Saturday, August 6, 2011

Book Review: 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: 
The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter 

 Mark Seal
Hardcover:  336 pages
Viking Adult (June 2, 2011)


I received a review copy of this book free from the publisher, Viking Adult (Penguin Group U.S.A.). The review posted above is based on my personal thoughts while reading the book.


★ ★ ★ ★ 

My thoughts:

I'm not really into non-fiction books so I tend to avoid them. When the publisher approached me, I was hesitant at first but I was glad that I accepted the request.

The book is about the "real" story of the "fake" man named Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter. A German who first came to the United States posed as a foreign exchange student in 1978. He was able to manipulate too many people. He first disguised himself as Christopher Mountbatten Chichester, a British baronet, who made the whole town of San Marino loved him. And then Christopher Crowe who was able to get a high paying job in one of the Wall Street investment firms, and then finally Clark Rockefeller who managed to deceive and marry Sandra Boss, a wealthy woman with Harvard MBA from New York. All these lies were believed for thirty long years! 

Just imagine, he duped a lot of people including the whole town of San Marino (a whole town!), the Wall Street's super intelligent geniuses and his lawyer wife. I could not believe he was able to fool Sandra Boss for more than ten years.  The only mistake that ended his lies was when he kidnapped his own daughter and his wife had him investigated. 

I loved it, it was a well-written non-fic book. This is the one book that will certainly entertain you from the first page to the last.  

About the book:

A real-life Talented Mr. Ripley, the unbelievable thirty-year run of a shape-shifting con man.

The story of Clark Rockefeller is a stranger-than-fiction twist on the classic American success story of the self-made man-because Clark Rockefeller was totally made up. The career con man who convincingly passed himself off as Rockefeller was born in a small village in Germany. At seventeen, obsessed with getting to America, he flew into the country on dubious student visa documents and his journey of deception began.

Over the next thirty years, boldly assuming a series of false identities, he moved up the social ladder through exclusive enclaves on both coasts-culminating in a stunning twelve-year marriage to a rising star businesswoman with a Harvard MBA who believed she'd wed a Rockefeller.

The imposter charmed his way into exclusive clubs and financial institutions-working on Wall Street, showing off an extraordinary art collection-until his marriage ended and he was arrested for kidnapping his daughter, which exposed his past of astounding deceptions as well as a connection to the bizarre disappearance of a California couple in the mid-1980s.

The story of The Man in the Rockefeller Suit is a probing and cinematic exploration of an audacious imposer-and a man determined to live the American dream by any means necessary.

About the author:

Mark Seal has been a journalist for more than thirty years. Currently a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, he has written for many major magazines and served as a collaborator on almost twenty nonfiction books. Although he has written thousands of stories, Seal says none has struck a chord with readers more than the story of the incredible life and brutal death of Joan Root, which he originally reported in the August 2006 issue of Vanity Fair. He lives in Aspen, Colorado.


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