The Hoax is on Readers
Posted by: Kaite Stover
I’m always looking for something fun to share with my book groups and Literary Hoaxes: An Eye-Opening History of Famous Frauds by Melissa Katsoulis is the latest.
Katsoulis takes this subject seriously as she examines the financial, cultural, and professional effects literary fraud can have on an author and the publishing industry. The James Frey story is told without all the sturm und drang of the media and readers will see how the scandal wasn’t the publicity bonanza many thought it was. In Frey’s case, bad publicity wasn’’t better than no publicity at all.
But as serious as the Frey subject may be, it’s hard not to snicker just a little at the guy who bought postcards written by Cleopatra to Julius Caesar and Mary Magdalene to Lazarus.
Mark Twain took a job working for a newspaper in Nevada and on slow news days would make up tall tales, partially to earn the $25 per week and partially to test the gullibility of his readership.
Can you believe everything you read? Think about it after you read this “true crime for readers who don’t like true crime.”