There Is No Ethan

How Three Women Caught America's Biggest Catfish


By Anna Akbari

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$39.00 CAD

One of People's Best Books of June! 

“I did not expect to be shocked by There Is No Ethan. Online deception has become so ubiquitous that it’s boring…But the twists and turns in Anna Akbari’s book are outrageous. I read it in one sitting, then spent days recounting her story to anyone who would listen, unable to shake off my indignation on behalf of the author and her fellow victims.”—New York Times

Part memoir, part explosive window into the mind of a catfisher, a thrilling personal account of three women coming face-to-face with an internet predator and teaming up to expose them.

In 2011, three successful and highly educated women fell head over heels for the brilliant and charming Ethan Schuman. Unbeknownst to the others, each exchanged countless messages with Ethan, staying up late into the evenings to deepen their connections with this fascinating man. His detailed excuses about broken webcams and complicated international calling plans seemed believable, as did last minute trip cancellations. After all, why would he lie?  Ethan wasn't after money — he never convinced his marks to shell out thousands of dollars for some imagined crisis. Rather, he ensnared these women in a web of intense emotional intimacy. After the trio independently began to question inconsistencies in their new flame's stories, they managed to find one another and uncover a greater deception than they could've ever imagined. As Anna Akbari and the women untangled their catfish’s web, they found other victims and realized that without a proper crime, there was no legal reason for “Ethan” to ever stop.

THERE IS NO ETHAN catalogues Akbari's experience as both victim and observer. By looking at the bigger picture of where these stories unfold — a world where technology mediates our relationships; where words and images are easily manipulated; and where truth, reality, and identity have become slippery terms — Akbari gives a page-turning and riveting examination of why stories like Ethan's matter for us all.

  • “[A] Jaw-Dropping Tale of Digital Deception…“There Is No Ethan” is billed as a memoir, and it often reads like a true-crime thriller, but I think it is most meaningfully assessed as a piece of investigative journalism…I won’t soon forget this valiant attempt to hold a manipulator accountable.”
    New York Times
  • “There is no putting this book down… A riveting story that puts into perspective the dark dangers of forming online relationships. A truly terrifying cautionary tale for anyone involved in the online dating world.
    Kirkus Reviews
  • "[R]iveting account of deception and emotional abuse in the early days of online dating."
    Publishers Weekly
  • “Miles beyond mere cautionary tale, THERE IS NO ETHAN is a thrilling cat and mouse saga featuring three strong women who shut down a faux-charming predator. Heart. Wit. Truth. It’s all there on every page. People will talk about this book. And they should--it’s that good.”
    Gregg Olsen, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of If You Tell
  • “Who is Ethan Schuman? That’s the question driving Anna Akbari’s propulsive new book, and the answer packs a wallop. Part memoir, part investigation, Akbari helps readers understand just how easily it is to get conned, no matter how smart or educated you may be. Will be devoured by fans of true crime and those who are still shocked when someone isn’t who they seem to be."
    Abby Ellin, author of Duped: Double Lives, False Identities and the Con Man I Almost Married
  • “Perfect. Essential. Stunning. The missing manual for understanding what modern social engineering has done to us. A fearless, inspiring, relentless reclamation of power that will have you cheering wildly, begging others to read it and feeling strength you forgot you had.”
    Mandy Stadtmiller, author of Unwifeable
  • "As someone who has lived it, this compelling story of a con artist's cunning manipulation gave me chilling flashbacks.  A riveting read that offers critical insight into how you get sucked into the twisted web of elaborate lies, clever excuses and mind games. A surprise twist, and the brave tenacity of the women who unmask this con, will keep you on the edge of your seat."
    Benita Alexander, producer, "Bad Surgeon" on Netflix and "He Lied About Everything" on Investigation Discovery
  • "A true, freakishly wild ride. Appalling, riveting, stirring — with so much suspense. The one-liners and insightful social commentary are ripe to be turned into a film."
    Alyson Stoner, actor

On Sale
Jun 4, 2024
Page Count
304 pages

Anna Akbari

About the Author

Anna Akbari, PhD, is a sociologist and the author of multiple books, including collaborations with more than a dozen authors and public figures across multiple fields and industries. She is a former professor at New York University and Parsons School of Design. She speaks internationally, makes regular media appearances, and has written for or been featured by many top media outlets, including the New York Times, CNN, Forbes, the Atlantic,Time, the Financial Times, TED, Bulletproof Executive, Psychology Today, Google Talks, Sirius XM, and many more. She is the creator of the Substack “The Sociology of… Everything.” Learn more at, and follow on Instagram / Threads: @annaakbari. 

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