Digital Download Penguin Audio 2011
DD ISBN 9781101483510 $39.95
Listeners could be excused for believing they are experiencing a splendid piece of fiction if it weren’t for Seal's meticulous facts, figures, dates, and witnesses. Christian Gerhartsreiter came to the U.S. from Germany, a 17-year-old who had grown up in an orphanage. Over more than 30 years, the con man changed identities and worked himself up the social ladder, eventually calling himself Clark Rockefeller and passing himself off as a member of the renowned dynasty. Narrator Erik Singer perfectly captures the upper-crust accent that so successfully catapulted Gerhartsreiter to dizzying heights of financial fraud that illustrated American gullibility. Singer also portrays Gerhartsreiter’s many victims and enablers, beginning in California and moving to Manhattan and Boston. Hearing the story is more compelling than reading it, given Singer's always perfect rendering of the Rockefeller poseur. If it weren’t for a murder (maybe two), this would be a totally entertaining look at Americans’ adoration of celebrity and wealth. S.G.B. © AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine [Published: JULY 2011]
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