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The ReadyMade Thief
A Novel by Augustus Rose
“A debut novel that’s unexpected, uncategorizable, unputdownable.”
–Robin Sloan, New York Times bestselling author of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
An addictive literary puzzle that introduces an unforgettable young heroine plunged into the twisted world of a secret society with a dark agenda.
Lee Cuddy is seventeen years old and on the run, alone on the streets of Philadelphia.
After taking the fall for a rich friend, Lee reluctantly accepts refuge in the Crystal Castle—a cooperative of homeless kids squatting in an austere, derelict building. But homeless kids are disappearing from the streets in suspicious numbers, and Lee quickly discovers that the secret society’s charitable façade is too good to be true. She finds an unexpected ally in Tomi, a young artist and hacker whose knowledge of the Internet’s black market is rivaled only by his ability to break into and out of buildings. From abandoned aquariums to highly patrolled museums to the homes of vacationing Philadelphians, Tomi and Lee can always chart a way to the next, perfect hide-out.
But the harder Lee tries to escape into the unmapped corners of the city, the closer she unwittingly gets to uncovering the disturbing agenda of the very men who pull the strings of the secret society she’s hoped to elude, a group of fanatics obsessed with the secrets encoded in the work of early-twentieth-century artist Marcel Duchamp. What these men want is more twisted than anything Lee could’ve imagined, and they believe Lee holds the key to it all.
The Readymade Thief heralds the arrival of an astoundingly imaginative and propulsive new voice in fiction for fans of Marisha Pessl and Ernest Cline.
“In his highly addictive and multi-faceted first novel, Augustus Rose pits an irrepressible and gritty young heroine against a sinister group of fanatics...a kickass debut from start to finish.”
—Colson Whitehead, author of The Underground Railroad
“A brilliant, suspenseful, and cinematic novel with an unforgettable heroine...Be prepared to lose yourself in it.”
—Edan Lepucki, author of California and Woman No. 17
“Full of pleasures and surprises. Every time I thought I knew where the story was going, it took me somewhere stranger and deeper than I could have imagined.”
—Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe
“Rose has crafted something memorable, crackling with energy, a truly wonderful tale.”
—Kevin Wilson, author of The Family Fang
About the Author
Augustus Rose grew up in Bolinas, California, and moved to San Francisco at ten. For many years he kept himself afloat through a series of bookstore jobs, where he found and collected books on cults, subcultures, urban exploration, speculative science, metaphysics, alchemy, conspiracy theories, subversive or underground art movements, and, of course, Marcel Duchamp...read more