The Face Thief
Other Editions of This Title:
February 2012 Indie Next List
— Shawn Bridges, Literary Lion, Stephenville, TX
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Praise For The Face Thief…
“Psychological depth and mystery cast in great sentences: the result is a suspenseful, beautifully achieved example of what happens when a serious novelist wants us to keep turning the pages.”
-Francine Prose, New York Times bestselling author of My New American Life
“A dark libido animates this novel that can’t be resisted. The reward is an intimate literary encounter with a force that is beyond good and evil, and turns the mystical screws behind our unfathomable human destinies.”
-Walter Kirn, author of Up in the Air and Lost in the Meritocracy
“One of those remarkable books that sneaks up on the reader, startles, and remains memorable long after the final paragraph is read.”
“A sublime thriller…an elegant and profound novel of memory, perception and reinvention.”
“A taut psychological thriller… Not just a gifted storyteller, Gottlieb provocatively explores human relationships and the lies we tell ourselves and each other.”
“The Face Thief pushes you down the stairs on the first page and never lets you get your feet back under you. Extraordinary characters… Gottlieb expertly guides you through the minds and emotions of the people who drive this crafty psychological thriller. This is a must-read.”
-The Daily News
“With words that trip smoothly across the page like stones skimming the surface of a still pond, Eli Gottlieb brings to life three main characters in the The Face Thief. … A mesmerizing read.”
“The Face Thief is compulsively, irresistibly readable. … Page-turning.…Compelling…. Unparalleled sex-appeal… Gottlieb has a marvelous sense of suspense. ”
“Frightfully good…Gottlieb’s writing is strong.”
“Gottlieb’s stunning structural dynamics, stylistic virtuosity, and shrewd reading of contemporary culture make for a compelling, thought-provoking tale.”
-Sacramento/San Francisco Book Review
“A fast-paced and compelling story.”
“A remarkable book that sneaks up on the reader, startles, and remains memorable long after the last paragraph is read.”
“An effective study of the effects of greed on the human psyche.”
William Morrow, 9780061735059, 256pp.
Publication Date: January 1, 2012
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
What does the title refer to—who is the Face Thief?
What does the novel’s opening tell you about Margot Lassiter? Who is she? Why is she so successful at what she does? What factors influenced her character and behavior? What ultimately drives her manipulation?
How did Margot view men? Do you think she would be as successful conning women? Do you think gender plays a role in her ability to seduce? How much would you say her effectiveness depended on sex—and how much tapped into some deeper human element?
How are men and woman each portrayed in The Face Thief? Use examples from the book to explain. How accurate do you think these portraits are?
Compare the three men involved with Margot. How did she reel each one in? Why was Potash so easily swayed by her? What about Lawrence? Why was Dan so protective of her, even when he was aware of her alleged crimes?
Through the course of the book, we see Margot work her skilled charms on several men. Why did these smart, experienced, and savvy men fall for her cons? If someone as skilled as Lawrence Billings, as sophisticated as John Potash, and as experienced as Dan France can be taken in, how can any other man resist her?
When Lawrence tells his wife, Glynnis, about Margot, do you think her reaction is appropriate? How serious was Lawrence’s transgression? Should he have told her earlier, given their past marital troubles? Would you say they Lawrence and Glynnis have a typical marriage?
In its review of The Face Thief, Publishers Weekly says, “Gottlieb provocatively explores human relationships and the lies we tell ourselves and each other.” Whydo we lie to ourselves? Why do we wear masks in the world? How would the world be different if we exposed our true faces?
According to Margot, “the real reason we have faces, is to hold back what we’re thinking from the world.” But is she right? Don’t most of us—albeit unconsciously—express what we think of the world on our faces? Isn’t that why she can get away with the things that she does?
What was Margot telling Lawrence in her last letter? Why did she thank him for what he did to her? Did he react the way she imagined he would when he received it? Did Margot truly love Lawrence? Do you think she’s even capable of such feelings? What drew her to him?
What impact did Margot ultimately have on the lives of the men whom she duped?
Were you satisfied with the ending? Should she be punished for what she’s done?