Fakers: Hoaxers, Con Artists, Counterfeiters, and Other Great Pretenders
Fakers are believedâ€”and, at least for a time, celebratedâ€”because they each promise us, screen-gazing and experience-starved, something real and authentic, a view, however fleeting, of a great thing rarely glimpsed. â€”from Fakers
From James Frey and his fake memories of drug-addled dissolution to Stephen Glass and his fake dispatches from the fringes of politics to the author formerly known as JT LeRoy and his fake rural tough talk, we are beset by real-seeming fiction masquerading as truth. We are living in the era of the fake.
Fakers is a fascinating exploration of the varieties of faking, from its historical roots in satire and con artistry to its current boom. Paul Maliszewski journeys into the heart of our fake world, telling tales of the New York Sun's 1835 moon hoax, the invented poet Ern Malley (the inspiration for Peter Carey's novel My Life as a Fake), and Maliszewski's own satiric letters to the editor of the Business Journal of Central New York (written, unbeknownst to the editor, while he worked there as a reporter). Through these stories, he explains why fakers almost always find believers and often flourish.
Since 1997, the author has been on the trail of fakers and believers, asking the tricksters why they dissembled and the believers why they were ever fooled. Fakers tells us much about what we believe and want, why we trust, and why we still get duped.
The essays in Fakers explore:â€˘ Jayson Blair's faked New York Times stories, about Jessica Lynch and much elseâ€˘ Early American con artistsâ€˘ Oscar Hartzell and the long-running Drake's fortune scamâ€˘ Internet hoaxes about man-eating bearsâ€˘ Han van Meegeren's forged Vermeersâ€˘ Clifford Irving's fake autobiography of Howard Hughesâ€˘ Michael Chabon's fictionalized version of his early yearsâ€˘ Binjamin Wilkomirski's fabricated Holocaust memoirâ€˘ In-depth interviews with three fakers: journalist Michael Finkel, painter Sandow Birk, and performance artist Joey Skaggs
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - RSard - LibraryThing
Engagingly written, the first section of the book into Paul Maliszewski's own writings is both sad and amusing - amusing because so many of the examples he gives are obviously satirical, sad because ... Read full review
FAKERS: Hoaxers, Con Artists, Counterfeiters, and Other Great PretendersUser Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
No stranger to creative nonfiction, the author comments on some premeditated misrepresentations and the perps who presented them to a gullible public.Maliszewski begins his first book with a ... Read full review
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