Read Paper Moon by Joe David Brown Peter Bogdanovich Online


The classic tale of a female Huck Finn, Peter Bogdanovich's film version of the book was nominated for four Academy Awards. Set in the darkest days of the Great Depression, this is the timeless story of an 11-year-old orphan's rollicking journey through the Deep South with a con man who just might be her father. Brimming with humor, pathos, and an irresistible narrative enThe classic tale of a female Huck Finn, Peter Bogdanovich's film version of the book was nominated for four Academy Awards. Set in the darkest days of the Great Depression, this is the timeless story of an 11-year-old orphan's rollicking journey through the Deep South with a con man who just might be her father. Brimming with humor, pathos, and an irresistible narrative energy, this is American storytelling at its finest. Paper Moon is tough, vibrant, and ripe for rediscovery....

Title : Paper Moon
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781568582306
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 308 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Paper Moon Reviews

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-05-09 10:25

    This is an amazing and nostalgic thrill-ride of a book, full of 1970's psychedelic spirit and unforgettable characters. Definitely a book I'd recommend! :D

  • Connie
    2019-05-08 08:02

    After eleven-year-old Addie Pray's mother dies, she travels around the South with Moses "Long Boy" Pray, the man who might be her biological father. He's a con man who tricks widows into buying Bibles and photographs of their deceased husbands. The sassy, smart Addie proves to be a good accomplice. They soon move on to more sophisticated swindles as they travel from Alabama to Tennessee and Louisiana.I soon found myself cheering on Addie and Long Boy even though they were cheating people out of money during the Depression of the 1930s. They never try to swindle the very poor. Addie needs to feel that she's part of a family, and she has a vulnerability that tugs at the heart. Long Boy takes good care of Addie in his own way, although he is introducing her to a life of crime. Both Addie and Long Boy have quick minds and are fast talkers so they make a good team. Several other people also act as substitute family members that show her a part of the world that she has not experienced.The book is written in a conversational tone in a Southern voice with Addie looking back at her younger days. The first part of the story was made into the movie "Paper Moon". Joe David Brown is a great storyteller with a good sense of humor.

  • Camie
    2019-04-23 14:25

    The basis of the memorable B&W Academy Award film (1973) starring Ryan O' Neal and his daughter Tatum ( who won an Oscar award for her performance at age 8), this 2002 edition re- titled from the original Addie Pray has a forward that explains the book / movie connection. Set mostly in depression era Alabama and narrated by spunky 11 year old Addie Pray this book follows her adventures as the adorable and adept accomplice to the many money making hijinks pulled by charismatic shyster Moses (Long Boy ) Pray who is possibly her father. Written in a manner reminiscent of Steinbeck with a young heroine given Huck Finn like pluck , this was an enjoyable selection by my Southern Literary club. 4 stars

  • Diane Barnes
    2019-04-25 06:03

    This was a re-read for me, but the first time must have been at least 35-40 years ago. I remembered some parts and particulars, but the ending not at all. A very satisfactory ending, I must say. Addie joins Scout Finch and Ellen Foster as one of my favorite child narrators. Even with the con games and swindling, Addie and Long Boy had their own kind of morality and code of ethics.My favorite quote from the book that sums it all up nicely: "Everyone is better off with some class," Major Lee said once, "but if you're phony, it's absolutely mandatory."

  • Kirk Smith
    2019-04-23 13:25

    I have forever been a fan of the flimflammer, the con artist, the charming swindler. It is a subject I have long admired as my own personal approach is so distinctly the opposite. I can not recall ever having gained anything worthwhile with a lie, and thus my skills of charm and deceit remain terribly undeveloped. I save myself a lot of time with a simple approach, but I do have huge respect for the con. They are a world apart and I am thrilled to live vicariously through books like this!

  • Howard
    2019-05-14 09:26

    Second reading. The movie adaptation was titled "Paper Moon." The novel was later re-issued under that title.Joe David Brown

