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The Barefoot Bandit: The True Tale of Colton Harris-Moore, New American Outlaw Kindle Edition

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Length: 433 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews


"Will keep you on the edge of your seat."

"I doubt if even the best fiction writer could create a character like Colton Harris-Moore. This is an incredible but true story. Bob Friel is a gifted reporter and a very fine writer."―Nelson DeMille, New York Times bestselling author of The Gold Coast and The Lion

"Something about Colton Harris-Moore--crafty stealer of cars, boats, and airplanes--captured the fascination of our fast-moving country. But it took Bob Friel, a plucky reporter with a pitch-perfect story sense, to chase down the legend and make it real. In Friel's fine telling, the Barefoot Bandit emerges as both villain and folk hero in a thrilling modern fugitive tale."―Hampton Sides, author of Hellhound on His Trail

"A Dillinger-esque tale for our current Great Recession era. Friel not only gives a brilliantly clear-eyed look at a bandit's adventures but also the effects they had on his peaceful community."―Matthew Polly, bestselling author of American Shaolin and Tapped Out

"[A] true-crime classic."―Aspen Daily News

"Friel offers a thrilling portrait of a bright and neglected teen trying to outrun authorities and his own troubled past."―Booklist

"This highly entertaining story of a modern-day Huck Finn will be enjoyed by lovers of adventure stories as well as true crime."―Library Journal

"It is Friel's ability to spin a great yarn that draws the reader in from the start and never lets up. And he does it with deft reporting and a breezy and entertaining style that enlivens a tale as incredible as it is true."―Associated Press

"Riveting, thorough, and deeply human, this terrific read doesn't just tell the story-it brings it to life."―Marcus Sakey, bestselling author of The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes and The Blade Itself

About the Author

Friel has authored more than 100 feature articles along with hundreds of columns for magazine such as Outside, Islands, Philadelphia Magazine, Sunset, Caribbean Travel & Life, AAA Living. He has been named "Travel Writer of the Year" and won over 30 awards during his six-year tenure as Editor-in-Chief of Caribbean Travel & Life. He lives on Orcas Island in Washington State with his wife.

Product Details

  • File Size: 6767 KB
  • Print Length: 433 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1401324169
  • Publisher: Hachette Books (March 20, 2012)
  • Publication Date: March 20, 2012
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0072LWPQ2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #334,850 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

From shark wrangler to stand-up comedian, cruise-ship lifeguard to television producer, author Bob Friel front-loaded his life with an adventurous mix of jobs.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Bob was nonetheless drawn to islands and the sea. He studied marine science at the University of Miami, but discovered he wasn't suited to life in the lab. After graduating, he moved to Grand Cayman (the first of what is now eight islands that he's lived on) where he taught underwater photography and scuba diving. Bob then turned to photojournalism, working in hotspots such as Northern Ireland during The Troubles, Sri Lanka during the Tamil insurgency, and in the Guatemala Highlands.

After getting tired of having teenagers point machine guns at him, Bob switched to safer pursuits, moving to the Republic of Maldives in the Indian Ocean where he made his living as a shark wrangler.

Over the last two decades, Bob has worked variously in television (from cameraman to producer for major US and foreign networks), as a travel and wildlife photographer, and as a magazine journalist writing on everything from adventure to crime to beach bars--lots and lots of beach bars. He's traveled to more than 50 countries to capture stories, pictures, and footage for books, magazines and TV.

Bob is also a trained amphibious ultralight pilot, marine naturalist, and bartender. He lives on Orcas Island, in Washington State, with his wife, Sandi, and their Leonberger, Murphy.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Paul Larosa on March 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I worked on the CBS News "48 Hours Mystery" hour about this case and it has never ceased to amaze me. A teenager from the wrong side of the tracks with virtually no education but balls as big as the great outdoors, teaches himself how to fly using a DVD and then goes on a tear, stealing five single-engine airplanes worth millions.

It's a fantastic adventure story and, if it were fiction, would hardly be believable. But it was all true and here, in this definitive account, Bob Friel uncovers every last morsel about Colton Harris-Moore. The book goes way beyond anything you've read and details every last crime Colton Harris-Moore, aka The Barefoot Bandit, ever committed or is alleged to have committed.

