August 9, 2010

Playing the Big Con

It's almost cliche to state that a piece of literature has had an impact on popular culture, but David W. Maurer's The Big Con: The Story of the Confidence Man casts a long shadow.

And before this entry turns into another generic blog review, let me just say that I've just read this book, and it's pretty interesting. I enjoy the occasional foray into non-fiction, and even though this book is well over 60 years old, there are some really entertaining aspects about it.

Maurer was a linguist, looking at the way in which con men spoke. However, in order to explain the lingo, he had to explain the lifestyle - in short, this is the kind of book that really examines a unique subculture. So much so that even if you are not into crime movies/noir at all - you'll get a lot out of it.

And for those who may be curious, here's where you can locate examples of this book's influence in popular culture:
It's probably the closest you want to get to the criminal lifestyle, but quite frankly, this is one of the more refreshing books I've read. It may seem dry as dust, but quite frankly, I would seriously welcome a graphic novel version of this book.

I'm even willing to write it.

It's a pretty breezy read - I managed to finish it in three days (via commutes to and from work), and was really enthralled

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