Lisa E. (Cincinnati, OH)
Fun and Informative
What a fascinating book! I have led a rather sheltered life here in Ohio, and I had no idea "confidence" men would spend such time and effort to pull off a scam--and the psychology and insight that go into the whole thing!
Maggie P. (Mount Airy, MD)
I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a book this much. I found myself laughing at the exploits of Frank Norfleet. While Amy Reading leaves you wondering how much is factual how much is the fanciful wishing of Norfleet, I still found myself having a hard time putting the book down for any length of time.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is a history buff or just enjoys a good story. Don't let the fact that it is a work of nonfiction put you off, it reads like no nonfiction I've ever read.
Jeffrey L. (Washington, DC)
The Inside Mark Amy Reading
The subtitle says it all; A Perfect Swindle, A Cunning Revenge and a Small History of the Big Con. The book intermingles education and drama against a suspenseful and emotional, period backdrop. Imagine an historically accurate, "The Sting" complete with real life descriptions of all the major players and how they interacted with each other and their marks. Throw in where they came from and how they wound up, including the mark’s revenge and you end up with a thoroughly enjoyable read.
WDH (New Port Richey, FL)
Fool Me Once...
This book provides an enlightening overview of the history of confidence men and their plots and schemes to fleece people out of their savings. The author did a lot of research for this book and it shows through the explanations of the history of the con-game and the psychology of how it works which I found very interesting. Overall, this book is different, well paced, well written and I learned something. Good read.
Julia B. (San Antonio, TX)
Historic yet compellingly current
This early 20th century, true crime story is a compelling read. Greed and gullibility come together with life-altering results. The story drags just a bit in places and can seem slightly disjointed, but overall it is worthwhile read. It only takes a little imagination and some knowledge of current events to see that in the early 21st century human nature remains unchanged and thus history can repeat itself. If con artist and their marks intrigue you, or if you like to see the good guys win, you will enjoy this book.
Nancy O. (Hobe Sound, FL)
a timely read
Amy Reading's account of con victim J. Frank Norfleet would make a good movie. Everything's there -- the big con, the quest for revenge, and the moments of payback. It's an interesting story, one that captured my attention throughout the book, although I have to say that it gets a bit bogged down in detail when she moves away from Norfleet and his long quest to see justice done. (And I had no idea Daytona Beach used to have cliffs!) One of the best things about the narrative was her attention to Norfleet's own version of events, as she discovers that in putting together the account of his search for the men that fleeced him, he may have been just as much of a con artist in his own right.
With people still reeling from events like the Bernie Madoff fraud case, and opening their emails daily to a number of potential con scams, the book is a timely read. It is a bit more detail oriented with a lot of historical interest; it's not really a book club kind of read or something that might attract the attention of the casual nonfiction reader. I liked it, and would say that if anyone is at all interested in the history of fraud and con artistry in the US, Reading's book offers its readers an interesting perspective on the topic.
Kate G. (City Island, NY)
It's All About the Con
Amy Reading has written an interesting history of con artists and swindles in the 1920s alongside the personal history of a Texan named J. Frank Norfleet who was the victim of a con. While the history of the con and swindlers can be a bit dry, Norfleet's story of revenge is interesting and it may be interesting to narrative nonfiction lovers.