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Fake! The Story of Elmyr De Hory, the…

Fake! The Story of Elmyr De Hory, the Greatest Art Forger of Our Time (edition 1969)

by Clifford Irving

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Title:Fake! The Story of Elmyr De Hory, the Greatest Art Forger of Our Time
Authors:Clifford Irving
Info:Mcgraw-Hill (1969), Edition: First edition., Hardcover, 243 pages
Collections:Your library

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Fake! The Story of Elmyr De Hory, the Greatest Art Forger of Our Time by Clifford Irving



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This is an entertaining look at a career forger's life, relationships, and experience in the art world, both as a legitimate artist and as a forger. I loved it. The book is well-researched; the author was friends with Elmyr de Hory (the forger) and verified (to the extent possible) de Hory's accounts of events in his life. De Hory was a global traveler during his forging years, so the book takes us all over the world and describes his interactions with artists, art dealers, and eventually his "partners" (from whom he often tried to distance himself). It was also a very interesting look at art dealing, art experts, and auction houses.

As entertaining a character as de Hory was, however, his life was sad and tragic. I found myself alternating between feeling bad for him and feeling as though he had opportunities to change his situation. He (and one of his despised partners) were both so outrageous that they sometimes came across as caricatures, but the author verified witness accounts of their behaviors, so they were nevertheless believable.

The epilogue to the book (in which the author reveals some details that he couldn't reveal in the first publication of the book) was also very interesting and was necessary (in my opinion) to fully understanding the whole story.

I bought this book on Kindle and did notice some typos and formatting issues with the pictures of the forgeries, but it was still readable in this format.

Follow-up: In the epilogue, the author mentions "legal issues" with his publisher over another book about Howard Hughes. I decided to Google that to see what he was referring to. It turns out that he was accused of, and eventually admitted to, forging an autobiography of Howard Hughes. In the epilogue to Fake!, Irving describes how Elmyr de Hory did not like the way he was portrayed in Fake!. I guess this does make me a little skeptical of the author, even though I don't know if that skepticism is with merit because Fake! did seem well-researched and doesn't seem to be surrounded with controversy. However, I am revising my star count from 5 to 3 because I don't feel entirely confident in the book's accuracy. Prior to reading about the Howard Hughes autobiography scandal, however, I found the book believable. So take these words with a grain of salt. ( )
  slug9000 | Aug 15, 2013 |
This book traces the history of Elmyr de Hory, a prolific and versatile art forger whose works may still be hanging in world museums. The story is sad and fascinating. The irony is that it was written by Clifford Irving who aspired to be a fake autobiographer; he wrote the Autobiography of Howard Hughes and was caught and prosecuted. ( )
  Amusedbythis | Jul 7, 2013 |
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In 1897, in the Mitcham's Beat region of Alabama, a politician is murdered and his friends form a secret society to find those responsible for his killing, leaving in their wake a trail of mayhem known as the Mitcham Beat War.

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