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The Pickpocket Article in “The New Yorker”

HAVE YOU READ IT? Here is why Adam Green has created the Platonic Ideal of a New Yorker article.

1. It is not behind the paywall (subscribe anyway!)

2. It is about the world’s greatest pickpocket.

3. It is like a new installment of the “Ocean’s” franchise, but without whatever recurring character you, personally, find aggravating.

4. The pickpocket, Apollo Robbins (APOLLO ROBBINS), calls what he does “stealing.”

5. He is perfectly happy to show you how he does it!

I said, “So if you were going to take the wallet that’s when you would have done it, on the turn?” Robbins brought his hand forward to show me that he was holding my wallet between his fingers. Even though he had explained each step along the way, I hadn’t felt a thing.

6. But even when he shows you, you can’t see, because he is so good as to be basically magic.

7. How is it not magic, at this point? When no one else in the world can do it?

8. He steals the cartridge out of Jillette’s pen: “By now, a small crowd had gathered. Jillette removed his ring, put it down on the paper, unclipped a pen from his shirt, and leaned forward, preparing to draw. After a moment, he froze and looked up. His face was pale.”

9. This! “Then he turned to the head of the detail and handed him his watch, his badge, and the keys to the Carter motorcade.”

10. He has an impossible dream. It’s at the very end. It sounds exactly like a missing eighth story from “The Story of Henry Sugar and Six More.”


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