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Reviewed by Ica Iova for Readers' Favorite
Michael Sprankle’s Love and Theft is an intensely absorbing and excellently written blend of fiction with true events. The protagonist, Michael Malone, has a series of encounters with the law, but he doesn’t necessarily see that as a bad thing. At some point, he even sees himself as Marcello Rubini — the journalist who covered tabloid news of movie stars while searching for a more meaningful way of life in Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. However, deep down, Michael knows that with each passing day his life spirals further into decadence. Finally, tired or perhaps sick and tired of computer hacking and thievery, he heads to New York City, trying to find his happiness there. But his obsession with art, coupled with his distorted perception of reality, continues to lead him to the dark side of the criminal underworld.
Peppered with plenty of insight into New York's nightlife, drug use, and art world, Love and Theft by Michael Sprankle is humorous and poignant. A fresh spin on misplaced human awareness, yet a comforting tale of redemption. Told with charm, empathy, and plenty of suspense, then sprinkled with historical, artistic, and even some religious facts which Sprankle infuses throughout the book, Love and Theft is disarmingly frisky. Reading it is like spending the day with an astute, uplifting friend. The reader can relate to Michael Malone; he is humorous, inventive, intricate, and fascinating. He explores notions of our everyday struggles to differentiate between doing the right thing and doing what we perceive to be the right thing.