  • Mmars
    2019-05-03 12:13

    Oh the delights of just plain reading for pleasure! And this book was just that. First published as Addie Pray in 1971, it was made into the movie Paper Moon in 1973. I remember that, too, as being a delightful little film, though it’s been 40 years. For those of you unfamiliar with the film it starred Ryan O’Neal and his daughter Tatum as Addie Pray, who absolutely charmed me. Now the fictional character Addie Pray has done it again. This charm almost feels subversive because of the hucksters that Addie and her “daddy” Long Boy are. Now Long Boy may or not be her real Daddy, but he’s the one that takes her into his life after her mother dies. And that life is one spent traveling the south scamming people out of money, in small and ever growing ways. They begin with selling personally engraved Bibles and framed pictures of recently deceased husbands and grow from there. At first this is a day to day existence but it quickly evolves into more lucrative and complicated schemes providing them money for expensive cars and stays in good hotels. It doesn’t take Long Boy long to realize that Addie is an asset to his way of life. And despite his hucksterism, he’s good to her and they compliment each other like two peas in a pod. I’ll segue from that little clichéd metaphor to one of my favorite aspects of this book (aside from characterization, masterful storytelling, and uniqueness of concept), that of language. Addie provides the most color through the kinds of metaphors one could only find in the American South, and Long Boy is a master of dialect. It is a dialect that changes depending upon who he is conversing with – their class or status, region. Even if you’ve seen the film and know the story, you may want to read the book if only because less than half of their escapades are contained in the film. (Author Joe David Brown must have had one ingenious mind to think up all of their schemes.) The entire last third of the book takes place in New Orleans where Addie poses as the lost granddaughter of a dying and supposedly wealthy woman. I just realized that my last 5 star read, Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans had a plot similar to this. Only it was a not-so-bright woman who takes in a boy, who is a whip smart WWII evacuee, and together they, too, go door to door scamming people. Not sure what that says about me or my reading, but I read them for different reasons and highly recommend them both.

  • emily
    2019-05-03 12:20

    I have seen the movie that was made based on this novel more than once. I have always loved it. I thought Tatum O'Neal was the coolest little kid ever and I loved Addie. The movie changed quite a few things from the book. For one thing, the title used to be Addie Pray, but when they re-printed the book, they switched it to match the title of the movie. To be honest, I like this title better, so that's okay with me. I wish they had been able to add some of the things that happened near the end of the novel into the movie; it would have been some great scenes, but I get why some of it wasn't in there. It would have been hard, and very long. Addie tells you a lot, and the timeline covers a few years, they chose to simplify the film, and it worked. The novel however, is fantastic. Addie is all you could hope for in a narrator. She is tough, feisty, charming, funny, sweet and really pays attention to the people and world around her. Her relationship with Long Boy (Moze in the film) is brilliant. They get on with each other much better and quicker in the novel. Their cons and travels are interesting and fun to read about, Addie is smart and I have always enjoyed novels set near the 1920s and 30s and this is a great look at the depression era. For Addie alone, this is one of my favorite novels, but the story is rich and very much worth a read.

  • Tina
    2019-05-21 11:19

    "When he was wound up right he could sell doodle bugs for doorknobs." Long Boy was a con man in the hardscrabble days of the Great Depression. Addie Pray was his eleven-year-old accomplice and sidekick. Together young Addie and her "daddy" combed the Southern United States looking for their next big swindle.To say I enjoyed this book is a understatement. It is funny, warm and clever and just as good as the movie named for it called Paper Moon. Joe David Brown created some unforgettable characters in this book as well as some very creative swindles. You have to wonder if those slippery deals were researched or of Brown's own imagination.

  • Stuart
    2019-05-06 09:30

    One of the best books I have ever read. It is a happy collection of scams, stings and adventures by a depression era con artist and his (possibly) illegitimate daughter. The story is told from the perspective of 12-year-old Addie Pray who takes us through the life of a pair of grifters. They start out small, tricking widows into buying bibles and photos of their departed loved ones, but gradually expands to "doing business" on much bigger victims. They have run-ins with bootleggers, the bonded cotton buyers market and the wealthy nephew of a bitter old widow. The book was originally titled "Addie Pray", the name was changed after the 1973 film came out and is now known as Paper Moon. You will not find a reference to "Paper Moon" in the book. That name came about because the director of the movie liked the sound of it and inserted a scene in the film with Addie having her picture taken in a paper moon set at a carnival.

  • LeslieGolden
    2019-05-05 07:04

    They just don't make books like this anymore. Addie Pray is a female Huckleberry Finn, with the practical, good-humored insight of Scout Finch and Mattie Ross. I picked it up first because it charmed my father back in the 1970's, then I jumped in, thrilled it was set in Alabama, my adopted home. Finally, I surrendered to Addie's charms because her character is irresistible. A precocious, film-flammer with a belated sense of justice, Addie is an original.Forget the movie, "Paper Moon" although it is faithful to the first third of the book. The adventures of Moses and Addie Pray don't end after their contretemps with the bootlegging sheriff. Read on as the intrepid pair redistribute wealth throughout the South, righting wrongs and separating unnecessary valuta from souls too greedy or foolish to be trusted with that much dinero. Mainly listen to the wonderful, authentic voice of Addie Pray as she cuts through the nonsense and flapdoodle of adult society. She's a joy.So, read it for the schemes, read it to revisit the South or read this for the jokes but take the time to meet Addie Pray. She's too good to miss.

