Houghton Mifflin, December 1995. Hardcover. Used - Very Good / Good. Item #233709
Richard Rayner's first book of nonfiction, Los Angeles Without a Map, was hailed by the New York Times as a classic. His second, The Blue Suit, is equally compelling and, for its intensity and honesty, deserves comparison with Geoffrey Wolff 's The Duke of Deception and Frank Conroy's Stop-Time. This is a story about the absence of identity. Rayner had a peripatetic childhood, but it seemed he found some sense of place when he attended Cambridge University in the mid 1970s. Far from affording security, however, Cambridge - combined with the study of philosophy and an obsession with books - was the setting for the start of a bizarre life of crime. Mounting debts propelled the author into a series of frightening, foolish, and hilarious adventures. He plundered bookshops for elusive first editions, forged checks, broke into houses, and acted as accomplice in a Keystone Kops-like attempt to rob a local bank. Seventeen years later, Rayner tries to come to terms with this long-buried nefario.
Furiously written with a sardonic air of grace, this unforgettable memoir of crime and misdemeanor is both tragic and comic--an inspired act of retrieval. Rayner had a peripatetic childhood, but he seemed to have found some sense of place when he attended Cambridge. Far from affording security, however, Cambridge--combined with an obsession with books--proved to be the setting for the start of a bizarre life of crime. Some stains to the dust jacket.