The Big Con

The Big Con: The Story of the Confidence Man by David W. Maurer (1940)

The Big Con

Non-Fiction | Crime | Americana4.5 starsBlurb:

“Of all the grifters, the confidence man is the aristocrat,” wrote David Maurer, a proposition he definitively proved in The Big Con, one of the most colorful, well-researched, and entertaining works of criminology, ever written. A professor of linguistics who specialized in underworld argot. Maurer won the trust of hundreds of swindlers who let him in on not simply their language, but their folkways and the astonishingly complex and elaborate schemes whereby unsuspecting marks, hooked by their own greed and dishonesty, were “taken off” — i.e., cheated — of thousands upon thousands of dollars. The products of amazing ingenuity, crack timing, and attention to every last detail, these “big cons” richly deserve Maurer’s description as “the most effective swindling device which man has ever invented.” Continue reading

Kit’s Wilderness

Kit’s Wilderness by David Almond (1999)

Kit's Wilderness

Middle Grade Fiction | Ghost Story4 StarsBlurb:

“The Watson family moves to Stoneygate, an old coal-mining town, to care for Kit’s recently widowed grandfather. When Kit meets John Askew, another boy whose family has both worked and died in the mines, Askew invites Kit to join him in playing a game called Death. As Kit’s grandfather tells him stories of the mine’s past and the history of the Watson family, Askew takes Kit into the mines, where the boys look to find the childhood ghosts of their long-gone ancestors. Written in haunting, lyrical prose, Kit’s Wilderness examines the bonds of family from one generation to the next, and explores how meaning and beauty can be revealed from the depths of darkness.”
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