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Fiction featuring Care Experience

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The Thief of Time

John Boyne


The Thief of Time (2000) by John Boyne has an unusual premise: narrator Matthieu Zela is 256 years old.

In 1758, Matthieu Zela is 15 years old and an orphan after the murder of his mother. He flees Paris with his five-year-old half-brother and travels to Dover.

From there, Matthieu has many adventures and meets incredible historical figures—such as Charlie Chaplin (who has a disturbing penchant for girls). He listens to a reading given by Charles Dickens, reads the first book published by Arthur Conan Doyle, contributes to the first Olympic Games in Athens 1896, and survives the Wall Street Crash of 1929.

An enduring concern is that the descendants of his brother, Tomas, die young. In 1999, Matthieu is wondering if he can intervene in the case of his current nephew, Tommy, a famous television star and drug addict.

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