  • Cleo
    2019-05-19 14:10

    This book, which McKenzie reviewed, sounded really interesting, so I borrowed it from her and...I was hooked. I always like to read books about enterprising con men and women who you can sympathize with. Addie Pray is eleven years old, and she travels around Alabama and a few other states with Long Boy, who is possibly her daddy, and they fleece a whole bunch of gullible people.I agree with Kenzie in that this one should have become more of a classic. It's really entertaining; not what I would call "high-brow literature" (whatever that means), but fun to read. I think they made a movie out of it though. I didn't find the dry patch that Kenzie referred; there were a lot of various different types of cons that were described, and I liked that. I wanted their adventures to continue. I probably liked this one a lot because I really like the movie The Sting (which incidentally was made around the same time as this book was published), which also about con men during the Depression. So now you have two reviews motivating you to read

  • Elaine
    2019-04-24 09:19

    I’ve loved the movie for many years, “Paper Moon,” but I know that movies rarely cover the entire story. In this case, it covered about a third of the book which was originally titled, “Addie Pray.” The rest is just as good, and the end is really sweet, but I can see why they decided not to do a sequel. The author made mid-1930s South really come alive for me, but what really amazed me is how an older man could write from a twelve year old girl’s perspective. I’m so glad I took the time to read it.

  • Clark
    2019-04-23 07:05

    Loved this book. Loved it. Best "con" story that I ever read. Old school Flim-flam. Well drawn characters. Bogdanovich did a terrific job with the movie. I prefer the book, though. So many more adventures with Addy and Long Boy. Lot of fun, and a great snap shot of Depression era america. Deserves to be read by more folks. Pick it up!

  • Anna
    2019-05-09 14:16

    I've read and re-read this book many times since my childhood. My mom had a copy, and eventually it became mine. The movie Paper Moon really missed much of the charm and the point of the story for me.The whole point of the book (IMO) is tagging along on a series of adventures, getting a feel for the rootlessness and need for each other that the two main characters have. Also, leaving out the colonel and the whole New Orleans story? A total crime. That's by far the best of the book. A vagabond finds a home, of a sort, an actual house, with people to look after her in almost the traditional way that children are supposed to be looked after (i.e., not living on the road as a con artist, eating tamales in the middle of the night with daddy's prostitute friends). What on earth will happen next? Life in the American South, in a really specific era, was also part of the charm, that the movie missed. What was that in the film? The book's sense of place is essential. In this time and place, when conformity was part of life, these two charmers live by their own rules, because for them there was no other life. It's true that Tatum O'Neal gave a great performance as Addie, I've no complaints there, I only wish the film hadn't been so cartoonish. I'm not sure that was the author's style.

  • Layla
    2019-05-09 08:14

    I am obsessed with the movie Paper Moon so I had to read this. It did not let me down. Rarely am I glad I have seen a movie before reading the book but since Tatum O'Neal is so perfectly fantastic in the film, I was happy to picture her while reading this book. I was sorry I saw Silver Linings Playbook before reading the book because I kept picturing Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence the whole time I was reading it. I digress.This book is filled with garbled, confusing, southern twang that at times I'd have to read a word over to figure out what it was supposed to be. Like "allus". Even in context, the first time I read that I had to say it out loud in different twangs to figure out he meant "always". Texans just say "awlways"; we got drawl.The book naturally has a lot more crazy stories in it than the film. I've kind of been on a binge of watching movies that involve cons, short and long. The short cons in this book blow my mind with their simplicity. I have to imagine that at least most of the cons in the book are ones that have actually happened. The ending is so drastically different from the movie. It's almost like two different stories and for that I'm grateful.

  • Ryal Woods
    2019-05-02 13:26

    I read this book about a thousand times between the ages of 11 and 14. I can still recite much of it from memory. It's a kid's-eye view of high adventure in the time of the depression in the South. I wanted to be Addie Pray, a savvy kid con artist along with her may-be father. It's amazing, how well Joe David Brown wrote from an 11 year old girl's perspective, it fit perfectly with my own view of the world at that age. This book formed my ideas of a romantic life, in the sense of being a brilliant kid working out her existence amidst the hustle of a grown up world, and it fuelled my imagination. I owe a lot to Addie Pray, she taught me to be tough, be wary, be clever, and meet the adults on their own level - and often above it. When my sister had a baby girl and named her Addie, I found a card with a little girl sitting on a crescent moon to welcome her into the world. She lives on!

  • Frank
    2019-05-07 14:25

    Highly enjoyable! I have always been a big fan of the movie version of this novel that came out in the 1970s starring Ryan and Tatum O'Neal but I am now an even bigger fan of the novel - a delightful romp through the depression years as told by Addie Pray, a precocious 11-year old scamp. The movie was pretty faithful to the first half of the novel but most of the second half was not included in the movie. Maybe it was being saved for a possible sequel? Anyway, the whole book is fun story-telling about the lives of two talented con artists in the 30s - also very reminiscent of the movie "The Sting". I guess people had to think up creative ways to survive during that time. High recommendation!

