Catch Me If You Can

Catch Me If You Can by Frank W. Abagnale with Stan Redding was made into a big Hollywood picture complete with several movie stars and helmed by a renowned auteur. The source material seems tailor-made for the silver screen with its outrageous but true aspect, and fans of the film would do well to invest some time in reading this original work. Being the consummate con man, Abagnale’s real feat in telling his tale is to pull the reader in to a kind of complicity with all his nefarious deeds, so that before long I was rooting for his success even as he left a trail of unwitting accomplices (mostly nubile ladies) and fleeced bankers in his wake. The confidence bordering on arrogance that was necessary to be successful in all his capers comes through loud and clear in Abagnale’s prose, but I found myself taken in just like all the rest of his marks. And I didn’t begrudge it at all.  Perhaps it’s because I’m intimately acquainted with the American prison system, but I found the descriptions of the French prison to be both interesting and horrifying. Sweden, however, didn’t sound like such a bad place to have to do time. And, while I don’t recommend that anyone include prison in any five-year plan, I do recommend this book as an entertaining and unbelievably true story.

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