SMITH by Leon Garfield


The Story of a Pickpocket
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"Smith. 'unted, 'ounded, 'omeless, and part gin-sodder. Smith. Twelve year old. That's me. Very small, but wiry, as they say. Dark 'aired and lately residing in the Red Lion Tavern off Saffron 'ill. Smith." This to the blind man he has just knocked down...after witnessing a murder, after retrieving a document he can't decipher, after despairing of finding someone who will teach him to read. The succeeding entanglement takes Smith from genteel comfort to the horrors of Newgate in the company of pharisees and publicans, honest rogues and the devil's cajoling disciple. A disquieting story, told with Mr. Garfield's customary elan; a story that is both somber and sardonic, leavened with raucous good spirits and simple compassion. More Hogarth than Cruikshank, this lacks the gusto of Devil in the Fog (1966) but readers who respond to the author will follow him here.
Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1967
ISBN: 978-1-59017-675-7
Page count: 209pp
Publisher: New York Review Books
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