Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_plcc_6M_fly_beacon Adele egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Get Ready for the Winter Gifts Under $50 Amazon Gift Card Offer bf15 bf15 bf15 $30 Off Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Black Friday Deals Outdoors Gift Guide on DOTD
The Thief of Time and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $16.99
  • Save: $10.19 (60%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 1 left in stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
The Thief of Time has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by Pastimebooks
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Very Good: Cover and pages show some wear from reading and storage.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Thief of Time Paperback – Bargain Price, January 22, 2008

24 customer reviews

See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
Paperback, Bargain Price
"Please retry"
$4.94 $1.58

This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but could include a small mark from the publisher and an price sticker identifying them as such. Details

Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book
$6.80 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 1 left in stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Thief of Time
  • +
  • The House of Special Purpose
  • +
  • Crippen: A Novel of Murder
Total price: $35.05
Buy the selected items together

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more

  • Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Published in the U.K. before his hits Crippen and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, this novel sails similarly historical currents with mixed results. Matthieu Zela is 256 years old in 1999, but doesn't look a day over 50. (Bafflingly—to himself, too—he simply stopped aging.) Loquacious Matthieu crisscrosses the centuries with wry, autobiographical narration, moving from his current incarnation as a satellite TV entrepreneur in London to his coming-of-age in the 1750s, when he leaves Paris for England with his young half-brother Tomas in tow and meets his one true love, Dominique Sauvet. Matthieu's one deep regret, however, isn't romance-related: of the 10 generations of Thomases descended from his brother, each has had his life cut short, "either by his own stupidity or by the machinations of the times." Matthieu's current nephew, Tommy, a wildly popular soap opera star, is a heroin addict and not long for this world. Matthieu vows to prevent his too-early demise. In between, Matthieu shares too predictable highlights from his brushes with world events (the French Revolution, the 1929 stock market crash, etc.) and famous people (Pope Pius IX, Charlie Chaplin, the Rosenbergs). The picaresque nature of this hopscotch through history's hot spots suits Boyne's big-canvas talent, but Matthieu, in his unexplained immortality, is more like a storytelling device than a fully realized character. This novel is not a follow-up but a practice run. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Akin to Dorian Gray (but without the debauched lifestyle), Matthieu Zela is over 250 years old but still looks like a man in his late 40s. Born in Paris in 1743, Matthieu is orphaned as a teenager and sails to England with his half-brother Tomas--there he meets his one true love, the beautiful yet manipulative Dominique. After their affair ends in tragedy, he embarks on a colorful journey through the centuries, meeting up with such notables as Pope Pius IX, Robespierre, Charlie Chaplin, Herbert Hoover, and the Rosenbergs. All the while, he watches over each successive generation of his half-brother's descendents--all male, all with some variant of the name Thomas, and all sadly dying at a young age (but not before begetting an heir). He never bewails his long-lived condition like some dissolute character out of an Anne Rice novel, but enjoys life and, in his words, leads a "constructive existence." This lively historical saga (with a touch of the fantastic--the reason for Matthieu's longevity is never explored) is undyingly recommended. Michael Gannon
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (January 22, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312378041
  • ASIN: B0041T4OZI
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,276,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971 and is the author of seven novels for adults and three for children. The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas won two Irish Book Awards, was shortlisted for the British Book Award, reached no.1 on the New York Times Bestseller List and was made into an award-winning Miramax feature film. His novels are published in over 45 languages. He lives in Dublin.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Rich Stoehr on February 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
"And I am not one of these long-living fictional characters who prays for death as a release from the captivity of eternal life; not for me the endless whining and wailing of the undead."

With these words, written on the first few pages of his novel "The Thief of Time," John Boyne pretty much sold me on the central idea of the book: a man who is over 250 years old but looks like a man in his late 40's or early 50's, and who has looked essentially the same for about 200 years.

