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Art of the Heist, The Hardcover – April 21, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition (April 21, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061672289
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061672286
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,753,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. From his daring 1965 jail break at age 22 to his legendary career pilfering treasures from museums all over New England, Connor's life is the stuff of adventure novels. Now, with the aid of novelist Siler, the notorious art thief recounts his scores and sets the record straight on one of the biggest art heists ever—at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The son of a cop, Connor grew up outside Boston. He developed a genuine appreciation for art—especially samurai swords—and after his first robbery, at the Forbes Museum in Milton, Mass., he never looked back. He stole a Rembrandt from Boston's Museum of Fine Arts in broad daylight and used it as a bargaining tool for a decreased prison sentence. Connor compares himself to Robin Hood: an art-world rogue who took pains to avoid violence and truly admired the pieces he stole. When asked whether he masterminded the Gardner heist, despite being behind bars at the time, he replied: You would have known it was me. I would have taken the Titian. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“From his daring 1965 jail break at age 22 to his legendary career pilfering treasures from museums all over New England, Connor’s life is the stuff of adventure novels.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

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Customer Reviews

The stories are all true.
Truth sets you free
The true story of an art lover and an intelligent thief.
Susan in Chilmark
JUST OK I thought that it was just OK.
RockNook

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Phelps Gates VINE VOICE on July 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I started this book expecting a gripping story of one spectacular art heist after another, with insights into the glamorous world of high-dollar art. Connor did rob several museums (most famously, by grabbing a Rembrandt and walking out the back door of the Boston Museum of Fine Art). But most of the book just describes a dreary criminal career with little to do with art: bank robberies, shootouts with the police, drug dealing, trials on rape and murder charges (of which he was found not guilty), etc.

Police authorities don't come off very well, since they are portrayed, believably, as repeatedly trying to frame him, but considering the large number of crimes which he admits to and which he was never caught for, he seems to have gotten off easy! Connor portrays himself as often more sinned against than sinning (motivated to steal art because of the way he was treated by snooty curators). Of course, we're getting only his side of the story in the book.

Since most criminals are not smart, and Connor is very smart, he had a more successful career than most. But if you google his name, the first item is a 2008 Boston Herald article with his life story and a picture of him as he is now: a tired old man, having spent much of life behind bars, rather than the earnest young criminal portrayed on the book jacket. Sad.

To give credit, the book is vivid and the narrative hard to put down. I give his co-author, Jenny Siler, credit for an excellent writing job.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dave W. Ryan on December 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was expecting more. Conner wasn't even a brilliant thief - instead he mostly took advantage of lax security. The Art of the Heist is simply a sad story of a fellow who squandered intellect and talent, both musical and intellectual, by picking a dishonest path with violent accomplices. The book is one big rationalization of a man looking back on his life and trying to justify poor choices that landed him in prison again and again, leaving his family heartbroken, his relationships unsustainable, his fortune lost. I found myself questioning how much of it was true, or merely one last-ditch attempt to salvage a lost reputation. Finally, the biblical "Prodigal Son" feel remorse and regret and asks for forgiveness upon reaching rock bottom and coming home. I sensed little remorse or regret from Conner, and no real admission that he'd done anything wrong or harmed anyone. Perhaps this is simply Conner's final "stage" to play on. Very sad.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By BBG on April 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I lived in Milton and knew of Myles from his rock and roll days. I had heard of his 'adventures' from the press and from friends and was looking forward to the book coming out. I just got it and haven't put it down. I'm sure we will still be left with the question of where is the artwork and who pulled off this heist and I wouldn't expect anything else. But the Isabelle Stewart Gardner heist isn't all there is to Myles Connor.

I'm pretty certain that this will find it's way to the big screen! And that will be great.

It's difficult to read this and realize that this is Myles' life....not just a story. I definitely recommend this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mike the Screw on August 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Confessions of a Master Thief, hardly. No mention of his years at Walpole State Prison where he allegedly headed the Execution Squad which was responsible for many of the 16 inmates murdered through inmate violence between 1976 - 1980. Extortion, drugs, murder and intimidation of inmates were conveniently left out. The Walpole management, up to and including the Superintendent, elevated Myles' stature among the inmates and they made it impossible for the officers to enforce the rules he allegedly broke with abandon.

SCREW, The Truth About Walpole State Prison By The Guard Who Lived It, New Horizon Press, Far Hills, NJ, June 1989, mentioned the violence of the Execution Squad. If you doubt this, look up the record of violence at Walpole during the mid-to-late 1970s and compare it to his tenure while serving his sentence in IL. There was no Execution Squad there, because it was a better managed prison and he was treated the same as any other inmate. Must have been tough for him being anonymous and inconsequential.

A true confession is coming clean on the alleged murder and mayhem, the alleged killing of witnesses to murder, the alleged collaboration with then District Attorney William Delahunt, who later became a US Congressman and who failed to indict inmates for their murder and mayhem while serving sentences in his district. Delahunt was appointed by then Gov Mike Dukakis, sponsored by then Attorney General Frank Belotti. Think about it. Sixteen inmate murders and only one indictment with no conviction. Yet, there were several attempts by Belotti and Delahunt to seek indictments for alleged officer brutality, yet no Grand Jury indictments. As stated by then Superintendent Fred Butterworth about the killing of inmate by inmate, "What do you expect in the big house?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Truth sets you free on March 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is an undeniable eye-opener regarding the realities of prison and police brutality. Whether you agree with the author's lifestyle or not, you will truly be amazed at what he has suffered at the hands of "justice." Crime does have consequences, but if you can read about Myles' life and still believe that our social justice system is fair and equitable, then peace be with you. I know Myles. The stories are all true. I told him my one complaint with the book is that it does not capture the richness and depth of his character. Critiques of his life choices are understandable, but even so, he is the kindest, most gentle person you could ever know. He would literally give the shirt off his back to anyone. To such an extent that his friends actually tease him about it. Mesh that truth with his vast intelligence and life choices and you have quite a book. Read this book and understand that life is not an episode of "Law and Order."
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