The Fabulist: The Lying, Hustling, Grifting, Stealing, and Very American Legend of George Santos

S. & S. Audio. Nov. 2023. 8:13 hrs. ISBN 9781797168197. $19.99. BIOG
PEN/Hemingway honoree Chiusano (Marine Park: Stories) tells the as-yet-unfinished story of George Anthony Devolder Santos, who represented New York’s 3rd district in the U.S. House of Representatives from January to December 2023, when he was expelled for ethics violations. Chiusano’s tireless research and meticulous fact-checking reveal the behind-the-scenes truth about how this infamous charlatan duped gullible voters while constantly lying, hustling, and seeking out new ways to defraud. Chiusano recounts Santos’s background, including scams he ran in Brazil and his elaborate lies about his family and ethnic background. This vital book ends after Santos’s election to the House but just before his expulsion, suggesting a possible forthcoming updated edition. Award-winning narrator André Santana shines in his precise delivery of the biography of arguably the greatest chameleon, con man, and, eventually, ridiculed representative in U.S. history.
VERDICT Chiusano’s case study succeeds in revealing the roots of Santos’s shameless behavior and never-ending lies. This account of how an accomplished scammer rose in national politics is both compelling and sickening. Highly recommended, and an essential purchase for all New York libraries.
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