TWISTED GENIUS: Confessions of a $10 Million Scare Man by Craig with Phil Berger Jacob

TWISTED GENIUS: Confessions of a $10 Million Scare Man

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Some candid confessions of an incorrigible gambler, confidence man, bunco artist, and utterer of bogus negotiable instruments are presented here, providing a highly selective peek into the life. Less a twisted genius than a bent wiseass, the author, from his own evidence a rotten kid, started his wayward career as a high school bookie and inventor of one ingenious scam after another. Occasionally, the law caught up with him, but clever rascal that he is, Jacob, it seems, always contrived to do easy time in the slammer. He even pulled a profitable scam or two while inside. As he dabbled in legitimate and near-legitimate enterprises, credit-card rip-offs and forged checks were his concurrent MO's. Jacob even opened a law firm (as ""David Goldstein, Esq.""). Necessarily, the aliases proliferated. From ""Norman Goodman,"" ""Melvin Blitzstein,"" ""David Weinstein,"" et al., he extended his a.k.a, list to ""Jos‚ Gomez,"" ""Willie Mays,"" and ""Donald Trump."" During the hanky-panky and life on the lam, Jacob incidentally fathered two children. They are now the subject of a custody battle between Daddy and their grandparents. (Mommy, a junkie, is out of the picture.) There's scant introspection and less insight here. With all the nonchalant words there is not one of remorse; it seems that being Jacob means never having to say you're sorry. ""Guys like me,"" he decides, ""don't usually generate much sympathy. Folks prefer their antisocial sorts to . . . change."" Right. There's an author tour, not by Jacob but by coauthor Berger (Blood Season: Tyson and the World of Boxing, 1989, etc.); Jacob is in the joint right now. Appended are some exhibits to bolster the notion that the text isn't just another scare. Rather than a full-length portrait of a lovable rogue, this is simply a mug shot of a nasty con.

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 1995
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Four Walls Eight Windows