Jonathan Mahler reviewed Maria Konnikova's book 'The Confidence Game -- Why We Fall For It... Every Time':
'Of course everyone has the capacity to deceive, but we are all constantly engaging in minor acts of deception. According to one study cited by Konnikova, we lie an average of three times during a routine 10-minute conversation with a stranger or acquaintance. “Con artists, in some sense, merely take our regular white lies to the next level,” she writes. Complimenting someone’s tie is not exactly the same thing as cleaning out his bank account with the promise of a once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunity, but the point is well taken: Because we already inhabit a universe of small, casual lies, it’s that much easier to buy into larger, preconceived ones.'
'Con artists aren’t just master manipulators; they are expert storytellers. Much as we are intrinsically inclined to trust, we are naturally drawn to a compelling story.'
Read the review here.
What's the difference between a good story teller and a con artist? For the con artist the story is just a means to an end, for the author the book is the end. Life is a means to the end that's called literature.