The Pickpocket — A Short Story

In this award-winning short story, a professional pickpocket in Paris recalls the career he chose as a boy, his early training, and remarkable episodes in his working life. He reveals a nostalgia for an earlier era when even pickpockets showed greater respect for the quality of their craft.

This captivating story—after being rejected by numerous literary magazines in the U.S.—won first prize in a literary competition in France co-sponsored by the Sorbonne University and Paris Transcontinental magazine. It later was included in several anthologies, including Houghton Mifflin’s The Best American Mystery Stories 2003.

This e-book contains a special Author’s Note in which Christopher Cook describes the long, twisting journey of this fascinating story from its creation to its final incarnation on the international stage.

“The Pickpocket” also is available in a bilingual French-English edition, “Le Pickpocket.” You can find information on that edition elsewhere on the website or by clicking on its image in the Amazon panel to the right.

What readers are saying about “The Pickpocket”—

“Beautiful, lyrical prose plus a tale with twists that make you laugh and make you think. O. Henry would love it!”

“Christopher Cook’s grand tale engaged me from the first page… First-rate story telling.”

“A finely crafted tale of a life on the street and living by one’s wits, the complexities of honour amongst thieves and pride in ones craft, but also a meditation on the process of aging, the inevitability of change, and an evocation of the most visited city in the world.”

“I have loved short stories all of my life. A well written one like this makes the world around me disappear.”

“A book you will revisit over the years, and one that may take you to Christopher Cook’s other fascinating works. Trust me. Buy it.”

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