Top positive review
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A book far better than the film
on 14 April 2003
… 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.