Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman? (Montmorency Series #1)

Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman? (Montmorency Series #1)

Audio Other(Other - Unabridged, 3 Cassettes, 5 hrs. 11 min.)

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Overview

[Montmorency] realized that in spite of the smell, the dark, and the possible danger...being here, underground, was already taking on a special thrill for him.... He had promised himself he wouldn't go too far that night. He would go up a likely-looking ladder, steal what he could, and get home as fast as possible....

When a petty thief is gravely injured trying to escape from the police, what should have been the death of him marks the beginning of a whole new life. Upon his release from prison, Montmorency becomes Victorian London's most elusive burglar, adopting a dual existence as a gentleman and his servant. But he must always be on guard. The smallest mistake could reveal his secret and ruin both his lives.

Eleanor Updale's gripping debut novel is witty and wholly original, with a voice reminiscent of Edgar Allan Poe.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807223697
Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/24/2004
Series: Montmorency Series , #1
Edition description: Unabridged, 3 Cassettes, 5 hrs. 11 min.
Product dimensions: 4.50(w) x 7.25(h) x 1.15(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author


Eleanor Updale studied history at St. Anne’s College in Oxford, England, before becoming a producer of TV and radio current affairs programs for the BBC. She is studying for a Ph.D. at the new Centre for Editing Lives and Letters at Queen Mary College, University of London. She is also a trustee of the charity Listening Books. She lives in England. Montmorency is her first book.

