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Son of a Grifter Audiobook

Son of a Grifter: The Twisted Tale of Sante and Kenny Kimes, the Most Notorious Con Artists in America: A Memoir by the Other Son

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Publisher's Summary

In 1988 a troubled young man and his flamboyant mother were arrested for murdering a wealthy widow in her New York City mansion. Suddenly America was transfixed by a pair of real-life film noir characters. The media couldn't get enough of the twisted relationship between Sante Kimes and her 23-year-old son, Kenny. But the most chilling story of all was never told - until now.

Kent Walker, Sante's elder son, reveals how he survived 40 years of "the Dragon Lady's" very special brand of motherly love and still managed to get away. As a child Kent watched his mother destroy his hardworking father, Ed Walker, and then - with Kent's painful collusion - snare what Sante called "my millionaire". When she married seemingly respectable real-estate developer Ken Kimes, it was a match made in hell. For the next two decades, Kent's mother and stepfather indulged in a globetrotting orgy of criminal behavior, laying waste to each other and anyone who got in the way. When Kent's half brother, Kenny, was born, Kent was 12 years old - old enough to know that he was his younger sibling's only protector.

©2001 Kent Walker with Mark Schone (P)2017 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Well researched and touching.... As a chronicle of Sante Kimes's life, it's unlikely to be surpassed by any other." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (63 )
5 star
 (38)
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4.6 (61 )
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4.5 (62 )
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Performance
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  •  
    jaye GREENWICH, CT, United States 07-03-17
    jaye GREENWICH, CT, United States 07-03-17 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    195
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    Story
    "CON PEOPLE AT THEIR WORST!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    YES. IT IS SUCH A PREPOSTEROUS STORY. YET IT IS TRUE. SANTE KIMES WAS A FLAWED PERSON. SHE LEFT CHAOS EVERYWHERE SHE WENT. SHE HAD NO IDEA OF WHAT HAVING MORALS WAS EVEN ABOUT. IT MOVES FROM ONE INCIDENT TO THE NEXT. KEEPS YOU INTERESTED.


    What other book might you compare Son of a Grifter to and why?

    SERPENTINE BY THOMAS THOMPSON.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    WHEN SANTE GOT HER JUST DESERT.


    Any additional comments?

    I HAD BEEN WAITING FOR THIS BOOK. I READ IT PHYSICALLY A LONG TIME AGO. I CAN'T READ ANYMORE AND I WAS HAPPY WHEN IT WAS AVAILABLE AUDIBLY

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nurture Learners and Able Observers 08-16-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Good Story Telling"
    If you could sum up Son of a Grifter in three words, what would they be?

    Ups and Downs


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    That the step father Ken Kimes was so underestimated in his role and influence.


    What does John Glouchevitch bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Great narration, just fabulous.


    If you could give Son of a Grifter a new subtitle, what would it be?

    Criminal Minds.


    Any additional comments?

    Myself, and I'm sure many readers, have crossed paths or have been situated with sociopathic and narcissistic personalities. Sometimes people are afflicted with both in addition to having a sadistic personality disorder. I have had to deal with family members that have all three. I understand the constant distress these people bring to the table. The damage they can do. The silent ones and the loud ones. It is a lot to work through when the damage is done. The recounting of these stories was very well laid out to bring the insanity to the table so the reader can understand. Kent Walker had a lot of innate personal integrity rise above the conditions he found himself in.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dog andus 07-22-17
    Dog andus 07-22-17
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    "Well told"

    This had to be hard to tell. Dysfunctional family is an understatement and while step father, mother and step brother decided to turn bad, the author is the victor of his life deciding to live an acceptable life instead of a life of crime although he laments not having a normal loving family. Very well told, didn't want to stop listening.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    IndyMcDuff USA 10-18-17
    IndyMcDuff USA 10-18-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wow"

    If nothing else, this book will make you treasure your own parents...and even your in-laws.

    A well told accounting of the travesty that was Sante Kimes, the most bold and greedy grifter of all time. This is a person without a soul.

    Of course you will wonder why the older son did not just walk away. It is a dynamic I fail to understand. My sons love me, but surely they would not if I had pulled any of this crap.

    I'm glad she died in prison. Too bad there is no Pit of Sarlac as there is in Star Wars.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brett Yorba Linda, CA, United States 09-18-17
    Brett Yorba Linda, CA, United States 09-18-17 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Relentless Fraud and Murder"
    Where does Son of a Grifter rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is in my top 10. I have listened to hundreds of audible books over the last 12 years. The story is a bit personal to me as my mom displays some of the characteristics of Sante Kimes and a lot of the story takes place near where I grew up in Orange County. Additionally, both Kenny Kimes and I went to UC Santa Barbara. He was there a few years after I graduated though.


    What other book might you compare Son of a Grifter to and why?

    Maybe confessions of a Cartel Hitman or The New Confessions of an Economic Hitman. However, this one is much more complex as there are very few people like Sante Kimes in this world. Some lie and cheat, but she is the gold medal winner if there was ever a competition.


    What about John Glouchevitch’s performance did you like?

    Performance was good. Good tempo, very easy to understand. Voices of characters were done pretty well.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    A few laughs here and there. Maybe a little anger. No tears though


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this book. In some respects it's hard to believe how much of a psychopath that Sante Kimes was. However, I know a few people like her (but not at her level) and I see the potential for evil in these people.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrizia Maybee 08-24-17
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    "Not as good as I expected"
    Any additional comments?

    I've never really understood when someone complains about a narrator ruining the story. Now I get it! This narrators breathless voice was very annoying for me. Even worse when he did the female voices. The story was long and I had a hard time feeling sympathy for the writer. Sometimes I found myself doubting if parts of his story were even true. One thing for sure, this woman was a terrible person. Bottom line, I struggled to get to the end.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-26-17 Member Since 2017
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    "It's amazing how much my childhood has in common"

    Interesting but sometimes hard to believe that Kent was eating out of trash cans for weeks and nobody at school could tell that he was homeless. Then his mother would show up in a house after abandoning him. Why didn't he just sleep there. It is awesome that Kent survived to live an ordinary life.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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