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Catch Me If You Can: The True Story Of A Real Fake Paperback – 23 Jan 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 219 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing (23 Jan. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840187166
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840187168
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

Now a major motion picture starring Leonardo Dicaprio and Tom Hanks.

About the Author

After a life of crime, Frank Abagnale has cleaned up his act. As the founder of an anit-fraud corporation he lectures regularly to top executives nationwide from the Department of Justice to the American Institute of Banking and has run over 3000 programmes in 22 years. He is also the author of another book entitled THE ART OF STEAL.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By K. Newman on 14 April 2003
Format: Paperback
… and there was nothing wrong with the film! Although the film was only ‘inspired by’ the book, perhaps 30-40% of the book is in the film. With one or two notable exceptions (the relationship between FBI and Abagnale, and Franks con of fellow schoolmates, which is not in the book, and the ending of the film) I found the book to be far more fascinating than the film.
From his first con of his father, through his career as paperhanger, cheque swindler and con man, Frank Abagnale at 17 was at the time the youngest of his breed ever. Here he describes how he was able to take advantage of banks, airlines (one of his most successful scams as a co-pilot allowed him to travel throughout the USA and then the rest of the world), hospitals, universities… almost any institution one might care to name. Frank scammed them all, with charm, flair and ingenuity. He was caught occasionally, and if he couldn’t talk his way out of it, he could usually escape (not from the French, and he didn’t even try with the Swedes). Far from being a hardened criminal, Frank essentially did this to fund adventures with women, much like any teen might want to do. Frank’s sheer out and out daring, his intelligence, his ability to lie at the drop of a hat and unrepentantly, and the unorthodox nature of his crimes make for compelling reading. The book does end a little up in the air, but this is resolved by an Afterword.
A charming and entertaining read.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Joe Sherry on 19 Aug. 2004
Format: Paperback
I'll admit it. I never would have read this book if it was not for the movie that came out last year. I still haven't seen the movie but decided that perhaps the book would be interesting since it was written by the subject of the movie. I didn't learn until the end of the book (in a Q&A section with the author) that this was written in 1980. Abagnale has a very easy going style and it almost feels like he is right there next to you telling you this wild story of his youth.
Catch Me If You Can is an interesting, exciting, fast paced novel that is a pure joy to read. I don't know if I can put it better than that. This was a book that I simply did not want to put down and I flew through the book. The plot of the memoir is the criminal career of Frank Abagnale (he has since paid his debt to society and now works to prevent exactly the sort of crime that he once committed). Frank Abagnale was a con man. He began his career at a young age (15) conning gas station attendants to give him cash when he pays with his father's credit card. The leads to Frank leaving home, moving to New York City and trying to begin an honest life. Unfortunately, Frank's one main vice is women, and to be with women he needs to have more money than a 16 year old high school dropout can earn. So he begins to con.
Frank's primary method of conning was passing bad checks. However, he found that it is easier to make the con if he is a member of a well respected profession. Frank researches every role that he plays so that he will be as convincing as humanly possible without actually having to do that job. In some cases, he was able to con so well that he was paid for it and he didn't have to forge checks.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Oct. 2001
Format: Hardcover
From his adolescent beginnings as a conman, Frank Abagnale takes the reader on a journey through some of the most imaginative and audacious con tricks ever dreamed up. While it is goes against common decency to applaud confidence tricksters, this book is written with such good humour and candour that it is impossible not to feel enormous warmth towards Frank Abagnale. Some of the scams are stunning in their simplicity while the care and detail needed to accomplish others is breaktaking. This is not a conventional book with a conventional storyline - rather it is a series of snapshots detailing Abagnale's "white collar" crimes. The reader's conscience is somewhat appeased by the fact that Abagnale mainly targeted large corporations rather than individuals (the episode as a security guard outside a night safe was borderline!) and the storyline involving Pan Am and the overseas "PR" trip had me rocking with laughter. This is the story of a man who didn't finish High School and yet successfully (most of the time) impersonated doctors, air line pilots and a raft of other professionals. My feeling about this book is that crime may pay but - as Abagnale goes on to prove - honesty pays more! All will be revealed at the end of the book with perhaps Abignale's finest scam of all! An unqualified recommendation !
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kona TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 Jan. 2003
Format: Hardcover
Catch Me If You Can is Frank Abagnale's account of his life as a con man. If you've seen the movie, you only know half of the things Frank did. His book is thrilling, incredible, and true.
At the age of 16, Frank ran away from home; his parents were separating and he just took off for New York City. In the 60s, air travel was rare and glamorous; airline pilots and stewardesses were considered by many to lead exciting and jet-setting lives. 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, in total darkness, unclothed, 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 couldn't (and didn't want to) stop. The fantastic things that are shown in the film are only a few of his capers. That he is now a respected authority on counterfeiting and, in fact, teaches at the FBI Academy is evidence that Frank can do anything he wants to. This is a very exciting and enjoyable book!
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