The Readymade Thief (CD-Audio)
August 2017 Indie Next List
“Much to the chagrin of my household, once I started this book I refused to put it down. I let my children fend for themselves while I walked along the Philly streets with Lee and Tomi, solving the age-old puzzle in the midst of which 17-year-old Lee has found herself. She has many of the same struggles and life choices to make as high school seniors across the country, but with a mysterious conspiracy thrown in. I love a book that is both well-written and completely absorbing. This is a great read for vacation, for a long plane ride, or for an escape while in the comfort of your own home.”
— Jessica Fowle, Bookbug, Kalamazoo, MI
Winter 2018 Reading Group Indie Next List
“A story that starts out tracing a runaway turns into art history by way of the dark net. Combining unexpected genres and unforeseen twists in a highly original way, The Readymade Thief delights and entertains as well as informs. It circles the life and work of Marcel Duchamp, a French Dadaist famous for calling everyday objects (most notoriously a urinal) readymade art. It is not necessary to be familiar with Duchamp, but by the end you will want to read a biography and reread this book to discover how cleverly Rose includes references and puns referring to his work. The ending is perfect, which is all too rare in most fiction. This book is a literary delight.”
— Ann Carlson, Waterfront Books, Georgetown, SC
“The most must-read of all must-reads.” —Marie Claire
“A kickass debut from start to finish.” —Colson Whitehead, author of The Underground Railroad
Lee Cuddy is seventeen years old and on the run.
Betrayed by her family after taking the fall for a friend, Lee finds refuge in a cooperative of runaways holed up in an abandoned building they call the Crystal Castle. But the façade of the Castle conceals a far more sinister agenda, one hatched by a society of fanatical men set on decoding a series of powerful secrets hidden in plain sight. And they believe Lee holds the key to it all.
Aided by Tomi, a young hacker and artist with whom she has struck a wary alliance, Lee escapes into the unmapped corners of the city—empty aquariums, deserted motels, patrolled museums, and even the homes of vacationing families. But the deeper she goes underground, the more tightly she finds herself bound in the strange web she’s trying to elude. Desperate and out of options, Lee steps from the shadows to face who is after her—and why.
A novel of puzzles, conspiracies, secret societies, urban exploration, art history, and a singular, indomitable heroine, The Readymade Thief heralds the arrival of a spellbinding and original new talent in fiction.
About the Author
Augustus Rose is a novelist and screenwriter. He was born in the northern California coastal town of Bolinas, and grew up there and in San Francisco. He lives in Chicago with his wife, the novelist Nami Mun and their son, and he teaches fiction writing at the University of Chicago.