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The Man in the Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter Hardcover – June 2, 2011
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“Has all the pace and drive of a suspense novel.” — Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
“No mystery writer would script this—it’s too unbelievable. — The Christian Science Monitor
“Impeccably reported.” — Los Angeles Times
“Fascinating.” — People (four stars)
About the Author
Mark Seal is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, where his piece on Gerhartsreiter was a finalist for a 2010 National Magazine Award. He is also the author of Wildflower. He lives in Aspen, Colorado.
Top customer reviews
Mark Seals prose lacks that certain something that Truman Capote had, but whose prose matches Capote? What Seal does in this book is hit what are to me the 3 Cs of true crime writing. He is Clear, Concise and Chronological. Clear is self-explanatory: he writes well and simply. He is concise in that he knows what NOT to tell. No whole page descriptions of unimportant props or places, no unnecessary background info on minor characters. No wasted information. Chronological in that he leads you through the story in an easy to follow trajectory, keeping you aprised of details as need be to keep you from getting lost in this complex maze of a story. No small trick in a tale of a 30 year con career involving multiple identity changes. But he does it and does it well.
The man called Christian Karl Gerhartsreider fascinates and repels. We are interested in him because we think how could these upper-crust people be fooled? How could they think he was one of them? We forget how such a con works, how tightly controlled the picture is that the fooled person sees. For if allowed to see the whole picture, if the curtain is pulled from the wizard's control booth, the con is over. The target has had a moment of clarity. So a con artist like Gerhartsreider can never slip, he can never stop working for a moment.
It takes genius to pull something like that off. And genius Gerhartsreider certainly has. Evil genius. And this may be the scariest part of it all.
I do not know if this book is better than the later release of the other two books on this subject, but its earlier release and better title, of the three, has obviously served it well.
Most recent customer reviews
I recommend the audio book. The narrator's impersonation of Clark's voice brought him to life.