The Fabulous True Story of the World's Greatest Confidence Artist
Anchor Books, Paperback, 9780385499507, 240pp.
Publication Date: October 14, 2003
As he recounts this amazing tale, Richard Rayner tells the larger history of cons in America. We have always had a soft spot for the crafty or larger-than-life swindler, and with Drake's Fortune, Rayner offers a delightful portrait of a uniquely American character.
Richard Rayner is the author of two works of nonfiction and five novels. His work appears in The New Yorker and other publications. He lives in Los Angeles, California.
“Rayner brilliantly tracks Hartzell's evolution from small-time crookery to a humbug of superhuman proportions. . . . [This] fascinating history amply demonstrates that hope and gullibility spring eternal.” —The Oregonian
“Rayner's private insights add another dimension to this biography that help it to transcend more run-of-the-mill true crime. . . . A fascinating and poignant read.” —The News & Observer
“Rayner's beautifully balanced book . . . crams a fairly complete history of confidence scams into the story without slowing it down for a second, and breaks your heart by showing again and again how badly these good people wanted to believe in such a ridiculous scheme." —Chicago Tribune
"Witty, concise, and thoroughly researched." —Austin American Statesman