Customer Reviews

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Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think I was first hooked as I flipped throught the book with the line, 'Cissie Longman's mustache was positively twitching...' (I won't say the rest of the sentence, lest I spoil anything for anyone) What an opening line for a character! I had to read it, and I was perfectly satisfied. It's a great read, a great idea. You 'fall in love' with the characters. It's absolutely wonderfully good clean fun. Great for anyone who enjoys intrigue, suspense, and redemption. I can't wait for the next one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Montmorency doesn't have much of a plot. It focuses on a released convict's plan to begin a new life of stealing. We go into his mind as he, as Montmorency, experiences the life of a gentleman, and his second life, Scrapner, continues to make his other-self rich.
mkschoen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Prisoner 493 is a Victorian thief, caught and imprisoned after suffering multiple injuries falling through a skylight. His injuries draw the attention of Dr. Fawcett, who puts his body back together and shows him off to members of the Scientific Society. During one of these meetings he sees detailed plans for London's new sewer system, which gives him an idea for a new criminal life. Once out of prison he uses his knowledge of the sewers as a secret passage and escape route that he can flee to after robbing elegant homes and shops. He soon begins leading a double life: Scarper the thief, who lives in a hovel in Covent Garden and performs the thefts, and Montmorency, a gentleman staying at the Marimion Hotel.The story starts off grimly, detailing his injuries and the grueling prison life. The pace wanes in the middle as the lead character establishes his double life. And the last bit feels very akin to a later Christie, where Poirot is called in to help the Queen out of a tight spot (all must remain secret of course). The setting, plot and style also reminded me of Arsene Lupin, Poe, Raffles and Sherlock Homes.But as a YA novel there are some interesting bits - the essential question of identity - which man is he really? The character thinks of himself as two men, Scarper and Montmorency (though interestingly neither is his real name, and we never learn anything about his life before prison.) Would be an excellent pairing with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Also - there are no young adult characters (other than the minor character of Vi, a budding prostitute and the daughter of his Covent Garden landlady.) What to Read Next - It could be an excellent transition into some of the books mentioned above, or Dickens as well, with the Victorian setting.
CandyKittyChan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Montmorency was a great book to read but it was boring. Most of the time it was a good book but when the boring points hit they lasted for almost two-five chapters at a time.
TeenBookReviews on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The fall through the glass roof should have killed him. Instead prisoner 493 is saved by the efforts of a philanthropic young doctor and uses his time in prison to develop the ultimate plan, to be come a gentleman thief. When he is released, 493 chooses a new name and sets his plan in motion. I quite enjoyed this book. Not everyone will enjoy it because of the very British-ness of the writing and because it is set in Victorian London. However, Montmorency is a very interesting character. He changes from a immoral thief, to a somewhat moral gentleman, and the struggle to reconcile the two is acknowledged and handled without weighting down the story. A twist at the end leaves the book open for another installment. If you like historical fiction, or interesting characters you should read this book.
wiremonkey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ah. Victorian London. Why is it so appealing? I blame Dickens. There is something about the veneer of propriety and the seedy underbelly that is endlessly fascinating. This book follows convict Montmorency, who would have died of his injuries from falling through the skylight of a factory while running away from a job if it were not for the zealous young surgeon who undertakes to fix him. They call him Montmorency, as that was the name on the bag of tools he had stolen when they found him. The doctor uses him as a sort of Medical prop for his presentations to the Scientific society, taking Montmorency from jail and displaying him in front of an audience. During these trips, Montmorency picks up not only the speech patterns and attitudes of the upper class but the secret to his future success as a thief: the new London sewer system. When he is released, Montmorency commences his double life: working class Scarper lives in a small, shabby room. Montmorency lives in a fine hotel.Although an intriguing read, I found that it was hard to feel anything for the main character. We don't know where he came from and we hardly know how he feels about his present situation. He is a shadowy figure, in the book as well as the mind of the reader. However, the description of the sewers is very interesting as well as the treatment in prisons and the scientific society. It is like Updale has set up a character to represent the two Londons mentioned above: the genteel, educated society and the city's dirtier parts.Although I enjoyed it, it didn't grab me as much as I was expecting it to. Perhaps because Montmorency is always on his own- nobody really pierces his armour and he is never unveiled for the criminal he is. Also, and I know this is only a personal thing, but there is no woman. No foil. The women are either working classes semi-whores or grubby insipid husband seekers. Though I know this is not part of the story, I would have liked at least one likeable woman in the book. Still, as an introduction to Victorian London for twelve year olds, it could be worse. Though I would perhaps have gone with Pullman's Ruby and The smoke, or one of the young Sherlock books- especially the Shane Peacock one. There is still a lot of historical details in it, but with meatier characters.
Denise701 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Montmorency started life as a thief, but is injured during one of his capers. His life is saved by one Dr. Farcett, who uses Montmorency as a kind of walking advertisement for his skill as a surgeon and physician. Because of his contact with the upper crust of society, Montmorency develops a longing for a different kind of life, and he uses the knowledge he gains from contact with Dr. Farcett's world to create that life for himself. But can a man really escape his past? How long will Montmorency be able to fool others that he is what he appears to be? The book is full of surprises, and one doesn't know whether to cheer Montmorency or condemn him. And that's part of its delicious appeal.
ctmsmihet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Montmorency: Theif, Liar, Gentleman by Elanor Updale, is aboout a petty theif in London, who falls off a building and is miraculously put back together by a great surgeon. While in jail he learns many new skills he will need to become a good theif. When Montmorency gets out of jail he develops a new personality. one for theiving (Scarper) and one to be rich (Montmorency) Elanor Updale has the reader scoureging through the sewer with Scarper. Or drinking in a fancy bar with Montmorency. When a reader likes a book thats what he feels like. exiting reality and enterig this place where anything can and will happen. Another reason I liked this book is besause instead of a cop being the main character it is a criminal. It gives anew meaning to the good guys and the bad guys. I kinda like this new perspective that Elanor Updale gives me. This book was very interesting. And when I was reading it I always wanted to know what happened next. It was fun learning about how he tricked the cops, and funny reading about the times he was drunk, and that is why I rated this book 4 stars
mcilibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
All and all a good book although a very easy read. A decent representation of life in old England. It will have you guessing and on your toes till the end of the book
