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Short Synopsis
In telling the true story of book thief John Charles Gilkey and the man who was driven to capture him, Journalist Allison Hoover Bartlett explores the larger history of book passion, collection, and theft through the ages.

Full Synopsis
John Charles Gilkey is an obsessed, unrepentant book thief who has stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of rare books from book fairs, stores, and libraries around the country. Ken Sanders is the self-appointed "bibliodick" (book dealer with a penchant for detective work) driven to catch him. Journalist Allison Hoover Bartlett befriended both eccentric characters and found herself caught in the middle of efforts to recover hidden treasure. With a mixture of suspense, insight, and humor, she not only reveals exactly how Gilkey pulled off his dirtiest crimes and how Sanders ultimately caught him, but also explores the romance of books, the lure to collect them, and the temptation to steal them. Immersing the listener in a rich, wide world of literary obsession, Bartlett looks at the history of book passion, collection, and theft through the ages, to examine the craving that makes some people willing to stop at nothing to possess the books they love.

"[Brackley's] soft voice, often near a toned whisper, adds the right atmosphere to a biography of a creepy man and a reporter's long search for his motive." ---AudioFile

"[An] excellent tale of people's intimate, complex, and sometimes dangerous relationships to books." ---Library Journal Starred Review

"Tautly written, wry and thoroughly compelling, The Man Who Loved Books Too Much unfolds like a great mystery." ---Los Angeles Times

"Brackley...brings the appropriate degree of calm and matter-of-fact narration to this engaging material." ---Library Journal Audio Review

"Brackley's enthusiasm is welcome; she excels when exploring the minutiae and arcana of the book collecting subculture." ---Publishers Weekly Audio Review

"Bartlett's tale of literary intrigue makes you fall in love with books all over again.... Her story will leave you hankering [for] more." ---Julia Scheeres, author of Jesus Land

"Bartlett's sketches of bibliomania are breezily drawn and often fascinating." ---The New York Times

"A captivating cat-and-mouse game and a fascinating exploration of why people are so passionate about books." ---Julia Flynn Siler, author of the New York Times bestseller The House of Mondavi
Library Journal Review

Library Journal Bestseller

Library Journal Bestseller

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much

The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession

Author Allison Hoover Bartlett

Narrated by Judith Brackley

Publication date Feb 8, 2010

Running time 6 hrs

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