Reader reviews and comments on The Mark Inside, plus links to write your own review.

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The Mark Inside

A Perfect Swindle, a Cunning Revenge, and a Small History of the Big Con

by Amy Reading

The Mark Inside
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2012, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2013, 304 pages

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There are currently 19 reader reviews for The Mark Inside
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Mary Ann B. (Louisville, KY) (06/23/12)

The Mark Inside
The Mark Inside is an interesting book about parting people from their money. Actually about one man in particular and how he tries to bring the con men down. This book does make you think about why people are conned. I always think it is a two way street. You can't sell unless someone wants to buy. This also reminded me of the movie The Sting. It showed how a con is set up and I believe that is the most interesting part of the book.
Katherine S. (Seaford, VA) (06/20/12)

A Depressing Con
Maybe it was the nature of "The Con", but this book was depressing to read. The details were excellent and showed great research. I wanted to enjoy it and learn something, but I simply felt bad for Norfleet as "the Con" unfolded, occasionally confused by the amount of details and bored by the subsequent search for justice. Not for book clubs; maybe good for a historical non-fiction reader with lots of time on his/her hands.
Stephanie W. (Hudson, OH) (06/19/12)

Hard to get through
The Mark Inside promises a fascinating account of con artistry in America, but I think fascinating was a bit of an exaggeration. I enjoyed the story of the swindling of Frank Norfleet and his quest for revenge on the perpetrators, but got confused and bogged down by much of the history of the stock market, railroad speculation and other financial stuff. I had to work hard to finish the book and I don't think it was just the end of the school year that made me keep falling asleep while reading. As another reviewer said, this would have made a good magazine article or (much) shorter book.
Julia B. (San Antonio, TX) (06/13/12)

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.
Power Reviewer Lucy B. (Urbana, Ohio) (06/13/12)

Corruption
I know we have a lot of curruption today, but I was surprised to read how much corruption that was in the early years of the establishment of the United States. The writer did a good job telling the story, but my take is whether it wouldn't have been better to read Norfleet's book as he actually experienced it rather than read a second-hand story.
Nancy O. (Hobe Sound, FL) (06/11/12)

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.
Bea C. (Liberty Lake, WA) (06/10/12)

TMI - Too Much Information
This book tells you everything you wanted to know, a lots you didn't, about the "big con". This could have been a real interesting book. It is a non-fiction story about a rancher in 1919 who got swindled in a "big con" (think THE STING), then spent years tracking down the swindlers. We were sidelined with just TOO MUCH INFORMATION and details about every person in the sting and all the details about other cons they had pulled. The book plodded along and became so tedious to read that I skimmed the last half of the book just to find out whatever happened. I was struck by how crooked everyone seemed to be, from the victims, the swindlers to the police departments. If you had faith in your fellow man before you read this, you won't after. I think this would make a good movie and would be interesting to real history nuts who like to delve into subjects completely.
Cheryl W. (Crosby, MN) (06/07/12)

The Mark Inside
The book was very hard to read. If the "con" would of been the story that might of been interesting but many distracting other stories within the story. Too much unnecessary information. I thought it was going to be a "Sting" type book but it was not.
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