- It just looked.. fantastic.
Summary from GoodReads:
“Now, for those of you who know anything about blind children, you are aware that they make the very best thieves. As you can well imagine, blind children have incredible senses of smell, and they can tell what lies behind a locked door- be it fine cloth, gold, or peanut brittle- at fifty paces. Moreover, their fingers are so small and nimble that they can slip right through keyholes, and their ears so keen that they can hear the faint clicks and clacks of every moving part inside even the most complicated lock. Of course, the age of great thievery has long since passed;today there are few child-thieves left, blind or otherwise. At one time, however, the world was simply thick with them. This is the story of the greatest thief who ever lived. His name, as you’ve probably guessed, is Peter Nimble.”
Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes is a stunning, stunning debut novel. Brilliantly conceived, filled with masterful descriptions that provoke not only the imagination with sights, but also with sounds, smells and touch. From the first few paragraphs I was spiraled into a story, much like Alice falling down her rabbit hole, and caught up in a tale of the completely fantastic and I loved every single second of it. Every one.
Now and then I’ll pick up a middle grade book and, more often than not, I’ll put it down feeling an overwhelming urge to pet a kitten or cuddle a puppy, but sometimes, those rare, few, precious times, I put the book down and feel as if I’ve been transported back in time and I’m 11 years old again and surrounded by a word of magic and mystery; a world where a boy without eyes can overcome impossible odds, where a knight without bravery can overcome his cowardice, and where a lost fantasyland can be found again. Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes is one of those stories.
One of the most brilliant, fantastic things about this book is way Auxier describes not only the people Peter comes in contact with, but also the places he visits and the things he does. Peter is blind, he has no eyes, and since the book (even though it’s in third person) is from Peter’s main point of view, we’re treated to smells, touches and sounds. If a man is tall, we know because of the sound of his tread, if two people are related it’s due to their smell. All this is done in such an exquisite way that it slipped by, unnoticed, until a moment came and I felt as if I’d just woken up and the world around me began to sparkle.
Bravo, Jonathan, bravo.
I cannot rave about this book enough. If you loved Gregor and the fantastic world Suzanne Collins made in her books, if you loved Plain Kate by Erin Bow, then you will adore this story of Peter Nimble, the blind thief. There are books I love, books I tolerate, books I cannot stand – but every now and then I come across a book like this one where I feel privileged to be allowed to read and experience the story.
Thank you, Jonathan Auxier, for giving us this story.
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