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

4.7 out of 5 stars 130 customer reviews

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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 (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

" A book that captivates from first page to last."
-"West Coast Review of Books"
" Whatever the reader may think of his crimes, the reader will wind up chortling with and cheering along the criminal."
-"Charlottesville Progress"
" Zingingly told... richly detailed and winning as the devil."
-"Kirkus Reviews"

"A book that captivates from first page to last."
-"West Coast Review of Books"
"Whatever the reader may think of his crimes, the reader will wind up chortling with and cheering along the criminal."
-"Charlottesville Progress"
"Zingingly told...richly detailed and winning as the devil."
-"Kirkus Reviews"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

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

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Paperback
In an era when it is not unknown for a head of state to be judicially appointed rather than popularly elected, a highly entertaining tale of fraud, deceit, imposture, and usurpation seems highly appropriate. Unlike recent cameos of a winsome actress caught shoplifting or of a Hollywood "bagel-baby" producer caught forging the signature of a granite-jawed actor on a personal check, the reader of Catch Me if You Can is treated to snapshots of the protagonist - a high-school dropout - passing a southern state's bar examination and appointed an assistant attorney general, awarded a license to practice medicine in the state of Georgia, hired as a university professor of sociology in Utah, handed the controls of a 707, hiring coeds to model Pan Am uniforms throughout Europe. One close-up of the "doctor" at work will suffice: "This guy had a complaint about his foot. 'I'm a pediatrician. You want a podiatrist.' That one had mysterious pains in his stomach. 'I suggest you talk to your own doctor.' A brunette had an 'odd, tight feeling' around her upper chest. I examined the brunette. Her brassiere was too small." But the escape artist's "luck" also has a dark side: arrested and thrown into a dungeon in Perpignan, France; fed only bread, gruel, and water; never permitted to bathe, shave, or attend to other personal hygiene; harassed by sadistic guards; and left to rot for six months, he is finally extradited to humane Sweden suffering from severe malnutrition, vitamin deficiency, and double pneumonia. After recovering for six months, he is saved from extradition to Italy and then Spain, in whose barbaric prisons he faces certain death, by a compassionate judge who orders him deported to the U.S., whence, once he has served an additional four years' sentence, as an American citizen he cannot be extradited, and where he is ultimately rehabilitated and redeemed into a productive, married member of society who specializes in the detection and prevention of fraud.
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