New Yorker columnist Maria Konnikova’s The Confidence Game is a quick and enjoyable read about con-artistry. She’s following in the footsteps of Malcolm Gladwell, exploring a human-interest issue by combining colourful narratives with expert analysis.
Although the book will not make it on to the bibliographies of serious scholars, the fantastical aspect of the tales within are worth the read alone. How could a family of French aristocrats give up almost everything, believing they were ‘being hunted by Freemasons… and other “sinister” forces’? How could a respected New York City art dealer, working for a well-established gallery, be fooled for years by an amateur from the suburbs?