Book 25: “a book based on a true story”

I loved the movie when I saw it many years ago, and was eager to read the story of this con man straight from his own mouth. His childish impudence and irreverence showed through, and combined with his skills at document manipulation to create one hell of a con artist with one hell of a story. It was a quick read for me, and I really enjoyed it the whole way through.

It was particularly interesting to hear about how much he learned about the careers he was impersonating, and about how detailed his numbers game with the bad checks actually was. I’m a fan of stories about con men, from Locke Lamora to the Leverage crew, and Frank Abagnale definitely does not disappoint on that front. He’s suave, debonair and silver-tongued, and loves to sweet-talk the ladies into cashing his worthless checks. I loved the tone of his writing, too – lots of the chapter titles involved plays on the idea of a ‘paperhanger’ (the slang term for a check swindler). My favorite was a chapter called ‘A small crew will do – it’s only a paper airplane’. He is certainly an entertaining storyteller, which makes sense, given his past.

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