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The Barefoot Bandit: The True Tale of Colton Harris-Moore, New American Outlaw [NOOK Book]

Overview

The Barefoot Bandit tells the riveting true story of Colton Harris-Moore, America's twenty-first-century outlaw. Born into a poor family marred by alcohol abuse, Colt had the local sheriff after him before the age of ten. Colt survived by breaking into homes to forage for food, and learned to evade the police by melting into the Pacific Northwest wilds. As a teenager, he escalated to stealing cars, boats, and identities. An extensive manhunt finally caught Colt, but he escaped juvenile prison and fled to nearby ...
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The Barefoot Bandit: The True Tale of Colton Harris-Moore, New American Outlaw

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Overview

The Barefoot Bandit tells the riveting true story of Colton Harris-Moore, America's twenty-first-century outlaw. Born into a poor family marred by alcohol abuse, Colt had the local sheriff after him before the age of ten. Colt survived by breaking into homes to forage for food, and learned to evade the police by melting into the Pacific Northwest wilds. As a teenager, he escalated to stealing cars, boats, and identities. An extensive manhunt finally caught Colt, but he escaped juvenile prison and fled to nearby Orcas Island, where he assured his place alongside outlaw legends such as D. B. Cooper by stealing an airplane without ever having a formal flight lesson. And that was just the beginning.

As a resident of Orcas Island, author Bob Friel witnessed firsthand as local police, FBI agents, SWAT teams, and even Homeland Security helicopters pursued Colt around the island. Colt's crime spree infuriated and terrified many locals, while others sympathized with the barefoot young criminal-the controversy tearing at the formerly quiet community. The story gained international fame, with Time calling Colt "America's Most Wanted Teen" when he stole and crashed his third airplane. After more than two years on the run in the Northwest, Colt fled Orcas and began a spectacular cross-country trek. Friel followed the Barefoot Bandit all the way to the Bahamas, where the chase finally ended in a hail of gunfire at 3 a.m. on a dark sea.

Through his personal experiences and hundreds of interviews with witnesses, victims, local authorities, Colt's family, and, indirectly, Colt himself, Friel gives readers an exclusive look at an outlaw legend. Set against the backdrop of the Pacific Northwest's evergreen islands, where Internet millionaires coexist with survivalists and ex-hippies, this is a gripping, stranger-than-fiction tale about a neglected and troubled child who outfoxed the authorities, gained a cult following, and made the world take notice.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Veteran travel writer Friel's story of Colton Harris-Moore, aka the Barefoot Bandit, reads like something out of the Wild West, complete with an old-fashioned nom de guerre, cross-country chases, and a harrowing shootout in the middle of the night. But the fruits of Harris-Moore's efforts mark his story as that of a distinctly modern outlaw. A neglected, precocious teen growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Harris-Moore looted houses for cash, computers, and junk food, sometimes doing his laundry in victims' homes. However, when a Cessna goes missing, authorities realize their local bandit has greater aspirations, and they have a much bigger problem on their hands. Friel's geographical proximity to the epicenter of Harris-Moore's crimes makes him a well-suited narrator for this compelling procedural. Interviews with locals, as well as Harris-Moore's mother and childhood friends, paint a picture of a shy outsider who spent much of his life fending for himself. Friel traces his criminal evolution with a journalistic eye for detail, covering every crime Harris-Moore committed during his lengthy spree. He would go on to cause thousands of dollars in damage before finally being apprehended on a boat in the Bahamas. Friel is a gifted writer, and though the narrative occasionally gets repetitive, patient readers will relish this cinematic tale of an inspired teenaged fugitive. Others might prefer to wait for the movie adaptation-the rights have been purchased. Photos.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Matthew Polly
"A Dillinger-esque tale for our current Great Recession era. Friel not only gives a brilliantly clear-eyed look at a bandit's adventures but also the effects they had on his peaceful community."
Marcus Sakey
"Riveting, thorough, and deeply human, this terrific read doesn't just tell the story-it brings it to life."
Booklist
"Friel offers a thrilling portrait of a bright and neglected teen trying to outrun authorities and his own troubled past."
Hampton Sides
"Something about Colton Harris-Moore--crafty stealer of cars, boats, and airplanes--captured the fascination of our fast-moving country. But it took Bob Friel, a plucky reporter with a pitch-perfect story sense, to chase down the legend and make it real. In Friel's fine telling, the Barefoot Bandit emerges as both villain and folk hero in a thrilling modern fugitive tale."
Associated Press Staff
"It is Friel's ability to spin a great yarn that draws the reader in from the start and never lets up. And he does it with deft reporting and a breezy and entertaining style that enlivens a tale as incredible as it is true."
Aspen Daily News
"[A] true-crime classic."
Nelson DeMille
"Will keep you on the edge of your seat."

