Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for granting me free access to the advanced digital copy of this book, as this book has already been published, I will not share my review on Netgalley at this time.
Two seventeen year olds meet at a camp for boys just one step short of juvenile detention. They partner to develop creative and lucrative scams and a pyramid scheme that makes them rich.. The characters and plot pull the reader in to a world filled with scams, deception, fraud and preying on the weaknesses of others demonstrating how much people are searching for something more in their lives.
Extremely readable novel led by unlikeable characters with no redemption. Scammers gonna scam, even each other.
Fun, sweet, a little bit heartbreaking, and exceptionally well written.
I had mixed feelings about Frumkin’s previous novel The Comedown. I didn’t love the story, but I was blown away by Frumkin’s writing. So it seemed worth trying his next book, and I’m so glad I did. The same exceptional writing, and this time a story that was compelling and unique.
I love a good con if it’s clever and well-crafted (and this one certainly is), but the biggest reason this was such a gem was in the plot structure. What happens when the scam gets so big it takes on a life of its own? It’s the Frankenstein s monster of cons, and eventually, it’s going to destroy itself and it’s architects.
The meteoric rise and catastrophic descent of both protagonists, their relationship, and the con itself is so well rendered here, and Frumkin has done an exceptional job of taking basic genre tropes and reworking them into something fresh and unique.
And I absolutely LOVED the ending.
A tragic tale of two boys who fall into a whirlpool of their own making. It was so interesting to see how something like a cult is started and how people fall deeper and deeper into it.
Thanks @netgalley for the Advanced Reader Copy! Unfortunately I couldn’t get into this book, so did not finish.
The writing in this awed me. It's clear, crisp and concise, and it impressively manages to convey its messages and narrative. The relationships in this felt like a coldcock to the head - maddening, disorienting and adrenaline-inducing. Absolutely cannot recommend this book enough.
Fascinating book. I kept expecting more to happen, but we didn't quite get there. Still, I was compelled. I read this in one sitting.
Confidence was a fun and quick read. I’m a sucker for an unreliable narrator like Ezra. I also share a childhood fear of going blind, so that may have endeared me to him. The writing was crisp, and the ballooning of the cons and their ultimate implosion satisfying.
Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for this Advanced Copy of Confidence by Rafael Frumkin. I think this would be a great curveball pick for a book discussion.
This is an interesting book, especially for our current times! Ezra and Orson are a fascinating literary duo, and I thought Frumkin did a great job showing the escalation of their relationship and #hustlelife. I thought some of the "scammer beats" were a bit cliche in terms of how things went down, but overall, I found the humor and pacing of this book to be on point. Will definitely read more from this author!
Ezra and Orson, best friends and sometimes lovers, embark on a journey of scheming, get rich quick and “eat the rich mentality” by creating a company that promises enlightenment all built on a simple idea of “synthesis”.
Ezra has always been an outcast, short, average looking and with an eye condition that will only get worse. After landing in juvy over a petty crime he meets Orson, a beautiful guy who can charm the life out of everyone he meets. Together they come up with ruses and ideas to get money and fast, deciding that ordinary jobs are for ordinary people. After a particular stunt selling cheap wine at an exorbitant price to bored housewives at a five star hotel they meet a woman who opens the doors to endless possibilities. They then land on an idea of “synthesis” and a companion machine, the bliss mini, that promises enlightenment and wellness to its users. This endeavor takes off and eventually they find themselves amongst Fortune 500 companies and with more money and success than they ever dreamed of. This leads them to get entangled with some ventures that will eventually expose their rocky past and a fall from grace they never expected.
Filled with fun twists, a fun take on consumerism and the lengths that we go to to protect those we love. COURAGE was a fun read that had me turning the pages and rooting for these lovable scoundrels. OUT NOW
This was a great read with characters that you couldn’t help but root for. To be honest, I was worried that the plot would feel unrealistic, but I was wrong. It was a very believable story, and I couldn’t put the book down. Special thanks to NetGalley for the advanced copy. All thoughts are my own.
QUICK TAKE: i liked this con-artist story a lot. Fun character dynamics, interesting cons, dirty rotten scoundrels you find yourself rooting for. Didn't love the "will they/won't they" romance at the center, but ultimately there was a lot to enjoy here, and I definitely recommend it.
I really enjoyed reading this book! It was not at all what I was expecting because it was definitely better than that! I was originally drawn to this book because of the cover and then read the summary and was immediately hooked. It was a medium-fast paced where there was always something going on. I loved reading about Ezra and seeing the way his character developed throughout the book. I felt for him and am very happy about the ending. This book takes you on an adventure of scam artistry and working the "American dream".
Definitely saw some parallels to what is in today's society. I could definitely see this happening. It gives Theranos but with two kids who actually do help others even if it wasn't really part of the plan.
I found this book a bit tedious and painful to read. It reminded me a lot of the Goldfinch, but a bit less salacious. We end up where the books starts, but the journey did not give me any new sympathy or insight into the characters or human nature or society. I suppose it attempts to expose the hollowness of capitalism and challenges the idea of innovation and personality driven economics, but there were opportunities for nuance that I think were lost. When I got to the end I wished I had skipped to the end earlier as the inbetween chapters didn't add much.
I liked the excitement of the smaller scams at the beginning of this book with Ezra and Orson. There dynamic was interested and it kept me reading. As. NuLife is more of the focus, the story lags, with less excitement. The ending felt a little lackluster and had me questions motives.
I enjoyed this book about bad people doing bad things. It's well-written and the characters are clever and manage to make you root for them even though they're awful human beings. The story surprised me in the nest ways - it's as perfectly crafted as one of the cons it contains.
Thanks to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for the copy to review.
A really thought-provoking and reflective crime novel about fraud, obsession, and manipulation told over many years.
Such a fast paced read that reminded me of a Netflix series about scammers. but with highly likable main characters. It was just interesting to see how creative they were in pulling off each activity. Some weren't entirely believable, but it was very entertaining