Double Lives, False Identities, and the Con Man I Almost Married

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Regular Price $37 CAD

Regular Price $29

Regular Price $37 CAD

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On Sale

Jan 15, 2019

Page Count

272 Pages




Abby Ellin was shocked to learn that her fiancéas leading a secret life. But as she soon discovered, the world is full of people who aren’t what they seem.

From Abby Ellin’s first date with the Commander, she was caught up in a whirlwind. Within six months he’d proposed, and they’d moved in together. But soon, his exotic stories of international espionage began to unravel. Finally, it all became clear: he was lying about who he was.

After leaving him and sharing her story, she was floored to find out that her experience was far from unique. People everywhere, many of them otherwise sharp-witted and self-aware, are being deceived by their loved ones every day.

In Duped, Abby Ellin studies the art and science of lying, talks to people who’ve had their worlds upended by duplicitous partners, and writes with great openness about her own mistakes. These remarkable stories reveal how often we encounter people whose lives beneath the surface are more improbable than we ever imagined.

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In the News

How Curses Function in Literature – NYTBR Podcast

Abby Ellin also visits this week, to discuss her new book, “Duped: Double Lives, False Identities, and the Con Man I Almost Married.” “When somebody is lying to you about being in the C.I.A. and being a Navy Seal and being responsible for this secret operation and that secret operation, you can’t verify it,” Ellin says. “Even if I wanted to, it would have been hard. And also, I didn’t think that was a loving way to kick off a relationship.”
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"I have recommended this one to friends who've loved someone they turned out not to know... [Ellin] pulls off the tricky balancing act of avoiding either self-justification or self-castigation...Reading 'Duped' gave me occasion to second-guess even gentler deceptions; it may actually have made me a (slightly) better person."—Tim Kreider, New York Times Book Review
Abby Ellin's writing is everything her fiancé pretended to be: witty, vulnerable, brave, smart, and honest.—Michael Finkel, author of the National Bestseller, The Stranger in the Woods
"Candid and entertaining, Ellin's book offers insight into the socially and psychologically complex nature of deceit as well as the choices she made as a duped woman. Lively, provocative reading."—Kirkus Reviews
"The author's hybrid of memoir and journalism works well for general readers, keeping things engaging and witty...A timely book for folks who wonder how we ended up in this post-truth world as well as readers of books
like A Beautiful, Terrible Thing (2017) by Jen Waite."—Booklist
"Abby Ellin has been Duped, and in this fascinating book, she reveals how and why ordinary people are often deceived by extraordinarily mendacious con artists. Ellin's personal story leads her to delve deep into research of why people lie and how they lie, and she discovers how common treachery can be. If you've ever been lied to, or told a lie, you will want to read this surprising, personal, and funny investigation of deception."—Piper Kerman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orange is the New Black
"I couldn't put it down!"—Gretchen Rubin, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project and The Four Tendencies
"From the wildly entertaining opening chapter of Duped, Abby Ellin explores the why and how of great imposters, many of whom occupied important swaths of her life. Swerving from the deceitful, manipulative, pathological narcissists to the professional use of lie detectors, she makes researching dishonesty an entertaining and fascinating read."—Jonna HiestandMendez, former CIA chief of disguise
"I loved this book, and not just because of Abby Ellin's masterful storytelling. This is a book that can save lives. She paints an exquisite portrait of what life with a predator is like. No child should go to college without first reading this book."—Joe Navarro, formerFBI agent and bestselling author of Dangerous Personalities
"Thrilling, weird, and funny, Duped reveals the psychology of gaslighting, the prevalence of gullibility, and the wisdom in paranoia. Abby Ellin is a shrewd chronicler of cons and a gracious friend to the duped."—Ada Calhoun, authorof Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give
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