Catch Me If You Can, written by Stan Redding who had interviewed Frank Abagnale Jr, is the true (maybe) story of one of the greatest conmen in history. Then again, maybe it is a con in itself. The book tells of the escapades of Frank, who if you believe it, posed as an airline pilot, doctor, and lawyer, cashing fraudulent checks and scamming his way around the world.
He claims that all this happened between the ages of 16 and 21 after he ran away from home. The book is told in the first person and is highly entertaining, and more than a bit over the top, sliding quickly into the realm of unbelievable.
There was a movie by the same name produced in 2002 from Steven Spielberg, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks “based” on the book. Having watched the movie back in 2002, recently listened to the audiobook, and watched the movie again, the book is much more entertaining.
I say that it “maybe” the true story of one of the greatest conmen in history because the veracity of the claims in the book have been difficult to prove. There is also the documented fact that Frank Abagnale Jr was incarcerated between the ages of 17 to 20 in Comstock, New York when most of his escapades in the book supposedly took place.
Frank has gone on to run a very successful security consultant firm and amass a net worth of over $10 million. Perhaps the book is his greatest con of them all. Either way, it is very entertaining and enjoyable. It feels like listening to someone tell outlandish tales of their life and while you don’t really believe them, you still hope that “maybe” they are true.