I wanted to like this book more. The plot was meaty and intriguing, and I kept wishing I didn't have to put the book down to work or sleep. However, the resolution seemed weak after all the work and research put into the rising action. We almost don't have time to get to know Lee since she's trying to survive one thing after another, after another... Drugs? Yep. Hacking? Sure. Art conspiracies? Absolutely. Secret societies I received an eGalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.I wanted to like this book more. The plot was meaty and intriguing, and I kept wishing I didn't have to put the book down to work or sleep. However, the resolution seemed weak after all the work and research put into the rising action. We almost don't have time to get to know Lee since she's trying to survive one thing after another, after another... Drugs? Yep. Hacking? Sure. Art conspiracies? Absolutely. Secret societies? Certainly. Violence? You bet. (I've refrained from writing more since it falls into spoiler territory.)The Readymade Thief is pretty darn approachable for both YA and adult readers; I found it difficult to categorize as one or the other. It's suspenseful, packed with action, and somewhat sad.
    more
  • Susan
    June 8, 2017
    I finished this book last night and still haven't determined how I feel about it. Mr. Rose has presented a very intricate and detailed story of a young woman who becomes a thief in high school as a way to save money. After wrongfully being incarcerated for drugs, Lee escapes and begins life as a homeless meandering runaway. This is where the story takes an odd turn. Lee gets involved in a drug underworld that is tied to the artistic workings of Marcel Duchamp. This is where the book somewhat los I finished this book last night and still haven't determined how I feel about it. Mr. Rose has presented a very intricate and detailed story of a young woman who becomes a thief in high school as a way to save money. After wrongfully being incarcerated for drugs, Lee escapes and begins life as a homeless meandering runaway. This is where the story takes an odd turn. Lee gets involved in a drug underworld that is tied to the artistic workings of Marcel Duchamp. This is where the book somewhat lost me. I think a previous knowledge of the artists and his works would be extremely helpful. At one point I started looking into the piece that plays a central part of the book: The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors. Honestly, that only confused me more since Mr. Duchamp was part of the Dada movement (think Picasso). I think the end result is this: I like how Mr. Rose writes. He created some great characters but ultimately Lee is the only character fully developed. I hope he writes more and I intend to read it. I liked this story of Lee and her struggles. I did not like the technical steampunk feel of the art and the reanimated Société Anonyme (related to Duchamp) and felt it interrupted what could have been a better book. A copy of this book was provided by Penguin First to Read in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Amy He
    June 30, 2017
    Man, the way Rose stumbles clumsily through months and years of a character's life, filling us in on details that are interesting but fairly inconsequential, was not my cup of tea. He does a great job telling a story in a moment, however, and the twists and turns in the plot are so great, so complex, that they're almost too great and complex for the tiny space allotted to them. The book really only picks up and becomes what it is meant to be in the second half, and I think it would be a better n Man, the way Rose stumbles clumsily through months and years of a character's life, filling us in on details that are interesting but fairly inconsequential, was not my cup of tea. He does a great job telling a story in a moment, however, and the twists and turns in the plot are so great, so complex, that they're almost too great and complex for the tiny space allotted to them. The book really only picks up and becomes what it is meant to be in the second half, and I think it would be a better novel (or more to my taste) if we had joined Lee's story once the main plot gets off its lumbering feet.
    more
  • Casey
    July 24, 2017
    While the writing is fine and the level of research into Duchamp admirable, I just couldn't get into this novel. The beginning was slow with its high school cliches, and then when the drama ramped up, it was almost too sudden. Had the beginning been tighter, I think the sudden plunge into deep conspiracy would have flowed better, but as it stood, I just couldn't get my attention back into the details.I received an ARC from First to Read in exchange for my honest review.
    more
  • Brittany
    June 24, 2017
    A captivating, and thrilling read. This was so well written that the characters truly came alive and I could not get enough. Full of twists, conspiracy, and exploration, I found myself trying to solve the puzzles until the last page. Told from the perspective of Lee, who becomes a runaway after being betrayed by her best friend and sent to a juvenile lock-up, we meet a cast of underground society denizens. Lee must discover the truth behind disappearances, while confronting her own struggles of A captivating, and thrilling read. This was so well written that the characters truly came alive and I could not get enough. Full of twists, conspiracy, and exploration, I found myself trying to solve the puzzles until the last page. Told from the perspective of Lee, who becomes a runaway after being betrayed by her best friend and sent to a juvenile lock-up, we meet a cast of underground society denizens. Lee must discover the truth behind disappearances, while confronting her own struggles of who to trust before she gets sucked in and it's too late. A fantastic novel.
    more
Write a review