The Readymade Thief (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

A highly unlikely heroine stumbles into an anonymous cult with heady aspirations. A wild cast of characters and brilliantly drawn settings knit together into a very unusual, totally engaging thriller. I can’t remember the last time I got so close to immediately rereading a book.

— Kay Wosewick

Lee is a seventeen-year-old-girl who has gotten into a bit of trouble. Not that she is innocent (a bit of kleptomaniac) or completely guilty either. She runs in with the wrong crowd, steals something that is not hers. and now she is on the run with nobody to turn to. Lee takes you into the underbelly of Philadelphia, the sections that people have abandoned, and attempts to solve the mystery she has fallen into, having to do with the famous artist Marcel Duchamp. Yes, Augustus Rose melds together a lot of information and story methods. He does it with amazing skill pulling on secret societies, hacking, art theft, conspiracies, drugs, and so much more. This plot moves, it does not slow down, it will drag you along with it to the conclusion, which will have you gasping for breath. Such a brilliant journey!

— Jason Kennedy


"The most must-read of all must-reads." --Marie Claire

"A kickass debut from start to finish." --Colson Whitehead, author of The Underground Railroad

Lee Cuddy is seventeen years old and on the run.

Betrayed by her family after taking the fall for a friend, Lee finds refuge in a cooperative of runaways holed up in an abandoned building they call the Crystal Castle. But the fa ade 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. And 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.

A novel of puzzles, conspiracies, secret societies, urban exploration, art history, and a singular, indomitable heroine, The Readymade Thief heralds the arrival of a spellbinding and original new talent in fiction.

About the Author

Augustus Rose is a novelist and screenwriter. He was born in the northern California coastal town of Bolinas, and grew up there and in San Francisco. He lives in Chicago with his wife, the novelist Nami Mun and their son, and he teaches fiction writing at the University of Chicago.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780735221833
ISBN-10: 0735221839
Publisher: Viking
Publication Date: August 1st, 2017
Pages: 384
Language: English