Confidence by Rafael Frumkin
Ezra Green is a smart, bored high schooler who winds up in juvie for selling fake drugs to his classmates. It’s there he meets Orson: charming, ambitious, opportunistic. They become friends, then roommates, then business partners—though Ezra never gives up hope that their relationship will become something deeper.
Their series of petty cons snowballs into something riskier when Orson pitches his (false) life story to investors. NuLife, a tech/wellness startup that guarantees enlightenment, is born. Orson charms the press and basks in his newfound cult-leader status while Ezra takes care of business and ignores his own deteriorating health. As NuLife’s popularity explodes, Orson refuses to turn down any business opportunities—even ones that land NuLife (and Ezra) in international hot water.
Rafael Frumkin’s second novel about lovable grifters is a sharp, funny satire inspired by wellness cults and white-collar crime. Recommended for fans of the Anna Delvey and Elizabeth Holmes sagas.
Reviewed by Emma Radosevich, collection development librarian, Whatcom County Library System
(Originally published in Bellingham Alive May 2023 issue.)