But I do think there are a couple of problems with this book. Perhaps they fall under the pet peeves category, so take these criticisms for what they are worth. The lesser difficulty I have with The Stupid Crook Book concerns the many, many bad puns that seem to end most of the stories. A few is okay, but many were a stretch and the sheer number should make one groan.
The most significant flaw in this little volume is that not every story is about a person who is actually stupid, unless “stupid” is part of your general definition of criminal. In some cases, the criminal hasn’t done something idiotic, but has really had circumstances go against them (perhaps it is bad karma). Some of the stories are more about the odd things that criminals try to steal than about brainlessness that gets them caught. I’m not saying we should have sympathy for burglars who are having a bad day or robbers stealing a toilet or popsicles. However, with so many bad criminals in the world, why throw in narratives about what many would really call bad luck? (By the way, are criminals “smart” when they get away with their crimes? Where is the stupid police book?)
I’m sure my issues with The Stupid Crook Book won’t bother the average reader. As I mentioned, the book is, overall, pleasurable, even if that pleasure comes from thinking the reader is certainly not as dumb as the moronic and unsuccessful felons Mr. Gregory writes about.