That's one thing but what makes the book a 5-star-read is the job Friel does painting the background of Colton. You'll understand what makes this kid tick when you read about his impoverished past. I'm a sympathizer of Colton and I know not everyone is but, even if you're not, read this book to get the whole, unvarnished, story.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Norm Stamper on April 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Living in one of the communities targeted and terrorized by Colton Harris-Moore, I thought I knew as much as there was to know--or at least as much as I wanted to know about the kid's multi-year, multi-state, multi-nation crime spree. Wrong!

Bob Friel's exceptionally well-told story of the Barefoot Bandit delivers page after page of new information, insights, and behind-the-scenes wisdom about the most colorful and successful bandit this country's seen since the days of Butch and Sundance. Except that H-M flew solo. No partner in crime, no gang to back him up.

It's easy to romanticize and glorify Harris-Moore's misdeeds. Many have. But Friel's book, while capturing the ambiguity of some of Colton's victims (and those who spent months if not years as fretful victims-in-waiting), puts to rest any doubts about the hurtful, insidious effects of "property" crimes. He frightened thousands. He broke, he entered, he stole: food, of course, but also cars, cash, boats and planes, electronics gear, personal identities, irreplaceable items of sentimental value. And, most ominously, guns. And, as everyone who's ever been the victim of a property crime, especially burglary, can attest it changes a person for life. We lose not only our valuables but our innocence, our feelings of safety and security. We feel violated. Colton Harris-Moore did that to us.

Yet, while half of my island neighbors wanted to hang him the other half wanted to adopt him. Friel's book helps us understand these divisions--within a community and within ourselves. One thing is certain, I think.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Patty Star on July 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Friel's book is a good, fast paced read. It is also part of our "Island Psyche" and the whole "Barefoot Bandit"/Colton Harris Moore story has become part of our history here on Orcas Island. We were a bit "terrorized" by this unknown person for a year before they finally figured out who it was and more of Harris-Moore's story became known. Friel has captured the story of a very troubled youth and young man and made me feel a bit more compassionate towards Harris Moore even though I feel what he did was criminal and he hurt many people. I was never bored with the writing and of course it was even more interesting as I know all the people from Orcas that were mentioned in the book. We lived this story. I don't agree with the one star review from "OrcasIslander". Unfortunately our police force is small, many a bit over weight and they did bungle things. There was no way they could ever outrun Harris-Moore either. Things were bungled right from the start and Friel points that out. It was a quick and facinating read for me and I liked Friel's easy style of writing. Many times I found myself laughing at his factual yet humorous take on things. Yes, Friel is a relative newcomer to Orcas Island but he is not a new comer to journalism and writing. He has written an interesting story, a story of a unique, highly intelligent yet troubled young man and he captured the story of those that were touched by his crimes whether on Camano Island, Orcas, across the US and ending in the Bahamas. I couldn't put the book down. I've lived on the island for 20 years and my husband for 35 years. Friel did romanticize the island "life" a bit but I can't hold that against him. It's a fine book and a good read. Hopefully Colton-Moore will find himself and get on with his life in a positive way.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bulbo on June 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I borrowed this book from the library and was glad I did. The story was well told and kept me engaged. I am a fan of true crime and recommend this book to others who are also fans.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Joann E. Medema on March 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Take a window seat on Bob Friel's wild ride to solve the real-life mystery of the Barefoot Bandit in this enthralling page turner...a mystery that once again proves that the pen is mightier than the sword.

While it is true that Colton Harris-Moore is the main subject of The Barefoot Bandit, the real story is that of this tenacious writer and his search for the facts as Colton's drama played out around him.

My hometown of Stanwood, Washington adjacent to Camano Island where Colton grew up shared in the tension and uneasiness that grew with his notoriety. I kept my eyes peeled, listened to the news, read articles in the paper and online until I eventually found my way to Bob Friel's blog "Outlaws and Outcasts". There I read of the chaos that Colt was bringing to nearby Orcas Island where Bob lived.

At the time I remember wondering what the real facts were compared to the media reports and official-sounding law enforcement statements. The wilder the hysteria, the greater my doubt that actual facts were being reported.

Bob's blog grew as he followed up on news stories. He began fact-finding, taking notes, taking interviews, doing research. Eventually he revealed that he planned to write this book. I cheered wildly. Little did I realize that the story so far was the tip of the iceberg.

Some locals seem to think that Bob writing this book somehow glorifies a teenager's life of crime, but if they had read it they would realize that nothing could be further from the truth. Facts, simply stated, paint a picture of a troubled misguided or totally un-guided youth that the system has failed.
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