  • Kayli
    2019-05-04 08:21

    Please note**** This is not a children's book! I somehow thought it was and gave it to my 10 and 12-year-old to read, which they did, before I read it. And then when I read it I was quite horrified at the inappropriate content! It wasn't explicit, in fact, I'm quite sure my 10-year-old missed all the references, but STILL! I couldn't settle down and enjoy the book very well until I left it for a couple days to let my feelings of shame simmer. It is a story ABOUT a child, however. And it's really quite interesting. The boldness of this pair of con artists is amazing--even though they're using their talents for dishonest pursuits, you still have to admire their pluck. Also, I like how it ended, and I did not expect that.

  • Kira
    2019-05-09 08:28

    I really like this book, but this is one of the rare times where I like the movie more than the book. Maybe I'm biased because I saw the movie as a kid first, but it's still one of my favorite movies. That being said, the book is also amazing and offers up more insight from Addie and more details about the characters (In the book, its made clear that Moze is probably Addie's father, but he wont admit it) than the movie does. However, I wasn't too interested in the latter half of the book involving Major Lee and Grandmama Sass, though. It wasn't nearly as interesting as the first half of the book. All in all a pretty great book.

  • Jessica
    2019-05-23 12:13

    I read the older, pre-movie version of the movie, "Paper Moon". If you can, read the old book, it may be called Adie Pray, I can't remember. Then watch the movie. The movie is good, but it leaves out so much! It is about a young girl who is orphaned and travels around with a professional con man. They run scams like selling bibles to recent widows, tricking the agriculture committee, and selling a moonshiner his own illegal liquor. Great characters and even better descriptions of the story.

  • Becky
    2019-05-04 06:19

    About half way through the book I found it funny that I was pulling for the dishonest heroin. This was a very entertaining read about a young girl and her "maybe" father going about the south in the 30's pulling cons. The heroine did have many wonderful moral qualities, and at the same time was all about doing "business"! Don't base this book off the movie which was kind of dark and depressing. This book is light hearted and fun for the most part.

  • Chris Walker
    2019-05-07 10:03

    Those of you old enough may remember the black and white 1973 film of Paper Moon featuring an impossibly young looking Ryan O'Neal and his daughter, Tatum as a couple of smalltime cons working the southern states of America during the Depression. (Youtube has scenes here: The film was funny and well done but deviated from the storyline in the book which is worth reading for its own sake. Lots of fun and a happy feel good ending.

  • Vicki
    2019-05-09 13:17

    For a while I thought I was going to like the movie better than the book but once Major Lee came along, I was hooked. Colorful characters and crafty schemes drive this book and adventure abounds. The Southern dialect seemed a bit off to me at times but that's a picky detail only Southerners will notice. It's been said before but it's absolutely true: Addie Pray is Scout and Huck Finn rolled into one. She's the real deal.

  • Meagan
    2019-05-06 09:02

    I read this book when I was living with my mother in law. It is a very longing, lovely story. There is so much the main character is trying to overcome and cope with and she finds the right man who eventually helps her to become comfortable with herself and her situation. This is after going through many trials and tribulations.

  • Amber
    2019-05-11 09:07

    Wonderful, lovely book. Different from the film, but I do love them both. The styling and language is perfect and charming.The characters are amazing. Cons & money-making 'business' are just a vehicle for a story about close relationships. The ending just about broke my heart but kind of in a Harold and Maude way where everything'll be alright.

  • Alyssa
    2019-05-22 13:32

    I think that this book reminds me of an episode of The Simpson's when Bart has taken up 'grifting rubes'The part where they hobble together a golden bible and con the widows is the only part of the book I really remember very well. I remember sitting back and thinking 'genious!' and wanting to immediately go out and make myself a con.

  • Michael Pearce
    2019-05-20 09:24

    I almost never give five-star ratings.Addie is a young girl traveling through the Depression-era south with her grifter father. She is precocious, witty and engaging, and her observations of human nature are bitingly on point and occasionally hilarious. Her frank first-person narrative draws you into her world of cons and con-men from the first page and never lets go. This is a must read.

  • John
    2019-05-06 08:14

    I loved this book. It is a rambling tale of an unlikely duo (a young girl, a middle aged con-man), getting into trouble and finding love in one another. Heartfelt, but far from cheesy and typical. The setting is one of the things that I loved, you get a true sense of the people and places. I didn't want this book to end. Now-a-days it would probably be a series.

  • Bt
    2019-05-07 09:20

    Great fun! Not deep or really engrossing or anything, but just plain fun. I especially love the narrator's "voice" and personality - the characters are very real and I was rooting for them all the way! Very unique and definitely had me laughing. I loved Addie!