“A man’s alter ego is nothing more than his favorite image of himself.” // Review of “Catch Me If You Can” by Frank Abagnale Jr with Stan Redding

Title: Catch Me If You Can
Author: Frank Abagnale Jr with Stan Redding
Genre: Memoir
Audio book narrator: Barrett Whitener
Date Read: 27/06/2016 – 02/07/2016
Rating: ★★★

Review:

I remember really enjoying the movie Catch Me If You Can when I first saw it a few years ago, and I enjoyed seeing the musical earlier this year even more. I only recently learned that both were based on Frank Abagnale’s memoir, so when I saw it available on Overdrive, I picked it up immediately. As I listened to the book, I became convinced that Frank has to be one of the luckiest men who ever lived.

In the early 1960s, Frank Abagnale ran away from home at the age of 16, and began forging cheques in order to sustain himself. Over the course of his five year career as a conman, he not only cashed over $2.5 million in bad cheques, but flew thousands of miles for free as a PanAm co-pilot, supervised interns in a hospital, taught a college sociology course, practiced law, all without a single qualification and all before the age of 21.

While the truth of some of the claims in this book have been called into question, there’s no doubt it’s a very entertaining read. I did have to keep reminding myself it was a memoir rather than a novel, as Frank’s luck just never seemed to run out. He always ran into the right person and no one ever seemed to ask questions. Even when he ended up in gaol overnight a couple of times, he managed to make it out before the FBI arrived. There is  song in the musical called “The Pinstripes Are All That They See”, a theme that is examined quite closely in the book. He points out on more than one occasion that people will see him in uniform and not question, and it actually made me think a lot about how much I take for granted regarding appearances.

My main qualm was that a lot of the storytelling focused on the women Frank casually dated, and often took advantage of. A lot of the language is quite leery and bordering on just plain gross. While this doesn’t surprise me, given that the book was written in the 1980s and discusses a male teenager’s life in the 1960s, it did make me feel uncomfortable from time to time.

Having said all that, the book really is fascinating, as it goes into a lot of detail about how Abagnale pulled off so many remarkable scams. If you enjoyed the movie, I recommend picking up the book, too.


Find me on:
GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Save

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 22 June, 2016

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This is a blog hop hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for today, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What are you currently reading?

allthelightcoverI’m only about 40 pages from the end of  All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. It’s not really my kind of book,to be honest, but I did stick it out to the end, so that has to count for something, right?

I finally got around to putting the audio of White Cat by Holly Black onto my phone and I’ve made it to about 40% of that today. It’s interesting enough, but not terribly exciting (which is pretty much what I thought about the last Holly Black book I read).

I haven’t had much of a chance to continue with Wonder Women by Sam Maggs, but I’ve got ages to finish that one before a review is due.

What did you recently finish reading?

catchmeifyoucancoverI finished the audio of Catch Me If You Can by Frank Abagnale Jr. and Stan Redding. Frank Abagnale has to be about the luckiest man who ever lived.

I also reviewed Nimona by Noelle Stevenson and Nightshade by Maryrose Wood this week, as well as posting a breakdown of my reading for the first six months of the year.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Technically, The Secret River by Kate Grenville should be next, but I think I need a break from historical fiction after All The Light We Cannot See. I picked up Game by Barry Lyga, the sequel to I Hunt Killers, from the library this afternoon and the third book is showing up on my record as in transit. I’ll probably read those and then get back to Kate Grenville.

And now for WIPpet Wednesday. This is another blog hop in which writers share excerpts from their current WIP that somehow relate to the date. Clicking the blue guy on the right will take you to the linkup for this one. Since I was such an awful WIPpet Wednesday Coordinator last week, please leave me your links for June 30 in the comments  here and I’ll try to double-up this week.

I’m not entirely sure what to share today. I’m doing Camp NaNoWriMo but at the moment I’m finding the story a bit boring. Oh well. I’ve found six lines that will do. Grace has just started her new job as a maid at Merrow House. Sarah Holdom is giving her a tour of the house, and Grace has seen photographs of Frederick Merrow’s late wife and is asking whether she died before or after Mr Merrow left England for Australia.

“No, she had already passed away when Mr Merrow left England. I believe it was some sort of illness, though there are those who say…” She looked over her shoulder theatrically to check no one could overhear her. “There are those who say that Mr Merrow got himself and his wife involved in things he shouldn’t have…. dark things… dark magic… and that that’s what killed her.”

“Dark magic?” Grace scoffed, but felt intrigue flair up inside her anyway.

That’s all from me for this week. Don’t forget to check out others’ contributions to these two blog hops! Until next week!

