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About The Book

The true story of the world’s most prolific art thief, who accumulated a collection worth over $1.4 billion. A spellbinding portrait of obsession and flawed genius, from the bestselling author of The Stranger in the Wood. For centuries, works of art have been stolen in countless ways from all over the world, but no one has been quite as successful at it as the master thief Stéphane Breitwieser. Carrying out more than 200 heists over nearly ten years - in museums and cathedrals all over Europe - Breitwieser, along with his girlfriend who worked as his lookout, stole more than 300 objects, until it all fell apart in spectacular fashion.
In The Art Thief, Michael Finkel brings us into Breitwieser’s strange and fascinating world. Unlike most thieves, he never stole for money, keeping all his treasures in his home, where he could admire them to his heart’s content. Possessed of a remarkable appreciation for art and an innate ability to assess practically any security system, Breitwieser managed to pull off a breathtakingly number of audacious thefts. Yet these strange talents bred a growing disregard for risk and an addict’s need to score, leading Breitwieser to ignore his girlfriend’s pleas to stop - until one final act of hubris brought everything crashing down.
This is a riveting story of art, crime, and an insatiable hunger to possess beauty at any cost. As a real page-turner that seems almost unbelievable in its twists and turns, The Art Thief explores the true story of the art collector who went to extreme lengths to expand his personal collection – and the thrill of the heist that kept him going.

About The Author

Michael Finkel is the author of The Stranger in the Woods, an international bestseller, and True Story, which was adapted into a 2015 major motion picture starring James Franco and Jonah Hill. He has reported from more than 50 countries and written for National Geographic, GQ, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, and The New York Times Magazine. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting, The Best American Science and Nature Writing, The Best American Travel Writing, and The Best American Non-Required Reading. He lives with his family in western Montana and southern France.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (June 22, 2023)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781471186257

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Raves and Reviews

‘His crime spree makes for a thrilling read'

– The New Yorker

‘The author’s account of the skulduggery is thrilling’

– The Economist

‘If you’re unfamiliar with Stéphane Breitwieser, then Michael Finkel’s gripping and often hilarious book will provide an invaluable insight into the man who was, for around a decade, the most dedicated and prolific art thief in the world…this beguiling account earns sympathy for the devil'

– Observer

‘Brilliant… A thrilling heist caper along the lines of Ocean’s Eleven

– Sunday Times

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More books from this author: Michael Finkel