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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
"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."
"Zingingly told... richly detailed and winning as the devil."
Saw movie, then read book. Movie good, book excellent read that removes the film makers over emphasis on the dramatics. The conveys reality.Published 5 days ago by Peter Ridgway
Great book. Loved the movie but it doesn't even come close to how much he stole and how he did it.Published 11 days ago by mhc
Unbelievable! Awesome book! A must read for anyone interested in Frank W. Abagnale.Published 1 month ago by Jason Sudbury
I loved this book! I love books that make me laugh & this one made me laugh out loud. Frank Abagnale's exploits, cons, etc. made this book hard to put down. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sharon Priest
I use this story in a high school English class. Most kids love it, especially since it's a true story. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jo
An absolutely remarkable story from a time long past. Imagine the days when air travel was still glamorous, paperwork was actually done on paper and everyone seemed to put complete... Read morePublished 1 month ago by S. Rudge