I just finished book number nine for the year: A Burglar’s Guide to the City by Geoff Manaugh. This book was gifted to me by my friend Jesse. He knows me well; I’m always up for reading about crime, psychology, or architecture, and this book covers all three.
The book is a mixture of historical events, personal experiences, and discussions of theory and psychology. It’s not an action-oriented book by any means, but it contains a respectable share of thrilling crime stories. It also covers quite a bit of ground, from lockpicking to government surveillance to municipal planning and more.
The broad range of topics never strays too far from the author’s primary message: that burglary forces us to view the world differently. Burglars are the original hackers, exploring vulnerabilities in architecture and exploiting them to their advantage. Whether he’s walking you through an infamous heist or an abstract discussion of transportation design, the author stays focused and delivers food for thought.
I enjoyed ‘A Burglar’s Guide’ and the way the author discusses architecture as a spatial worldview. Burglars see a door where others see a wall. They reject the expected use of a space and create their own. In a sense, it’s quite poetic.