Download Flim-Flam Man: The True Story of My Father’s Counterfeit Life Audiobook

Flim-Flam Man: The True Story of My Father’s Counterfeit Life Audiobook, by Jennifer Vogel Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Jennifer Vogel Narrator: Karen White Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2014 ISBN: 9781482986860
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A frank and intimate portrait of a charismatic, larger-than-life underworld figure, as told by the daughter who nearly followed in his footsteps

“Do unto others before they do unto you,” John Vogel used to advise his daughter, Jennifer. By his account, the world was a crooked place, and one had to be crooked in order to survive. A lifelong criminal, John robbed banks, burned down buildings, scammed investors, plotted murder, and single-handedly counterfeited more than $20 million. He also wrote a novel, invented a “jean stretcher,” baked lemon meringue pies, and arranged for ten-year-old Jennifer to see Rocky in an empty theater on Christmas Eve. In his reckless pursuit of the American Dream, he could be genuinely good. When it came time to pass his phony bills, he targeted Walmart for political reasons.

In 1995, following John’s arrest in what turned out to be the fourth-largest seizure of counterfeit bills in US history, he managed to slip away, leaving his now grown daughter to wonder what had become of him. Framed around the six months Jennifer’s father ran from the law, Flim-Flam Man vividly chronicles the police chase—stakeouts, lie detector tests, even a segment on Unsolved Mysteries. In describing her tumultuous life with John Vogel, Jennifer deftly examines the messy, painful, and almost inescapable inheritance one generation bequeaths to the next.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Vogel evokes the dual nature of our intimate lives as well as the struggle between the straight and the criminal…Refreshingly well-paced.”

    San Francisco Chronicle 

  • “Original, tragic, and heartbreaking in the way only true life can be.”

    Entertainment Weekly 

  • “Vogel writes with a measure of pathos and, not inexplicably, pride. In this unlikely homage to the criminal life, she reminds us how easy it is to judge a man by his behavior and why we must dig deeper to fight those instincts. Her unsentimental reconstruction of a man overshadowed by bad news restores a dignity to her father’s life.”

    USA Today

  • “[Vogel’s] story, a dark eulogy, fascinates.”


  • “Alternately hilarious and heartbreaking.”

    Time Out New York 

  • “Heartbreaking…[Vogel] tells a powerful story while investigating their complex relationship, writing with empathy and without excuses.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Vogel’s masterful account…will haunt readers for days.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “An absorbing portrait of a doting father who schemed and scammed his way onto the nation’s most-wanted list…This is a compelling look at the life of a criminal and how he affected his daughter.”


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About the Author

Jennifer Vogel worked as a writer and reporter in Minneapolis for seven years before moving to Seattle, where she was editor-in-chief of the Stranger. She moved back to Minneapolis in 2003.

About the Narrator

Karen White is a classically trained actress who has been recording audiobooks since 1999. An Audie Award finalist, she has earned eight AudioFile Earphones Awards. Her reading of The Hemingses of Monticello by Annette Gordon-Reed was named one of AudioFile’s Best Audiobooks of 2009.