Books: Model Thief

A streetwise novel about a modern Robin Hood

Ben Schrank's debut novel, Miracle Man (William Morrow; 290 pages; $13), is a brilliantly observed story about the desire to live in an egalitarian world. The protagonist, Martin Kelly Minter, is a white middle-class son of hippie schoolteachers who finds himself increasingly troubled by the socioeconomic inequality that he sees all around him. He also happens to be a kleptomaniac. Kelly's crusade to redistribute the world's wealth begins when he drops out of Vassar, moves into an illegal sublet in Spanish Harlem and takes a job with the Miracle Moving company, which specializes in relocating rich clients.

The only remnants of...

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