The Art of the Heist Book Review

I one day hope to write an autobiography WITHOUT a mugshot on the cover.
One day I hope to write an autobiography WITHOUT a mugshot on the cover.

I read a book recently called The Art of the Heist. It’s an autobiography/memoir written by Myles J. Connor Jr. He was assisted in writing the book by Jenny Siler.

The title probably gives a pretty good hint that Connor is a career thief. He made his living robbing banks and he had a side hobby of stealing valuable art pieces.

The book starts off by describing a museum robbery that occurred while Connor was in jail. The police blamed Connor for the robbery and as he explains later on, he had given advice to the people that committed the crime on how to rob the museum.

The story shifts next to Connor’s failed jailbreak from the first time he was incarcerated. Finally, after all that, it begins telling his story in chronological order, from his first robbery to his eventual third incarceration decades later for dealing drugs.

The stories of how he committed his robberies are interesting. Most of the time it was a combination of inside knowledge and poor security on the part of the place he was robbing.

Connor talks about how he’d learn a museum’s security by posing as a donator to the museum. He’d get a tour of the facility including places that normal visitors don’t get to see. He’d then come back a few weeks later at night, sneak through a window, and take whatever he wanted.

What makes the story so interesting is that you start rooting for Connor.

Several times Connor is accused of crimes that he didn’t commit and is put on trial. He deserves to go to jail, but for different reasons than those he is accused of. The writing made me share in his frustration of being falsely accused.

It’s also very clear that Connor is an intelligent person who could’ve done a lot of good things if he hadn’t been so attracted to stealing things.

His SAT scores are amazing, he’s smart enough to organize a criminal gang for years without being caught, and he’s smart enough to have a college-educated girlfriend who is aware of his crimes, but never has enough information that she can testify against him.

There’s some stuff about how criminals act that comes up in the book that I wouldn’t get to see in my daily life. Connor talks about honor amongst criminals. He has a code for how people act when they’re part of his gang. Two of his members break that code and he almost kills them. Criminals operate outside of the law, but they still enforce rules upon themselves to maintain some amount of order.

Connor also discusses his perpetual battle with the police. I think he views the police and the government as “just the crime gang in charge of everyone else.”

When the cops are unable to find enough evidence to arrest Connor for crimes that he did commit they start building cases to connect him to crimes he was only loosely involved in.

The false cases bring to light what might be a common practice in the judicial system. The State’s Attorney comes up to a criminal and says something along the lines of, “Confess to your crime and testify that this other guy I want to arrest committed a similar crime and I’ll cut your prison sentence in half.”

If the other guy didn’t commit that crime, there’s still a heavy incentive for the first criminal to lie and say he did. That’s exactly what happens to Connor on more than one occasion.

I’d recommend Art of the Heist for anyone who likes thriller novels or who has always wondered how criminals think. For people interested in a dramatic story, I should say that there were parts of the book where I had to put it down for several days before I was ready to read it again as the material was so intense.

I looked up Connor to see what he’s doing now that he’s out of prison. Apparently he was arrested in 2012 for petty theft of a cellphone. This was apparently part of a drug deal gone bad, but there wasn’t enough evidence to convict him of that. Even at over 70 years old he is still a career criminal because, as he says in is book, “he enjoys it.”

-GoCorral

Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 19

Previous: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 18

Most people in Gurutama fear the grez, but one group doesn’t, the Empire Dwarves who still believe in their original mission to destroy Navillus, no matter how corrupted that mission became.

We also see the splitting of the elves into two groups, those who stay behind in Halusho and those who build a new home in the Eastern Maw. This move also coincides with the start of Hykma’s rise to power as the commercial center of the world. Hykma will remain on top by the end despite facing many challenges. Hykma hasn’t been mentioned in the Timeline since 245 NA when the city was founded (Part 9), but it’ll be showing up a lot more from now on.

620 NA: While the rest of the world feared the grez, the Syluki Dwarves reveled in the destruction of the Demon’s city after so many crusades. The Great Alliance, created so long ago, finally paid off. Not caring that the Hero died in the carnage, the Syluki Dwarf nobility sent a congratulatory embassy to the grez. The grez thanked the dwarves and said they were happy to do their part to remove the Navillus threat.

622 NA: The Syluki Dwarves began to gather their forces once again. They planned to retake the Najaran cities, crush the Bwarlor, and punish the merfolk for their betrayal. Secretly the Brotherhood was in control and a new crusade would begin.

625 NA: The Farpoint Dwarves officially split off from the Syluki Dwarves. They no longer wished war with their Human neighbors. The Dwarves of Syluk vow to subjugate the Farpoint Dwarves as well.

630 NA: The mighty Najaran Empire faded into ashes and the cities gave up their last false pretenses of supposed unity. Cynelle, the youngest daughter of Old Najar, was the first to proclaim herself a free city. Emissaries were sent to the nations of the world, suing for peace and offering prosperous trade agreements

637 NA: The elves enacted their long thought out plan. The Homestone Bridge was built at great expense over the Great Canal. All but the most stubborn elves waved their corrupted forest home goodbye. They traveled into the east and set up a new city in the Lower Maw called Rotandean. The elves struck up a positive relationship with their new neighbors, the Hykmans and the rana. The Bridge of the sylvan folk was covered by a great ward. Only non-hobgoblins may pass across the Homestone Bridge.

638 NA: The hobgoblins continued their barbarity after the majority of the elves left Halusho.

-Mister Ed

Next: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 20