~ Emily


Find me on:
GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Save

Save

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 29 June, 2016

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This is a blog hop hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for today, and just answer the three questions (I’m posting early, so you might have to wait a bit for the link up to go live).

wwwwednesday

What are you currently reading?

allthelightcoverI’ve started All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I’m moving slowly with it, though I do have seven hours of travel on Saturday, so in theory I could get it finished before it’s due back to the library next Wednesday. If I do have to return it, though, the queue is moving quite quickly, so I can reserve it and have it again in a couple of weeks.

catchmeifyoucancoverOn audio, I’m listening to Catch Me If You Can by Frank Abagnale Jr. and Stan Redding. I really enjoy the movie with Leonardo di Caprio and Tom Hanks, and I absolutely loved the musical when I saw it earlier this year, so when I saw it available on Overdrive, I thought I would pick it up. I guess it’s unsurprising that a man’s memoir written in the 80s about being a teenager in the 60s is fairly sexist and gross at times… but if you can overlook that, it’s pretty entertaining so far…

wonderwomencoverI accidentally left All the Light We Cannot See on my desk at work yesterday, so last night I started Wonder Women by Sam Maggs, which I was approved for on NetGalley. While I really appreciate being made aware of these awesome women I had not heard of in many cases, I do wish the author was a little more academic and a little less snarky (I swear, there’s a “witty” aside every two sentences).

What did you recently finish reading?

nimonacoverNimona by Noelle Stevenson was very sweet, though not terribly original. I still really enjoyed it, though; the characters made it.

Nightshade by Maryrose Wood was… well, a bit weird. It felt a bit like it was trying to go dark and kind of missed and just ended up melodramatic instead.

fictionalwomancoverAnd finally,  The Fictional Woman by Tara Moss. Tara’s personal stories were definitely the strength of this book; the data analysis and social commentary felt like it was treading familiar ground. Still, an enjoyable introduction to feminism if you are looking for that sort of thing.

I also posted two reviews this week, for Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine and I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga, both of which were 4.5 star reads for me.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I still have The Secret River by Kate Grenville out from the library after my library haul at the beginning of the month. I am honestly not sure whether I will enjoy it and I may not end up getting through it, but I want to give it a go.

wednesdaybannerAnd now for WIPpet Wednesday. This is another blog hop in which writers share excerpts from their current WIP that somehow relate to the date. Clicking the blue guy on the right will take you to the linkup for this one. Today is the 29th, so I took eleven lines from my Scrivener document. In this scene, Carrie is still posing as the Princess. They have arrived back at the palace, and Masden has left Carrie to the princess’ ladies’ maid to get washed up before reporting to the King that she is supposedly home.

Her face lit up when she saw Carrie. “Oh, Princess, it’s such a relief to see you’re all right!” she exclaimed. She took a couple of quick steps forward with her arms out, as though she had intended to embrace the Princess, but then seemed to remember her place and thought better of it and let her arms fall.

Carrie gave her a smile. “Hello, Maisie,” she said, hoping she sounded natural enough. It was hard to talk to a stranger and make it sound like they already knew each other well. “It’s good to see you, too.”

Maisie gave a little curtsy, a broad smile beaming on her face, then she made her way straight to the bathroom. Carrie heard her speak through the door as she ran water into a tub. “Have to get you looking presentable for your father,” Maisie commented. “If you don’t mind my saying so, your Highness, you look a bit of a sight. You could do with a bath, but we haven’t got time for that. We’ll just get your face washed before you see your father, and change your clothes. The rest of you can wait.”

Carrie had no idea how the Princess would react to that. Surely, if that sort of familiar conversation was not welcome, Maisie would not have lasted long as the Princess’ companion. And besides, the Princess Adelyn that Carrie knew went out of her way to be accepting to all people. She even believed that magic had its place, unlike her father. A talkative servant was unlikely to bother her.

Carrie settled on a vague, “Yes, that sounds good,” and continued to sit on the bed, not sure what her next move should be.

Technically, they probably shouldn’t even have running water at this point, but I do intend to revise the time period in the next draft. I will be revising a lot of things in the next draft actually. So. Much. Revision.

But that’s Future Emily’s problem. For the moment, I’m working on Lessons  Learned. I had a rather large epiphany about this one, namely that the backstory is not backstory at all, but the actual story. So I’m doing Camp NaNoWriMo to make a start on that! My username is spaciireth on the site if you want to share a cabin. I’m not going to go in a random cabin but will happily hang out with blog friends.

I should head off now. Catch you all later!

~ Emily


Find me on:
GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Save