Jusqu'où iriez-vous pour mettre la main sur le livre de vos rêves ? Mieux encore, jusqu'où iriez-vous pour avoir une bibliothèque remplie de vos livres préférés ?
John Gilkey a dérobé pour 200 000 dollars de livres anciens. Son but, réunir une collection à son image. Dès lors, comment attraper un voleur qui ne subtilise des livres que pour compléter sa propre bibliothèque ?
C'était compter sans la ténacité de Ken Sanders, libraire de livres anciens irascible, qui s'improvise détective et mène l'enquête. S'ensuit une longue poursuite entre un voleur obsessionnel et un libraire obstiné prêt à bondir au moindre faux-pas.
À travers le récit de cette traque, Allison Hoover Bartlett nous plonge dans l'univers fascinant du livre ancien en se posant toujours cette question : de quoi serions-nous capables nous aussi par amour des livres ? Une aventure rocambolesque, entre Le Nom de la rose et Arrête-moi si tu peux.
In the tradition of The Orchid Thief, a compelling narrative set within the strange and genteel world of rare-book collecting: the true story of an infamous book thief, his victims, and the man determined to catch him. Rare-book theft is even more widespread than fine-art theft. Most thieves, of course, steal for profit. John Charles Gilkey steals purely for the love of books. In an attempt to understand him better, journalist Allison Hoover Bartlett plunged herself into the world of book lust and discovered just how dangerous it can be. John 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. Bartlett befriended both outlandish characters and found herself caught in the middle of efforts to recover hidden treasure. With a mixture of suspense, insight, and humor, she has woven this entertaining cat-and-mouse chase into a narrative that not only reveals exactly how Gilkey pulled off his dirtiest crimes, where he stashed the loot, 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 reader 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.
People have been collecting--and stealing--books since before Gutenberg invented the printing press. Internationally, according to Interpol, rare book theft is more widespread than fine art theft. Although dealers will tell you "every rare book is a stolen book," the stories of these heists have remained quiet, shielded by an insular community of book dealers and book collectors that prefers to keep its losses secret. In The Man Who Loved Books Too Much, Allison Hoover Bartlett takes us deep inside the world of rare books, and tells the cat-and-mouse story of two men caught in its allure. Here we meet Bartlett John Gilkey, an unrepentant, obsessive book thief, and Ken Sanders, the equally obsessive self-styled "bibliodick," a book-dealer turned amateur detective. While their goals are at direct odds, both men share a deep passion for books and a fierce tenacity--Gilkey, to steal books; Sanders, to stop him.