cmbohn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved the idea for this story. Montmorency is a thief. He is injured in a fall though a glass roof. Normally this would be fatal, but a Victorian surgeon gets permission from the prison to use him as an experiment. He patches the criminal back together and saves his life.But the inmate decides he wants more than his old life. He wants to be free to start over. He plots his escape and finds a way to finance a new life for himself.This is the first in a series, and by far the best. The books become political in nature, all about preventing the anarchists from destroying England. Pretty dull and very bleak. But this first one is a great stand alone read.CMB
mattsya on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not for everyone, with its very British tone and its period setting, but Montmorencey makes a great victorian era super-hero. The setting is vividly described and readers will not forget the descriptions of London sewers. The first of several in a series, this will be a favorite for a select few. Many others will choose to skip.
lunanshee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The fall through the glass roof should have killed him. Instead prisoner 493 is saved by the efforts of a philanthropic young doctor and uses his time in prison to develop the ultimate plan, to be come a gentleman thief. When he is released, 493 chooses a new name and sets his plan in motion. I quite enjoyed this book. Not everyone will enjoy it because of the very British-ness of the writing and because it is set in Victorian London. However, Montmorency is a very interesting character. He changes from a immoral thief, to a somewhat moral gentleman, and the struggle to reconcile the two is acknowledged and handled without weighting down the story. A twist at the end leaves the book open for another installment. If you like historical fiction, or interesting characters you should read this book.
jjmcgaffey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thought this would be funny - it's not, it's a very strong story with highly varied motivations, changing over time. And never much of a hint who he was before - was his face changed too? OK, want the sequels.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
Got this at a book sale, having not heard of the series or the author. And from the summary, this sounded just my kind of book. And wow was it. It had mystery, interesting characters, a fast pace, and really good writing. One of my favorite series for sure.
AliceGrace More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. I was a little skeptical at first at how this would all turn out and it didn't end the way I would have expected. He's almost two different people at first but by the end of the book even when Monmorency is trying to be Scarper he has trouble and is more the gentlman, Montmorency, than he is the thief, Scarper. Nothing changes it though that he is a lier. He may have become a gentleman in deceitful ways but I'm of the opion that in the end he is not truly the thief, he is the gentleman. He unexpectedly finds himself returning some of the things he stole in the begining right after he was released from prison. I do wish that he had been able to speak with Dr. Farcett that would have been interesting. It was written well. There were some parts that had a little too much detail but it didn't go on forever which was good. The character building and portrayel was great for both Montmerencey and Scarper you could clearly see the difference between the two. When he was Scarper there was no thought for others, only himself. When he was Montmorency he was civil and at times did regret some of the things he (or Scarper) had stolen because someone else payed for his crime.
fitz12383 More than 1 year ago
"Sewage stinks, but rich people, on the whole, don't." Allow me to introduce you to Scarper, a thief who sneaks around the sewers. Or is he Montmorency, the charming, wealthy gentleman living the high life of the well to do? Try both! This Jekyll and Hyde-esque novel is so wonderful. The plot is non-stop action and the characters are so very well-written. Montmorency, a seasoned yet likeable criminal, is saved through scientific advances and cutting edge surgery by the prison physician, Dr. Farcett. While being displayed by the good doctor in a lecture one day, Montmorency overhears a discussion on London's sewer system and his alter ego Scarper is born, along with an elaborate plan to make him rich. Although the book was published as a young adult novel, I do believe I enjoyed it more now than I would have as a teenager. It was a fast-paced and witty thriller and, lucky for me, there are 3 more in the series. Highly recommended :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Plobby More than 1 year ago
Montmorency; The story of a thief, a liar, and even a gentleman. This story takes place in London, around the 1800's, where a man whose real name remains unknown plummets through a skylight while he is being chased by the police. After the accident, he is facing death. However, a young doctor who goes by the name of Robert Farcett shows up and decides to take on the challenge of "Piecing" him back together. As this man is in surgery he hears and learns about what is going on around him. Until one day, he hears about the implementation of London's new sewer system and designs a plot in which he can steal and escape using the brand new sewer system. This ingenious plan involves him creating two new personalities. The first personality we meet in the book is named Scarper. Scarper's main reason for being created is to be able to economically support Montmorency's (Other personality) stay at the luxurious Marimion Hotel. Scarper is a character whom represents the more real side of him. And actually it also represents the lower class. Seeing as to how Scarper dwells in the "rough" parts of town. The second personality we meet in the book is named Montmorency. Montmorency is essentially a façade. He is designed to take heat off of Scarper, since he can actually change from one to the other in practically no time. Montmorency is seen as a more "artificial" side of him, yet he still remains as the main point of focus throughout the story. Throughout the story we notice how these two personalities tend to contrast themselves, this is probably due to the nature of authors and how they feel the need to make FOIL characters. A good example of this could be how there is a more humane side to Scarper, while Montmorency seems to be a bit more egocentric. A crucial part of the story is how the personalities themselves turn sides. For example, in a part of the story we can see that Montmorency (As well as Scarper) begins to feel a sense of guilt, and even a sense of pity for those from whom he steals from. Feelings which earlier on meant nothing to him. I'm happy to say that I actually enjoyed reading this book, since it wasn't too much of a hassle to read, and it was actually really interesting. The story itself is very immersive, since I actually found myself sitting there for long periods of time without even standing up to get anything. And I'm quite happy to have finally found a book that I enjoyed reading. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants a "not-too-long", yet interesting read.
Kaede More than 1 year ago
I've read this book at least once a year for four years. It's just so enthralling and keeps you guessing. Montmorency, sometimes known as Scarper, is always coming up with new, incredibly inventive ideas! It's a good book to practice reading skills too. There are so many characters, you have to really pay attention to know who is who, but that takes nothing away from the actual story.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is wonderful and captivating.I have never read anything like it!It is my absoltuely favorite book!I didn't realize how much I liked it until the third time I picked it up.I could not stop reading it, and when I did,I yerned to continue.His robberies were thrilling.I found it amusing when he began to dislike Scarper.I absolutely loved it, and I know anybody who picks it up will love it too.
Lunanshee More than 1 year ago
The fall through the glass roof should have killed him. Instead prisoner 493 is saved by the efforts of a philanthropic young doctor and uses his time in prison to develop the ultimate plan, to be come a gentleman thief. When he is released, 493 chooses a new name and sets his plan in motion. I quite enjoyed this book. Not everyone will like it because of the very British-ness of the writing and because it is set in Victorian London. However, Montmorency is a very interesting character. He changes from a immoral thief, to a somewhat moral gentleman, and the struggle to reconcile the two is acknowledged and handled without weighting down the story. A twist at the end leaves the story open for another installment. If you like historical fiction, or interesting characters you should read this book.