Gear Up for Football Learn more Industrial-Sized Deals TextBTS15 Shop Men's Hightops Learn more nav_sap_plcc_6M_fly_beacon David Ramirez UP3 $5 Off Fire TV Stick Shop Popular Services hog hog hog  Amazon Echo Starting at $99 Kindle Voyage
Catch Me If You Can and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Catch Me If You Can Mass Market Paperback – July 3, 1982

593 customer reviews

See all 45 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
$21.00 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Best Books of the Year So Far
Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Editorial Reviews Review

When this true-crime story first appeared in 1980, it made the New York Times bestseller list within weeks. Two decades later, it's being rereleased in conjunction with a film version produced by DreamWorks. In the space of five years, Frank Abagnale passed $2.5 million in fraudulent checks in every state and 26 foreign countries. He did it by pioneering implausible and brazen scams, such as impersonating a Pan Am pilot (puddle jumping around the world in the cockpit, even taking over the controls). He also played the role of a pediatrician and faked his way into the position of temporary resident supervisor at a hospital in Georgia. Posing as a lawyer, he conned his way into a position in a state attorney general's office, and he taught a semester of college-level sociology with a purloined degree from Columbia University.

The kicker is, he was actually a teenage high school dropout. Now an authority on counterfeiting and secure documents, Abagnale tells of his years of impersonations, swindles, and felonies with humor and the kind of confidence that enabled him to pull off his poseur performances. "Modesty is not one of my virtues. At the time, virtue was not one of my virtues," he writes. In fact, he did it all for his overactive libido--he needed money and status to woo the girls. He also loved a challenge and the ego boost that came with playing important men. What's not disclosed in this highly engaging tale is that Abagnale was released from prison after five years on the condition that he help the government write fraud-prevention programs. So, if you're planning to pick up some tips from this highly detailed manifesto on paperhanging, be warned: this master has already foiled you. --Lesley Reed --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Barrett Whitener's flawless reading uses all the right emotions and inflections to bring this international criminal to life. Most impressive is how Whitener leaves listeners rooting for Abagnale, whether he is avoiding arrest or escaping from an airplane or prison. --AudioFile

Although Abagnale is egotistical and unrepentant, he actually comes across as likeable. He's abetted in this by Whitener, who has a pleasing guy-next-door kind of voice and delivery. --Philadelphia Inquirer

A book that captivates from first page to last. -- West Coast Review of Books

Whatever the reader may think of his crimes, the reader will wind up chortling with and cheering along the criminal. --Charlottesville Progress

Zingingly told. . . richly detailed and winning as the devil. --Kirkus Reviews --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

See all Editorial Reviews

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 262 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket (July 3, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671462873
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671462871
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 4.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (593 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,488,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

126 of 130 people found the following review helpful By Gaetan Lion on June 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed the movie, but I did not believe any of it. How could a 16 year old pull off all these scams posing successfully as an airline pilot, lawyer, doctor, and FBI agent. Only in Hollywood! I had to read the book to uncover the truth. To my amazement, almost nothing in the movie was dramatized. Frank Abagnale did it all. And, this even includes the acrobatic escape from a commercial plane as it lands.

The book depicts a far richer story than the movie. At the start, the family situation is more complex. The scams are more intricate. The career path is more extraordinary. The movie skipped over interesting jobs, including a stint as a college sociology teacher.

Also amazing is that this teenager acquired far more knowledge about the meaning of every single digit on a personal check than any banker I know. And, I know, having been engaged in banking and finance for over two decades.

Frank's character development make the whole story more likely. Frank was not your regular 16 year old dude. At 16, he could easily pass for a fit 25 year old. He was 6 feet tall, 170 pounds. He also acquired quite a real world education by hanging out with his Dad. His Dad exposed him to political, business, and social circles that teenagers do not know. Thus, Frank Abagnale, being a keen observer, learned quickly how adults behave among themselves.

Frank was also strikingly handsome, and confident. So, the story includes many romantic interludes. This aspect of life is described most tastefully. There is nothing graphic here. And, it does not detract from the story. To the contrary, women were a key element in this scammer's education. They were often insiders to the professions he attempted to fake.
Read more ›
8 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
59 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Dave Schwinghammer VINE VOICE on December 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
One can't help but be impressed by Frank Abagnale's resourcefulness at such a tender age. At the age of sixteen he manages to forge a pilot's license and "deadhead" his way around the country bouncing checks. He also passes himself off as an pediatrician, a college professor, and an assistant district attorney. The last is probably his most impressive exploit, as he passes the bar exam (on his third try) with only two years of high school.
After years of exploiting the gullibility of bank tellers and airline clerks, Abagnale is finally captured in France, where he spends six hellacious months in a Devil's Island of a prison. He is then transferred to a Swedish prison, a one hundred and eighty degrees difference, more like a college dorm than a prison. He could've spent the rest of his life being handed from one European penal system to another, some of them vying for brutality with France, but he is saved by a Swedish judge who extradites him to the U.S. Back home, he escapes from apprehension at the airport and from prison later, embarrassing the F.B.I. and his nemesis agent O'Reilly. But, by then, just about every law enforcement official in America is on the lookout for him. He is ultimately captured and does four years jail time, only to emerge once more smelling like a rose. After a few years bouncing around doing such scut work as managing a grocery store and a pizza joint, he convinces a bank manager to let him give a lecture to his employees on how to spot a "paperhanger." From there, he's referred to another bank and another and so on. These days he teaches at the F.B.I Academy.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Kona VINE VOICE on January 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
Catch Me If You Can is Frank Abagnale's account of his life as a con man. His book is thrilling, incredible, and true. When he was 16, Frank's parents separated and he ran away to New York City. Frank, armed with supreme confidence, charm, and intelligence, successfully posed as an airline pilot, attorney (he even passed the bar!), a physician, and a college professor, while living the good life with millions of dollars he got from passing bad checks in over 20 countries; and all of this before he was twenty-one years of age.

Frank's wild exploits are told in a humerous, quick-paced style that is very readable. The joy he found in living the high life and romancing countless ladies around the world is matched by the the utter despair he faced in a brutal French prison where he was entombed in solitary confinement for months.

It's clear that Frank knew he was doing wrong, but was so addicted to the high he got from conning that he didn't want to stop. Frank is now a respected authority on counterfeiting and, in fact, teaches at the FBI Academy. This is a very exciting book!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Jussi Bjorling on August 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
I used to have a copy of the original 1980 edition of Abagnale's book, and lost a good friend several years ago when he skipped town with it. I've been waiting for the re-release anxiously.
You might expect it to be hard to root for someone with multiple felony convictions to get away with it. In fact, Abagnale's story is so interesting and so funny that you can't help but like him. This is reinforced by the fact that he seems to have so much fun with it himself, often playing up a role more than he strictly needs to, with hilarious results.
This book is terrific. There are no slack moments, no dull episodes, and some of them are outstanding (the time when he poses as a pediatrician and has to feign medical knowledge is perhaps the funniest thing I've ever read, followed closely by his attempt to pass himself off as an assistant attorney general). The fact that Abagnale has come clean and now works on the right side of the law is just one more reason to buy and read this tremendous book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews