Customer Reviews: The Modern Con Man: How to Get Something for Nothing
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on June 8, 2008
This was an interesting book, and I read through it pretty quickly. But honestly, this has nothing to do with conning people. It's all about bar bets and tricks.
The book details a lot of different tricks that you can do in various situations, like making a bet that you can wrap a normal-sized piece of paper around your head, or betting that you can roll a cue ball underneath a pool stick laid across a pool table.
But some of them are exceedingly lame, and if anyone ever wins a bet with them, I'll buy him a beer himself. Like in the aforementioned pool table trick: You lay a pool stick across a pool table, then make a bet that you can roll a cue ball underneath it. Of course, a cue ball will never fit in the two inch space between the stick and the pool table surface. So the trick? You roll it on the floor. Har har. Technically it's "under" the pool stick. The author would have you believe that you'll be winning money all over town with this trick. My guess is that you have a better chance of either looking like a total idiot or getting beat up.
This is insulting, in other words. Nobody is going to pay on such an idiotic bet.
And in the end, none of these are "cons" any more than telling someone a riddle they can't figure out his a con. They're not cons, they're just common parlor tricks, and some of them are very lame, even for parlor tricks.
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on January 15, 2014
I was excited to read this book, figuring it was going to be good stuff. It came today, and I read it under an hour. The book gave me a headache, it was the most stupidest thing I have ever read.

Going on to the PROS about this book. The con-line dating section is great, as well as the scams to pull on your college buddies, and the con man lingo was nice.

Other than that, save your money, this was a waste of money. I am just starting out in the industry, my dad was a great con man so I know 31 and NIM ( best rigged games ever in combination with each other)

Modern Con Man by Todd Robins has the most dumbest scams I have ever seen. Rolling a cue ball under a pool table for one.... The Hell?

Let me recommend REAL con books to get you started. How To Cheat At EVERYTHING by Simon Lovell is GREAT. Also Scam School by Brian Brushwood is great too. Todd wrote this book to teach aspiring cons ( They even have a test at the end) but if you follow the scams in Modern Con Man, you will a gaurenteed beating.
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on January 22, 2012
I assumed the cons were cute gags for bar tricks or to amaze and amuse a six year old, so I wasn't disappointed that there weren't any real cons, but the typos in the Kindle version were very annoying. I can't believe anyone read the Kindle version before publishing it. Capital "Y"s are changed to capital "T"s as in "How to Scam Tour Coworkers". I started paying less attention to the cons and more attention to all the typos, "cood" instead of "good", "man}'" instead of "many" ...
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This book is basically a con, perpetrated by the author. He smirks and chuckles as people read the cover and become intrigued by the flashy colors and the bold title. He licks his lips as they rush with it to the counter, or click purchase on an online site. He counts his billfold as he guffaws, bemused by the gaff taken at the expense of his 'customer'... or what he would refer to as his "mark".

Buying this book, unless for the small cheap thrills of conning your co-workers into stupid acts of naivete -or the quick satisfaction of 'pulling a fast one' on someone so stupid as to fall for gimmicky bar-room antics- is worthless.

The title seems to imply that you too can be a conman. It's implicit, not guaranteed. There is no entry-level position on the totem of conmen, and there is certainly no book that will provide that gateway. Do as I did and pick it up off your stupid sibling's toilet-reading table and pocket it for free, rather than spend your money on a guy who seems to have fun mocking the very people paying his bills right to their very faces as they thumb through the pages of this waste of effort.

I laugh at the idea that Newsday, and all the others laud this work as being bold, brash, or an homage to the past heyday of grifting, and I smirk along the sidelines with Penn and Teller, who certainly are sure to see this as nothing more than a pleasant and cute grifter at work on a literary scale. If you buy this book you are falling into the trap of the grifter. He makes implicit remarks throughout the book that basically tell you what he is doing. If you want to read the egotistic blatherings of an author who says, "How to get something for nothing" and means it by showing you he is getting something by providing nothing, then spend you money, but you'd be better off investing in a bridge. I hear the Brooklyn Bridge is up for auction...
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on March 16, 2009
I really enjoyed this book there was some really interesting history as well as some fun tricks to play on your friends or an unsuspecting stranger. As for making money off this as long as your not betting with the wrong person or for stakes that are too high you probably will leave the bar etc...with your fingers intact. And remember, always buy the loser a drink or beer afterward, it spreads goodwill and you just might be able to hustle them again!
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on September 27, 2012
Like my title said its just ok easy quick read found some tricks read some basic conman history but i wanted more of that and more about long cons but i'll be looking out for these con men and women in bars. I might be one of them after reading this book.
If your looking for a fun easy read about con artists and how to do some tricks then this is your book if you want something more in depth and about the history of the con then find another.
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on December 13, 2012
This book is great for those looking to entertain their friends. Full of bar bets (some well known, some new, and some with an origianal twist). I also liked the section on office pranks. Definitely sparked some ideas
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From the title,this book shows a lot of promise.However,after spending an hour or so,the promise was just about gone.First,it really isn't a book about cons,except for a very small number,and even those aren't very good.The best one can say is that it is a book of parlor or bar tricks,and even at that,they are so mundane,that it is doubtful that anyone would fall for them,or even put up moner or anything as a bet.There is a lot of filler stuff about con men and the history of con artists,but that too has no depth.In other words,one will learn nothing about pulling off a good con.About all that is of any value is a couple of pages of definitions.
In fairness, there are a few simple "tricks|" that might pass muster at home;but would be scoffed at if anyone attempted to pass them off as cons at a bar or an adult social gathering.
Now,if you want to learn or watch some pretty good bar tricks ,a visit to YouTube under a search of "Scam School" wiii be very entertaining and rewarding..The host ,Brian Bushwood is very entertaining and will show you some great tricks and imponderables.
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on May 2, 2012
This book is a huge disappointment. I'm glad I'm only conned out of $2.99. I expected more history of the con greats than a few lines from Wikipedia. I bought the book for research on real cons and the artists who perfected them, not for some card tricks and bar scams for extra olives and drink garnishes or stiffing the bar keep for your tab. The book is replete with generalizations and devoid of sources or documentation on the "history." After plowing through two-thirds of the book, it was abundantly clear that the information was not going to get any better or more thorough. Given the numerous typos it would seem that either the author had no editor or the galleys were mistakenly published. The one bright spot were the TR asides and tongue-in-cheek remarks.
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on January 13, 2014
I enjoyed this book. Some of these I've read or heard about but there are a good number of gems in here that make the purchase worth it. I've read some real crap books of this nature but this one is well written. Todd Robbins does a good job with this book.
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