caper


an escapade

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

“The Dhaka CAPER. Online thieves unseat the governor of Bangladesh’s central bank.”

The Economist

Did you
know?

caper
noun

- an illegal, unusual, or entertaining activity

- a small, dark green flower bud that is used as an ingredient to give a slightly sour taste to food

verb

- to run and jump about in an energetic, happy way

Cambridge Dictionary


ORIGIN

Coming from the Italian word "capriolare", a caper is an adventure, usually a fun one, but sometimes it’s something wild or even illegal.


A CAPER STORY

A caper story, also called a heist, is a type of crime fiction. It is different from a typical crime story because it is generally lighthearted, and features unusually clever thieves. These good bad-guys tend to think up very complicated plots that allow them to outsmart the police.

Usually the criminals are the most likeable characters in the story, the crimes are spectacular, and in most cases, no one is hurt. Often the plans are based on non-violent crimes, such as a poker swindle, or a kidnapping in which the hostage is secretly happy to get away from the cruel family.

Sometimes the criminals steal from millionaires, casinos, or even from other gangsters, which makes their actions seem almost honourable. The film Ocean’s Eleven is a good example of a caper, or the classic film The Sting, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford.


THE CORSICAN CAPER

This hilarious novel by Peter Mayle, has the brilliant opening sentence:

“Francis Reboul sat in the sunshine, contemplating his breakfast: a shot glass of extra-virgin olive oil, which the French insist is so beneficial for ‘le transit intestinal’, followed by a large bowl of ‘café crème’ and a croissant of such exquisite lightness that it threatened to float off the plate.”


SYNONYMS

buffoonery, CAPER, clownery, escapade, exploit, mischief, monkey business, monkeyshines, roguery, shady deal, shenanigans, skylarking, tomfoolery


SMUGGLE OWAD into a conversation today, say something like:

“Peter Mayle has written a number of hlilarious CAPER stories, including The Diamond CAPER, The Corsican CAPER, The Marseille CAPER, and the Vintage CAPER".


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Paul Smith

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