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The Great Impostor

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  40 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Published 1959 by Random House
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Who wouldn't be curious about the true story of a man who took on varied roles ( a teacher, a priest, a surgeon etc etc)...and got away with it? The idea was fascinating and I couldn't wait to read this.

Unfortunately, the more I read about Ferdinand Demara the less I liked him and that blunted my enjoyment of his story.

See, the thing is, the man was such a fraud, such a pathological liar, such a pompous egomaniac that, aside from thinking "what a jerk", it's really hard to swallow all his claim
John Alt
He was the Great Imposter, and his exploits became a bestselling biography, followed by a 1961 movie. Bold, downright audacious, Ferdinand Waldo Demara pretended his way into challenges that would leave others drenched in sweat.

He didn't choose small deceptions. He was often drawn to situations in which discovery was quite dangerous to him. The danger itself seemed to whet his appetite for life on the edge. Consider these:

He faked his way into becoming a surgeon in the Royal Canadian Navy during
Tomek Piorkowski
I love reading about conmen. The best conmen are also very sociable people and have a way of hacking into social circles that I admire. I myself love talking to strangers (and in my line of work I meet new people practically every day) and conartists have to love talking to strangers too in order to find new avenues to exploit. So while I condemn meeting people for the sake of exploiting them, I think being able to meet people for the sake of building friendship and acquitances is healthy behavi ...more
Kameron Whitttick
although the engaging synopsis and a friend are the main reasons I read this book I couldn't find myself getting too deep into it I couldn't really understand why Fred is being imposter I guess that's why I couldn't relate to him I have found how he slipped through the different lives he lives entertaining enough to give it to stars.
Jim Tucker
The primary reason that I have rated this so highly is because of a concept that the hero of this true story presents--The "power vacuum." I don't believe that the term was original with Ferdinand Waldo Demara, but he provides the best illustration of its use in the microcosm of a single organization or institution that I have read. Demara was able to assume the many roles that he portrayed with such expertise because he never entered an arena unless there was a power vacuum there, which set him ...more
Joe Cochran
I always wanted to read this book ever since I watched the movie starring Tony Curtis. I gave it 4 stars vs. five due to the fact it left the life of Demara unfinished. Overall, this was a good book, one I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Give it a try, you just might like it.
Joseph Markenstein
This man is a mystery!
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Crichton was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and grew up in Bronxville, New York.[1] He served in the infantry during World War II, and was wounded during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. Before returning to the States, he ran an ice cream factory on the outskirts of Paris; it was, he said, his decompression chamber. He attended Harvard University on the GI Bill and was a member of the famed clas ...more
More about Robert Crichton...
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