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Catch Me If You Can: The True Story of a…

Catch Me If You Can: The True Story of a Real Fake (original 1980; edition 2000)

by Stan Redding, Frank W. Abagnale

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2,163774,450 (3.8)46
Title:Catch Me If You Can: The True Story of a Real Fake
Authors:Stan Redding
Other authors:Frank W. Abagnale
Info:Broadway (2000), Paperback, 277 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Ex Libris David G. Nye

Work details

Catch Me If You Can: The True Story of a Real Fake by Frank W. Abagnale (1980)

  1. 10
    The Man in the Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter by Mark Seal (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  2. 10
    The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  3. 10
    Charlatan: America's Most Dangerous Huckster, the Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam by Pope Brock (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Readers who enjoy dramatic tales of swindlers chased by the FBI may like both Charlatan and Catch Me If You Can, which chronicle the lives of men who successfully deceived everyone around them for years, amassing fortunes along the way.… (more)

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» See also 46 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
This book was inundated with similes, almost to the point that it detracted from the story. "I was as smooth as a fox" "those banks were ripe for the picking, and I was the over-eager gardener" etc. Overall though, the story was great and the cons that Frank was able to pull off were mind-boggling. Although the writing wasn't anything to write home about, the story kept me coming back for more. I don't recommend listening in audiobook (or at least the one I listened to) because it didn't include the epilogue that explained how he finally got caught--major cliffhanger!! I had to borrow the book from the library to finish the story. Recommended! ( )
  melissa_faith | Mar 16, 2019 |
I've always been fascinated by con men. I think it has something to do with the idea of disappearing completely into some other personality, a front that exudes confidence (something I've always lacked). So, when the movie for Catch Me if You Can was released, I was absolutely keen to see it.

The movie, of course, drew my interest to the book, especially since this was the story of a REAL LIFE CON MAN! It took me a while to get around to a) finding a copy, and b) finally reading it; but here we finally are.

Frank Abagnale had a five year criminal escapade across the globe, passing bad checks all over and living the good life, all before he even turned 21. He was a master forger, and amazingly intelligent, finding gaps in the system and using those to his advantage. Of course, once he was caught and served his time, he then worked with law enforcement to close those same gaps he used to well in his criminal days, assuring no other paperhanger would have his kind of luck.

He was a pilot, a doctor, a law professor, all without the benefit of schooling. He still managed to study, learning everything he could to make his cons believable, he just lacked the official accreditation to make what he was doing legal.

This is the story of a brilliant mind who could do literally anything he put his mind to, with just a little fudging of any official documentation he might need. On top of that, it's a fun read. Abagnale is very... frank in his portrayal of his exploits, sharing just how paranoid and lonely his life was, and making sure to tell any future lawbreakers reading his book that he was lucky, so very, very lucky; until, that is, he finally got caught and all that karma hit him like a ton of bricks during his French prison stay. What a horrid experience.

Definitely a worthwhile read if you are a fan of the movie, or just con men and crime stories in general. ( )
  regularguy5mb | Sep 29, 2018 |
I read this book because I was in between book club reads and I needed something quick to read. This turned out to be just that. I had seen the movie, so I knew the basic storyline. I have to say the movie glamorized it much more than the book did. It was a bit of a dry read, I mean the story itself was interesting. Like a I said a quick read, but not a literary masterpiece.

If you want to read my full review see my blog: http://adventuresofabibliophile.blogspot.com/ ( )
  Serinde24 | Aug 17, 2018 |
Recently I enjoyed the movie and thought the book might be more interesting with more details. However, Abagnale's character is unpleasant, smug, self-satisfied, not a bit like the movie con-man. As fiction it would be a fun read, as true-crime it was annoying. ( )
  VivienneR | Jun 9, 2018 |
3.5 stars

Frank Abagnale Jr. was only 16 years old in the 1960s when he left is father’s home (his parents had recently separated) and spent years impersonating an airline pilot, a pediatrician, a lawyer, a teacher, before switching to producing counterfeit cheques. Once he was finally caught, after spending time in prison in a few different countries, he ended up helping the FBI with recognizing scammers.

This was a good book. The most interesting parts to me was the impersonations, rather than the info about the cheque counterfeiting. Also, once he was caught, the prison systems in the different countries was very different (France vs. Sweden); I was surprised at how different it was in each country. I liked the movie that came out a while back (and now want to re-watch!), but although the book seemed short, there was still more in the book. ( )
  LibraryCin | Feb 25, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (32 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Abagnale, Frank W.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Redding, Stanmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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A man's alter ego is nothing more than his favorite image of himself.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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book; not movie
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Former con man Frank Abagnale, an authority on financial foul play, tells stories of the adventures he had while living the high life as a criminal.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0767905385, Paperback)

When this true-crime story first appeared in 1980, it made the New York Times bestseller list within weeks. Two decades later, it's being rereleased in conjunction with a film version produced by DreamWorks. In the space of five years, Frank Abagnale passed $2.5 million in fraudulent checks in every state and 26 foreign countries. He did it by pioneering implausible and brazen scams, such as impersonating a Pan Am pilot (puddle jumping around the world in the cockpit, even taking over the controls). He also played the role of a pediatrician and faked his way into the position of temporary resident supervisor at a hospital in Georgia. Posing as a lawyer, he conned his way into a position in a state attorney general's office, and he taught a semester of college-level sociology with a purloined degree from Columbia University.

The kicker is, he was actually a teenage high school dropout. Now an authority on counterfeiting and secure documents, Abagnale tells of his years of impersonations, swindles, and felonies with humor and the kind of confidence that enabled him to pull off his poseur performances. "Modesty is not one of my virtues. At the time, virtue was not one of my virtues," he writes. In fact, he did it all for his overactive libido--he needed money and status to woo the girls. He also loved a challenge and the ego boost that came with playing important men. What's not disclosed in this highly engaging tale is that Abagnale was released from prison after five years on the condition that he help the government write fraud-prevention programs. So, if you're planning to pick up some tips from this highly detailed manifesto on paperhanging, be warned: this master has already foiled you. --Lesley Reed

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:06 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

The world's most sought-after con man wrote $2.5 million in bad checks, practiced law without a license, practiced medicine with no medical training, and co-piloted a Pan Am jet with a fake license. Slated for production at DreamWorks Entertainment, and now updated with a new Afterworld, "Catch Me If You Can" contains all of the elements of the most wildly imaginative fiction, except that Abagnale's exploits actually happened.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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