"I doubt if even the best fiction writer could create a character like Colton Harris-Moore. This is an incredible but true story. Bob Friel is a gifted reporter and a very fine writer."

From the Publisher
"Will keep you on the edge of your seat."

"I doubt if even the best fiction writer could create a character like Colton Harris-Moore. This is an incredible but true story. Bob Friel is a gifted reporter and a very fine writer."—Nelson DeMille, New York Times bestselling author of The Gold Coast and The Lion

"Something about Colton Harris-Moore—crafty stealer of cars, boats, and airplanes—captured the fascination of our fast-moving country. But it took Bob Friel, a plucky reporter with a pitch-perfect story sense, to chase down the legend and make it real. In Friel's fine telling, the Barefoot Bandit emerges as both villain and folk hero in a thrilling modern fugitive tale."—Hampton Sides, author of Hellhound on His Trail

"A Dillinger-esque tale for our current Great Recession era. Friel not only gives a brilliantly clear-eyed look at a bandit's adventures but also the effects they had on his peaceful community."—Matthew Polly, bestselling author of American Shaolin and Tapped Out

"[A] true-crime classic."—Aspen Daily News

"Friel offers a thrilling portrait of a bright and neglected teen trying to outrun authorities and his own troubled past."—Booklist

"This highly entertaining story of a modern-day Huck Finn will be enjoyed by lovers of adventure stories as well as true crime."—Library Journal

"It is Friel's ability to spin a great yarn that draws the reader in from the start and never lets up. And he does it with deft reporting and a breezy and entertaining style that enlivens a tale as incredible as it is true."—Associated Press

"Riveting, thorough, and deeply human, this terrific read doesn't just tell the story-it brings it to life."—Marcus Sakey, bestselling author of The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes and The Blade Itself

Library Journal
Colton Harris-Moore's short but impressive crime spree—it ended before he turned 18—is truly the stuff of legend. A bright boy growing up in a dirt-poor home, he focused on his three great loves: airplanes, wilderness survival, and the adrenaline rush of crime. His first crimes were low-key—breaking into homes and stealing food, taking cars for joy-rides, etc.—but his offenses became more serious, expanding to include identity, boat, and airplane theft. His crime spree was a source of embarrassment to local authorities and of sneaking admiration from area antiauthoritarian sympathizers. Eventually caught in the Bahamas, where he had crashed a stolen airplane, Harris-Moore was sentenced to over seven years in prison and awaits sentencing on further charges. Freelance writer and photographer Friel lives on Orcas Island (a part of the San Juan Islands, located in the northwestern corner of Washington State), near the Barefoot Bandit's home territory, and his account of the teenage terror of the coast is compelling. VERDICT This highly entertaining story of a modern-day Huck Finn will be enjoyed by lovers of adventure stories as well as true crime.—Deirdre Bray Root, Middletown P.L., OH
Kirkus Reviews
Highly detailed account of a teenaged criminal who eluded law enforcement for two years. Travel journalist Friel became fascinated with Colton Harris-Moore when he and his wife relocated to the seemingly peaceful residential island of Orcas in the waters off Washington State. Harris-Moore, born in 1991, grew up on Orcas and knew its terrain intimately. By age 10 he was stealing from local businesses and homes. Caught occasionally, he served time in juvenile detention before starting a new crime spree focused on stealing and flying private airplanes, even though he had never completed pilot training. When Harris-Moore could not successfully steal an airplane, he stole pleasure boats and automobiles. As his brazen thefts spread to other islands and then to the mainland, law-enforcement agencies felt certain they could capture Harris-Moore. They were wrong. He often escaped on foot, outrunning police despite his insistence on going through life without wearing shoes (hence his moniker "the barefoot bandit"). Those bare feet and his height caused Harris-Moore to stand out, but he seemingly did not worry about disguising himself. The bulk of the narrative provides sometimes-overwhelming amounts of information about Harris-Moore's crimes and his escapes. Friel also examines his subject's haphazard home life, his loving but often inept mother, his unpopularity in school and his apparent desire to go through his young life as a loner. The author eventually became involved in the search to locate Harris-Moore, adding a mostly effective first-person element to the saga. A remarkable crime saga that could have been 100 pages shorter.
The Barnes & Noble Review

