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Eyeing the Flash : The Making of a Carnival Con Artist
Simon & Schuster

Eyeing the Flash : The Making of a Carnival Con Artist

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Eyeing the Flash
Author(s): Peter Fenton

The year is 1963, the setting small-town Michigan. Pete Fenton is just another well-mannered math student until he meets Jackie Barron, a teenage grifter who introduces him to the carnival underworld -- and lures him with the cons, the double-dealing, and, most of all, the easy money. The memoir of a shy middle-class kid turned first-class huckster, Eyeing the Flash is highly unorthodox, and utterly compelling.

Review(s):
"Eyeing the Flash is shot through with rue and amazement. Welcome, in brief, to adulthood, like the midway itself...[a world] of flashing lights, pounding music, cheap thrills and even cheaper suits, not to mention deceit, perishable pleasures and no curfews."

-- Lee K. Abbott, The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)
"A contemporary carnival classic in the vein of Nell Stroud's Josser and Howard Bone's Side Show: My Life with Geeks, Freaks & Vagabonds in the Carny Trade."

-- Library Journal
"Mr. Fenton describes his transformation from high school nerd to midway con artist with great comic gusto, in the tart, cynical tone one might expect of someone who made a living taking nickels and dimes from small children at the duck-pond game. A cross between Ferris Bueller and William S. Burroughs, he regards with a cold, delighted eye the weakness, greed and duplicity of the carnival world, where human beings come in only two varieties: 'marks,' or suckers, and the wise guys who divest them of their cash.... The elite flatties could pick the pockets of their marks and still leave them laughing in wonderment. Mr. Fenton just might have shown them a new trick in this hilarious, twisted coming-of-age story."

-- William Grimes, The New York Times
"An engrossing read...In depicting his eccentric family, the author's wit crackles."

-- People



ISBN:  9780743258555