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The Man in the Rockefeller Suit
Cover of The Man in the Rockefeller Suit
The Man in the Rockefeller Suit
by Mark Seal
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A real-life Talented Mr. Ripley, the unbelievable thirty-year run of a shape-shifting con man. The story of Clark Rockefeller is a stranger-than-fiction twist on the classic American success story of the self-made man-because Clark Rockefeller was totally made up. The career con man who convincingly passed himself off as Rockefeller was born in a small village in Germany. At seventeen, obsessed with getting to America, he flew into the country on dubious student visa documents and his journey of deception began. Over the next thirty years, boldly assuming a series of false identities, he moved up the social ladder through exclusive enclaves on both coasts-culminating in a stunning twelve-year marriage to a rising star businesswoman with a Harvard MBA who believed she'd wed a Rockefeller. The imposter charmed his way into exclusive clubs and financial institutions-working on Wall Street, showing off an extraordinary art collection-until his marriage ended and he was arrested for kidnapping his daughter, which exposed his past of astounding deceptions as well as a connection to the bizarre disappearance of a California couple in the mid-1980s. The story of The Man in the Rockefeller Suit is a probing and cinematic exploration of an audacious imposer-and a man determined to live the American dream by any means necessary.

A real-life Talented Mr. Ripley, the unbelievable thirty-year run of a shape-shifting con man. The story of Clark Rockefeller is a stranger-than-fiction twist on the classic American success story of the self-made man-because Clark Rockefeller was totally made up. The career con man who convincingly passed himself off as Rockefeller was born in a small village in Germany. At seventeen, obsessed with getting to America, he flew into the country on dubious student visa documents and his journey of deception began. Over the next thirty years, boldly assuming a series of false identities, he moved up the social ladder through exclusive enclaves on both coasts-culminating in a stunning twelve-year marriage to a rising star businesswoman with a Harvard MBA who believed she'd wed a Rockefeller. The imposter charmed his way into exclusive clubs and financial institutions-working on Wall Street, showing off an extraordinary art collection-until his marriage ended and he was arrested for kidnapping his daughter, which exposed his past of astounding deceptions as well as a connection to the bizarre disappearance of a California couple in the mid-1980s. The story of The Man in the Rockefeller Suit is a probing and cinematic exploration of an audacious imposer-and a man determined to live the American dream by any means necessary.

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About the Author-
  • Mark Seal has been a journalist for more than 30 years. Currently a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, he has written for many major magazines and served as a collaborator on almost 20 nonfiction books. He lives in Aspen, Colorado.
    Erik Singer has performed in numerous off-Broadway plays and with regional theaters around the country. He has appeared on television in All My Children and As the World Turns. Singer has also done voice work for numerous commercials, documentaries, and animated shows.
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine 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. (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine
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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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Mark Seal
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