Matthieu Zela, the long-lived main character, has lived a long time and seen much change in his life. I found the perspective he had on his apparent immortality quite refreshing -- he does not question it and he does not curse it. He simply accepts it as part of his life and lives...really lives. In his time he experiences the French Revolution, the Great Exhibition, the Great Depression, the rise of Hollywood, war, marriage, love, and death. So much death, all around him...but not for him.

The strength of the book comes from its ability to capture uniquely all the different time periods experienced and convince us that they are all seen through the eyes of this one singular character. Bouncing back and forth to different places in the past to modern day and back to the past again, Boyne tells several stories in parallel, and we slowly come to learn about the central events in Matthieu's life that changed him most dramatically, including the loss of the first true love he would ever know. Each thread of story is skillfully handled, coming together at last in a satisfying ending that explains only just enough, and still leaves much up to the imagination of the reader.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C.J. on April 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In their review shown above the comment is made that the central character is "more like a story telling device than a fully realized character". The novel is really a grouping of chapters that skip back and forth through time, with the main focus on his early life before he stopped aging centuries ago, and then into the present day where he is a perpetually middle aged man. In between are stories that are for the most part unrelated to the other parts of the book. It's a bit like short stories imbedded in a novel. But I did not find them effective as short stories, nor did I gain any insight into the main character through these stories. The connecting thread is the fact that throughout his long life this never aging man has a young relative, beginning with his younger brother, always with the same name and always meeting a sad fate. This contrivance was unconvincing and confused. Did he have no other relatives? He had been married many times, wives who conveniently die young or others that we never are told about. Occasionally strong writing shows when he describes the character's early life, but fails to convince or even entertain when we go forward, and back again, then forward with stops here and there for a story that goes nowhere. I found the book unfulfilling as fantasy (which it never really tries to be despite the fantastical premise) and while occasionally effective and even entertaining as escapist melodrama, it just didn't work for me. I got through the whole thing but it took quite a while.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wonderfully gripping novel about the cost of immortality and the consequences of loving others. I started reading on the plane back from vacation and ended up walking through the airport with my nose buried in the book. Highly reccommend for those seeking a character study with vague undercurrents of philosophy.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MaineReader on August 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have become quite a fan of John Boyne this year and added this title to my library, just because he was the author. It turns out it is one of his earlier works and although it was a fun read it lacks the depth of his current works.
It is a different twist on the story line of eternal life. The lead character is flawed but likable and the construction of the story line is well done.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By N.G on May 20, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had loved the boy in the striped pajamas, however I am somewhat disappointed by this Boyne novel.
As entertaining as it might be to some, it gave me a very quick and shallow sum-up of the history of Europe in the last three hundred years more than follow a clear storyline. Some chapters were totally irrelevant to the main plot and the two phases of his life, its beginning and end, on which the author puts most weight, were quiet honestly, boring.
I had bought it along "Mutiny on Bounty" and hope that the second book won't disappoint me like this one did.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Musette on December 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What a good idea this seemed when I read the summary of this book. I had not read anything yet by John Boyne ... and now I don't think I will read another book of his. There are so many historical errors (some hilarious, like "kinescopes" in 1921!!) that I wished the author had hired someone who could do the necessary research. Even one "Thomas" character dies twice during World War II. It's hard to believe that the term "lifestyle" was in use during the last half of the 18th century and I know that "lunch" wasn't. So little day-to-day historical detail is glossed over and, as I said, there are so many errors (look at my notes in the Kindle edition). I kept on for the unintentional humor (the Rosenbergs in attendance at a glamorous Hollywood party in 1948!!) and to see how the character progresses It's beyond belief that so many Thomases led the same type of lives. It's all rather sophomoric ... and then there's the lack of proofreading, which is viciously endemic in Kindle e-books. It's obvious that the text was scanned and not corrected and probably that was done somewhere in a non-English speaking country. One chapter in particular has so many errors it's really hard to read. I especially loved "raisin d'etre" and "dead vu". Really lovely editing or lack of it. Am I asking for too much for my $7.00? I don't think so.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Thief of Time
This item: The Thief of Time
Price: $6.80
Ships from and sold by

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: time theif, a thief of time