Reading guide for The Man in the Rockefeller Suit by Mark Seal

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Man in the Rockefeller Suit

The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter

by Mark Seal

The Man in the Rockefeller Suit by Mark Seal X
The Man in the Rockefeller Suit by Mark Seal
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jun 2011, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2012, 336 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Jo Perry

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. Consider your first impression of Clark Rockefeller after reading the prologue. What kind of man is he? By the end of the book, how have your impressions of him - and Gerhartsreiter - shifted? Why did so many people fall for him? Would you?

  2. As Clark Rockefeller, Gerhartsreiter conned everyone in his path, including neighbors, pastors, college-admissions officers, and even his own wife, a Harvard Business school graduate. What does his successful streak of deceit reveal about human nature? What draws us to people, and signals to us that they are to be trusted?

  3. What role did Gerhartsreiter's interest in American media - specifically books, television, and films - play in the crafting of his multiple identities?

  4. In what ways do Gerhartsreiter's actions typify those of the archetypal immigrant? How common is it for people to reinvent themselves when they start a new life in a new place?

  5. What kind of personality do you think it takes to maintain a ruse for so long? Have you ever been tempted to pretend to be someone else?

  6. How does Mark Seal portray Clark's wife? Is he sympathetic to her, or condemning? What is your opinion of her? What clues might have tipped you off to Rockefeller's deceit had you been in her position?

  7. What do you think drove Gerhartsreiter to behave as he did for so many decades?

  8. One could argue that Gerhartsreiter was driven by a desire to achieve the American dream. What other public figures, high-profile or otherwise, can you think of who have permitted their aspirations to overtake their sense of right and wrong?

  9. Taking into consideration everything you've learned about Gerhartsreiter and his deceitful ways, are you able to believe the love he felt for his daughter was genuine?

  10. What is your opinion of the court's decision about the kidnapping charges? How do you think the murder charges will play out? If eventually released, what future do you imagine for Gerhartsreiter?

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Plume. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  The Science of Lie Detection

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: Killers of the Flower Moon
    Killers of the Flower Moon
    by David Grann
    Voted 2017 Best Nonfiction by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    The long, sorrowful list of injustices done ...
  • Book Jacket: The Dry
    The Dry
    by Jane Harper
    Voted 2017 Best Debut Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    After receiving a letter from his childhood...
  • Book Jacket: Little Fires Everywhere
    Little Fires Everywhere
    by Celeste Ng
    Voted 2017 Best Fiction by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    Small towns, big drama. Acclaimed author ...
  • Book Jacket: La Belle Sauvage
    La Belle Sauvage
    by Philip Pullman
    Voted 2017 Best Young Adult Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    I wasn't quite sure what to expect ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

"Electrifying . . . as beautiful and as icy as the Minnesota woods where it's set."
—NPR

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Story of Arthur Truluv
    by Elizabeth Berg

    An emotionally powerful novel from New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Berg.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Autumn

Autumn by Ali Smith

One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year, and a Man Booker Prize Finalist

Enter

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay: $400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.