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Catch Me If You Can: The True Story of a Real Fake (1980)
por Frank W. Abagnale, Stan Redding (Autor)
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This book is Frank W. Abagnale’s ghost-written memoir of his fraudulent activities from age 16 to 21 in the 1960s, primarily impersonating a pilot and cashing bad checks. It provides insights into how a con artist thinks. I have my reservations about believing the entire narrative without skepticism, as some of these episodes sound like “tall tales.” He offers no proof and there are no footnotes.
For me, this book is just ok. I would have enjoyed it more if it had not included so many demeaning references to women – it got tiresome. I am glad he turned his life around. I am also glad society has changed since the 1960s.
Who knew true crime could be funny? While reading this, it was not hard to see why Frank got away with so much. His wit, humor, and charisma serve him well. It has been some time since I have seen the movie adaptation of his memoir, but I remembered the gist of his crimes. Hearing it in first person voice from him though was amazing! It is not often one hears from the perpetrator directly, let alone gets an insight into their thoughts at the time. Not sure this story would be as interesting to me had it not been from Frank himself. Barrett does a wonderful job narrating the story and kept me quite engaged. Highly recommend it if you are looking for a quick read and a bit of a chuckle. While his crimes could not be duplicated today, I was fascinated with how much he was able to get away with, and how easy it seemed for him.
Besides the interesting life that Frank has lived he is much more interesting as a story teller, you feel like one of your palls tells you a great story while the both of you laugh about it.
Written in the first person, this astonishing true crime story tells of how teenaged Frank Abagnale successfully impersonated an airline pilot, a doctor, a lawyer and a college professor - all to back-stop his "career" as a bad check writer.
Frank traveled the world and accrued hundreds of thousands of dollars all before his 20th birthday.
Perpetually pursued by the FBI and other international law enforcement, Frank had many close calls and was eventually caught a few times. Often to be followed by some dramatic escapes.
The postscript tells the story of what Frank is doing now, and his non-criminal life is just as audacious and imaginative.
Made into a movie by Stephen Speilberg, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.
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Wikipedia en inglés (2)
The uproarious, bestselling true story of the world's most sought-after con man, immortalized by Leonardo DiCaprio in DreamWorks' feature film of the same name, from the author of Scam Me If You Can. Frank W. Abagnale, alias Frank Williams, Robert Conrad, Frank Adams, and Robert Monjo, was one of the most daring con men, forgers, imposters, and escape artists in history. In his brief but notorious criminal career, Abagnale donned a pilot's uniform and copiloted a Pan Am jet, masqueraded as the supervising resident of a hospital, practiced law without a license, passed himself off as a college sociology professor, and cashed over $2.5 million in forged checks, all before he was twenty-one. Known by the police of twenty-six foreign countries and all fifty states as "The Skywayman," Abagnale lived a sumptuous life on the lam--until the law caught up with him. Now recognized as the nation's leading authority on financial foul play, Abagnale is a charming rogue whose hilarious, stranger-than-fiction international escapades, and ingenious escapes-including one from an airplane-make Catch Me If You Can an irresistible tale of deceit.
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Sistema Decimal Melvil (DDC)364.163092 — Social sciences Social problems and services; associations Criminology Crimes and Offenses Crimes of property Fraud
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Frank W. Abagnale began his career of cheque forgery as a teenager, and the following five years were a whirlwind of fraud, forgeries, and cons, money and women, and spur-of-the-moment (fake) career changes.
I watched the movie of the same title years ago, and I just had to watch it again as soon as I finished reading this, but I think the book is far more interesting. It contains a lot more details about a lot more cons than the movie can include. It also gives more information about his experience in prison after he was caught, and his path to his more legitimate career giving lectures on how to catch criminals like him. ( )