Thursday, July 21, 2005

Book 41: My Life as a Fake, by Peter Carey

This fascinating novel about a literary hoax that leads to dire consequences is a quick read, though not what I would call easy. The story centers on a woman who is the publisher of a literary magazine. When she journeys to Malaysia with a friend, she makes an unexpected and remarkable discovery of some poetry that definitely merits publication and study. The apparent "keeper" of this volume is a man known to the publisher's traveling companion, and he seems to be a loathsome sort who has been left destitute in the shops of the city for some unknown reason. He tells the publisher his story, and what makes the tale particularly intriguing is the fact that he's is clearly an unreliable narrator who is disguising and/or distorting the truth in a variety of ways. Ultimately, the tale leads to the creation of a golem, but certainly not one that you might expect. It's a story that gets better and better upon reflection, and one to which I might return in the future for a follow-up read.

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