Review of Gaspar The Thief by David A. Lindsay

Gaspar The Thief - David A. Lindsay

I decided to read Gaspar the Thief after I read the prequel Gaspar and the Fantastical Hats which I really enjoyed, but unfortunately I found it to be fairly disappointing. I guess the biggest problem was that the book really didn't read like a novel at all. It felt more like I was reading a series of short stories that only builds upon the one before it by mentioning some of the history here and there. Each story seemed to have a conclusion, but there didn't really feel like there was much of a conclusion to the book as a whole, probably due to the fact that there wasn't that much of a central plot. Another way to put it is that I felt like I was reading episodes of a TV series in which each chapter was an episode with a short "here's what happened last time" section at the beginning. BTW I was glad that there were chapters in this book, but some of them seemed entirely too long, especially towards the second half of the book. I guess technically they weren't really chapters at all though, just the start of the next short story.

It did dawn on me as I was coming closer to finishing the book that the style of writing used was very similar to Douglas Adams' in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which is one of my all time favorite books. In The Hitchhiker's Guide, Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect escape the Earth being blown up and then you read about the random adventures they have afterward. In Gaspar the Thief, Gaspar and his friends have to flee the city after Gaspar gets into some trouble and you read about all the random adventures they have. So if I think that the writing in this book is so similar to one of my favorite books then why didn't I like it that much? I think the main answer to that question is that Gaspar the Thief isn't nearly as funny as The Hitchhiker's Guide or even its own prequel which I rated 4 stars vs the 3 stars I rated this book. Though it does stand to reason that the prequel might be an improvement since it was written after the original book. Another factor is that there just didn't seem to be enough transition between the chapters which I think is why it felt more like a series of short stories rather than an actual novel.

I'm not really sure if I'd recommend this book or not. I suppose it might be a decent read if you are looking for a fantasy adventure book and aren't expecting more than occasional funny bits and don't mind that it reads more like a series of short stories rather than an actual novel. I think I might have enjoyed the book better if I'd known what to expect going into it. Then again if I'd known what to expect I might not have purchased the book at all since I was looking for something funny to read. If the author comes out with a sequel, then I might give it a chance considering how much I enjoyed the prequel.