Thick as Thieves: A Brother, a Sister—a True Story of Turbulent Lives

Steve Geng, Author . Holt $24 (292p) ISBN 978-0-8050-8056-8

In his bold memoir, Geng takes readers on a wild ride through low-life Paris, Miami and above all, New York City. The brother of New Yorker writer Veronica Geng (who died of a brain tumor in 1997), Geng enjoyed a lucrative career as a petty criminal—and hardcore junkie—while his sister climbed the masthead of the New Yorker . The chronicle of Geng's misadventures includes prison stints, an HIV diagnosis in the early 1980s and murder attempts by not one but two girlfriends, the second one drugging Geng before setting him on fire. It's amazing that Geng is still alive and a miracle that a man who didn't pick up a pen until he was in his 50s writes with such vigor and joy. "Record Steve," as he was known for his LP shoplifting skills, draws vivid scenes of Parisian brothels, South Beach stints on Miami Vice and the hipster underworld of 1960s and '70s Greenwich Village. Geng tells of meeting such celebrities as Don Johnson, Debbie Harry and Leroi Jones (who told Geng that heroin was keeping Gengyoung), but his finest descriptions are of his fellow hustlers. Although his sister's rarely involved in Geng's hijinks, she hovers throughout the narrative as a puzzle, goad and guardian angel. (May)

Reviewed on: 01/29/2007
Release date: 05/01/2007
Paperback - 292 pages - 978-0-8050-8767-3
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4299-2804-5
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