King Con: The Bizarre Adventures of the Jazz Age's Greatest Impostor

King Con: The Bizarre Adventures of the Jazz Age's Greatest Impostor

The spellbinding tale of virtuosic hustler Edgar Laplante--a Tom Ripley-meets-Jay Gatsby king of Jazz Age con artists, whose spectacular downfall came because he began to be seduced by his own lies. For the devilishly handsome erstwhile vaudeville singer Edgar Laplante, the summer of 1923 was a prelude to one of the twentieth-century's most extraordinary adventures--an The spellbinding tale of virtuosic hustler Edgar Laplante--a Tom Ripley-meets-Jay Gatsby king of Jazz Age con artists, who...

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Title:King Con: The Bizarre Adventures of the Jazz Age's Greatest Impostor
Author:Paul Willetts
Rating:
Genres:History
ISBN:0451495810
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:368 pages pages

King Con: The Bizarre Adventures of the Jazz Age's Greatest Impostor Reviews

  • Leo Walsh
    Sep 26, 2018
    This is a fun biography of a scam artist, Edgar LePlante. In the 1920's, a Rhode Island native of French-Canadian descent named Edgar LaPlante was, by all accounts, a talent but unexceptional Vaudeville artist. He possessed a decent baritone and played a fair piano, but his talents...
  • Deb
    Jul 26, 2018
    This ARC from First To Read and Penguin Random House sounded so interesting to me. Unfortunately, I was conned! Edgar was an imposter who ran cons and pretended to be Chief White Elk for years and years all over the world. The facts were so interesting but it wasn?t delivered in a wa...
  • PWRL
    Aug 21, 2018
    A ...
  • David Melbie
    Jan 08, 2019
    A wild ride! ...
  • Karen Dyer
    Oct 31, 2018
    ...
  • Matthew
    Dec 26, 2018
    An amazing and sad tale of an extraordinarily talented man who used his gifts to defraud. It's hard to believe could get away with the lies he told and yet he did. Crippled by drug and alcohol abuse, he died penniless, letting slip millions of dollars (in today's figures) slip through ...
  • Mark Rubenstein
    Aug 14, 2018
    For me, Paul Willetts is non-fiction in reverse. Typically, on the rare occasions that find me dipping into works of non-fiction, it?s strictly because of an abiding interest in the subject matter. Books about Robert Mitchum, books about Japanese Snow Monkeys, books about whatever ob...
  • Agnes Muscoreil
    Mar 25, 2018
    King Con is a book about an imposter, but a very talented one! It's almost hard to believe that someone could pull off a stunt like this for YEARS! A gullible populace is a con man's best friend. ...
  • Valerity (Val)
    Aug 07, 2018
    This book is about a con man, Edgar LaPlante, who roamed the United States back in 1918 to 1920 ?s using his skills of lying and scamming people to eke out a living. Since about the age of 13, he?s been everything including a vaudeville actor, snake oil salesman, and everything in ...
  • Matt Kelland
    Dec 26, 2018
    Detailed and very well researched, but repetitive and not very interesting. Needed more about his early life and a better understanding of his character, not just a list of lies he told. ...
  • Peter McDermott
    Nov 06, 2018
    ...
  • Kathy
    Jul 03, 2019
    Listened to audiobook. ...
  • Nigeyb
    Aug 07, 2018
    Paul Willetts has an unerring knack of unearthing great stories. True stories that are more compelling and fascinating than most fiction. I've read them all... Fear and Loathing in Fitzrovia (2003) Paul Willetts has an unerring knack of unearthing great stories. True stories tha...
  • Greg
    Sep 19, 2019
    In another time, Edgar Laplante easily could have started a world religion with his amazing ability to dupe the gullible. Instead of becoming Joseph Smith, or L. Ron Hubbard, Edgar chose to swindle exceptionally naive women for his personal gain. The book is well researched, decent...
  • Amanda Van Parys
    Mar 14, 2019
    This was bonkers. There's not much else to say. Read for the 2019 Read Harder Challenge: a book published prior to 1/1/19 with fewer than 100 reviews on Goodreads ...
  • Budd Margolis
    Mar 11, 2019
    Before media and technology, an insane person could make up wild lies and scam people. Today we do this via the internet. Far too long of a take of repeated lies. He should have run for President of the USA? Not worth it. ...
  • Ernest Spoon
    Aug 21, 2018
    I found this a fascinating biography of a man who would do anything for money but work. And even though Edgar LaPlante fashioned a fabulous lifestyle, for a short while, in the early 1920's it seems his confidence game skills were not rooted in amassing wealth. He gave away large sums ...
  • Humanton
    Aug 30, 2018
    ...
  • David
    Feb 22, 2019
    ...
  • Angie Reisetter
    Jul 30, 2018
    The story of the false Chief White Elk and his many aliases is jaw-dropping, but not unbelievable. The book covers roughly 10 years of Chief White Elk's life, the first half spend in the US during and after WWI, and the second half touring Europe. The author traces Edgar's exploits thr...
  • Holly Barker
    Jul 31, 2018
    Edgar LaPlante was a con artist in the early 20th century, moving from place to place on false identities. I don't know if he had specific motives or if this was related to mental illness. While this book is well written and probably a great read for the right reader, that person is no...
  • Nick Spacek
    Jan 19, 2019
    sometimes a book can be too complete. i don't need to know each and every move made by laplante. sacrificing a little bit of the book's thoroughness, in favor of moving things along a little bit, might have made this a mroe engaging read. it's certainly fascinating, in terms of subject...
  • MARTIN WIENER
    Nov 18, 2018
    ...
  • Dean Jobb
    Apr 02, 2018
    Think Charles Ponzi was slick? Edgar Lapointe, a.k.a. Chief White Elk, was an imposter extraordinaire who hoodwinked audiences and newspaper readers across America and Europe. Paul Willetts spins the rollicking tale of this audacious con man with wit, razor-sharp insight and dazzling s...
  • C. Patrick G. Erker
    Jan 23, 2019
    Fascinating story of a man I'd never heard of but who perpetrated some remarkably bold and multi-cultural scams. Posing as an American Indian chief, Edgar Laplante somehow stayed one step ahead of authorities in multiple states and countries, running up unpaid hotel bills, singing an...
  • Alissa H.
    May 23, 2018
    I won an ARC through a Goodreads Giveaway! ...
  • Slagle Rock
    Sep 17, 2019
    I read 2/3 of this book before my interest in the fake-Indian con man just fell off a cliff. Not the fault of the writing or research, just that the dude didn't seem all that horrible to me. Maybe more about how he harmed his victims would have compelled me to keep going. ...
  • Lee Stuart Evans
    Aug 13, 2018
    In King Con, Paul Willetts takes us on a breathless adventure hot on the heels of the exceedingly hot-footed Edgar Laplante, the most fantastic of fantasists you?ve probably never heard of, either under his own name, or the countless aliases he took on and threw off during an astonis...
  • Ellen
    Oct 01, 2018
    This book was the perfect way to finish the summer of grifters. Edgar Laplante was truly the king of all conmen?he makes Anna Delvey look morally upright. I was amazed at how much heartache Laplante put himself through in order to pull off bigger and bigger scams. Laplante didn't...
  • Dutch10k
    Sep 25, 2018
    Somewhat interesting book, but at the end it just wasn't very fun to read. The cons that Edgar pulled seemed very repetitive to me and I never really got hooked into this book. ...