When Bob Rivers's Cessna was stolen and crashed in a rare instance of airplane piracy, the Seattle radio personality had the same thought as local authorities: drug runners had used, abused, and discarded the plane; case closed. To their astonishment, they later learned that the culprit in the 2008 heist was actually seventeen-year-old Colton Harris-Moore, a poor, neglected, troubled kid who'd had no formal flight training. This was the first time Colt had flown a plane, and yet it wouldn't be the last. He was in the midst of a years-long crime spree—boosting cars, boats, identities, airplanes, and lots of food. The pattern of his thieving centered on the coastal islands of the state of Washington, where Bob Friel lives.

Which meant Friel had a front-row seat to the increasingly brazen thefts of the "barefoot bandit," so named because Colt had a penchant for going shoeless. Capitalizing on the trusting nature of island residents, many of whom wouldn't lock their doors, Colt often holed up in vacant vacation homes. Whenever authorities closed in, he would take to the woods and call on his time-tested survival skills. This cat-and-mouse game was infuriating to victims and authorities, and eventually drew the attention and involvement of the FBI and Homeland Security, thanks largely to his ongoing interest in stealing airplanes.

But Colt's brazen ways—repeatedly swiping bicycles from the police station lockup, for example—also engendered respect and admiration in certain circles. It helped that his were nonviolent crimes. "Colt's combination of twenty-first-century tech-savviness and nineteenth-century outlaw cojones came together to create a remarkably effective criminal." Thanks to Facebook fan clubs, he quickly became a modern-day John Dillinger. Like Dillinger, Colt's tale ended in a hail of gunfire. In Colt's case, though, all the bullets missed. Rightly or wrongly, that unbelievable luck adds just another layer of myth to a minor—but no less fascinating—entry in the annals of American crime.

Cameron Martin is a columnist with CBS Sports, Comcast SportsNet New England, and Hearst newspapers. From 1996 to 2007, he was a columnist and feature writer for the Greenwich Time and Stamford Advocate newspapers in Connecticut. Email: cdavidmartin@yahoo.com.

Reviewer: Cameron Martin

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401303792
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 3/20/2012
  • Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 321,371
  • File size: 8 MB

Meet the Author

Friel has authored more than 100 feature articles along with hundreds of columns for magazine such as Outside, Islands, Philadelphia Magazine, Sunset, Caribbean Travel & Life, AAA Living. He has been named "Travel Writer of the Year" and won over 30 awards during his six-year tenure as Editor-in-Chief of Caribbean Travel & Life. He lives on Orcas Island in Washington State with his wife.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 10, 2012

    Opportunity Lost

    A very disappointing book about a subject that had the potential to be very interesting. The author appeared to become lost in the minutiae and details of minor thievery and, consequently, in losing the forest for the trees. All human interaction and insight was also lost. Ultimately, "The Barefoot Bandit" became another boring account of another young man's crime spree rather than iinsight into the heart and mind and development of a young man who briefly became a romantic, barefoot American crime hero. He was unable to obtain a traditional education or success, but he was quite capable of teaching himself to fly airplanes with self help books and DVD discs. Moreover, for a few months the American public was quietly cheering and rooting for the escape of another youthful rebel without a cause.
    Y

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2014

    After months of reading

    I was finally able to finish this book. The author spent too much time on unimportant details and backgrounds of everyone who seemed to come into contact with Colton. The book also focused too much on the locations where incidents happened and the author himself. I would have liked more in depth information and background on the books supposed subject, the barefoot bandit.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2013

    Dayton

    I will have fun hope you find someone soon

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    Blake

    Ok. Puts a hand on her knee. R u nervous?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2013

    Intensely written

    I was as intrigued with the story as I was with it being well written. It bogged down in just a few places but the gramatically correct and keenly creative sentence structures kept me going. Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Thank you for the effort.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2013

    Barefoot Bandit

    Really enjoyed this book. Author has great voice. Gives us a peek into PNW island life and at an amazing young man. A young man who literally should be an astronaut but fell in with the wrong crowd......at birth. And in the $2.99 bin? Deal.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2013

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    Posted March 26, 2012

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    Posted May 24, 2013

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    Posted August 18, 2013

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    Posted April 22, 2012

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