The Confidence Game

  • by Maria Konnikova
  • Narrated by Maria Konnikova
  • 12 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From the New York Times best-selling author of Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes, a compelling investigation into the minds, motives, and methods of con artists - and the people who fall for their cons over and over again.
While cheats and swindlers may be a dime a dozen, true conmen - the Bernie Madoffs, the Jim Bakkers, the Lance Armstrongs - are elegant, outsized personalities, artists of persuasion, and exploiters of trust. How do they do it? Why are they successful? And what keeps us falling for it over and over again? These are the questions that journalist and psychologist Maria Konnikova tackles in her mesmerizing new book.
From multimillion-dollar Ponzi schemes to small-time frauds, Konnikova pulls together a selection of fascinating stories to demonstrate what all cons share in common, drawing on scientific, dramatic, and psychological perspectives. Insightful and gripping, the book brings listeners into the world of the con, examining the relationship between artist and victim. The Confidence Game not only asks why we believe con artists but also examines the very act of believing and how our sense of truth can be manipulated by those around us.

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What the Critics Say

"It's a startling and disconcerting read that should make you think twice every time a friend of a friend offers you the opportunity of a lifetime.... If you liked Malcolm Gladwell's Blink, you'll love this lucid and revelatory look into our oh-so-susceptible selves." (Erik Larson, number-one New York Times best-selling author of Dead Wake and best-selling author of Devil in the White City)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The Confidence Game = major disappointment

I'm so happy Audible offers a "great listen every time guarantee" and that I can get my book credit refunded for The Confidence Game.  What a disappointment!  I was expecting something  useful and an at least some original ideas.  Instead I got a rehash of Cialdini's work, and a bunch of vignettes about people falling for cons.  They weren't at all helpful because she picked the most extreme examples that had no relevance to me (eg that idiot Professor that got fired from CH for drug smuggling for his internet 'girlfriend', people getting sucked into cults, and desperate people getting tricked by fortune tellers into giving them either the equity in their homes or their life savings).  It was a book that seemed to enjoy pointing out the obvious.  I'm surprised I kept going with it as long as I did (probably almost 3/4) because I kept expecting her to actually get to something useful.  Sadly that never happened.  This book is similar to about 15 dozen others that say roughly the same thing - and they do a better job with less crazy examples.  Not worth money or time.
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- J. Kiess

Thorough Book, Author Shouldn't Have Narrated

As much as this was a seriously interesting book, they should have hired a narrator.
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- Chris Tomalty

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-12-2016
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio