The subject of this book, Christopher Gerhart, aka Clark Rockefeller, among a series of other fake names, is fascinating in what a con man he is. Coming to America from a small town in Germany, he manages to ascend the social and financial ladder to the heights of the finest clubs. His apartment is filled with fake paintings from masters like Mondrian, Pollock, and Rothko, and he has convinced the author that he went off to Harvard at 14. Certainly he is a quick study since he has the right outfits, sayings, choice of dogs. His motto seems to be “Go big or stay home.” In fact, the outrageousness of his claims is so extreme as to be almost comical, if it were not for the darker, sinister side of the murderer he becomes. Once he is captured trying to kidnap his own daughter and put up for trial for the murder of a former landlord, the author arrives to write about the legal proceedings, the premise of the book. Anyone who can con as many sophistocated people as Gerhart has, is by definition interesting. If Kirn had spent less time on his own case and more on analysis of Gerhart’s sociopathy, this book would be a stronger read. To borrow the book
My ocean physicist husband and I raised two wonderful sons, my proudest accomplishment. For many years I taught writing at a university, my job of a lifetime, and worked as a freelance writer for local publications. I am an ocean girl, sometimes profane, who loves animals, reading, and creative projects. I am curious about nearly everything. Loyal and caring, I make a good friend.