Saturday, August 30, 2014

Catch Me If You Can by Frank W. Abagnale

I stole every nickel and blew it on fine threads, luxurious lodgings, fantastic foxes and other sensual goodies. I partied in every capital in Europe and basked on all the world's most famous beaches'. Frank W Abagnale, alias Frank Williams, Robert Conrad, Frank Adams and Ringo Monjo, was one of the most daring con men, forgers, imposters and escape artists in history. In his brief but notorious career, Abagnale donned a pilot's uniform and co-piloted a Pan Am jet, masqueraded as a member of hospital management, practiced law without a licence, 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 run - 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 irresistable tale of deceit.

My Thoughts:
I seriously loved this. I like a good memoir anyway, but Frank Abagnale, Jr. is the James Bond of American criminals. Everything he did was so original, creative, interesting, ballsy and often quite funny. I laughed aloud a few times. And I'm glad that after all the crazy caper stories the book delved into how bad prison and "paying his debt to society was"; People who read this book don't get any ideas about living an exciting jet-setting life of crime because once he was caught and convicted he lived through a bit of hell. So interesting, though. Great read.

This is another one of those of those that was adapted into a good movie. I mean, have you seen the movie? It's pretty good. Some things were changed from book-to-movie, but that's to be expected given time restraints and whatever else. But I would definitely read the book over the movie. For one thing, fictionalized movies are hard to take seriously. You know what I mean; I always find myself thinking, "Could that have really happened?"

While in a book it's just as easy to make a fictional world completely believable, there's just something about a written memoir that feels more legitimate. Every crazy story I read about had my mouth agape, me thinking, "I can't believe he did that! But I totally believe he did that because here it is written in this memoir." Which is akin to believing everything you find on the internet, in a way, but not really. Books are always more trustworthy.

This memoir could almost be considered YA literature since Abagnale started his life of crime at the tender age of 16 and continued into his early 20s. And while he did a lot of adult/crazy stuff, the book never delves into any sordid specifics. There's a lot of hinting and innuendo but it's relatively clean. Which is kind of ironic; A clean read about a womanizing criminal. But it is. And it's entertaining. Loved it. Go read it. You will, too.

Sexual Content: Moderate
Language: Mild
Violence: Mild
Drugs/Alcohol: Mild

1 comment:

  1. Gasp! Not necessarily (are books more trustworthy.) There's a memoir about a drug addict that Oprah endorsed and loved and raved about, which was later found out to be almost entirely a lie. "A Million Little Pieces" by James Frey, I think. Verra inneresting.