Fiendishly devious and addictively readable, Peter Carey’s My Life as a Fake is a moral labyrinth constructed around the uneasy relationship between literature and lying. In steamy, fetid Kuala Lumpur in 1972, Sarah Wode-Douglass, the editor of a London poetry journal, meets a mysterious Australian named Christopher Chubb. Chubb is a despised literary hoaxer, carting around a manuscript likely filled with deceit. But in this dubious manuscript Sarah recognizes a work of real genius. But whose genius? As Sarah tries to secure the manuscript, Chubb draws her into a fantastic story of imposture, murder, kidnapping, and exile–a story that couldn’t be true unless its teller were mad. My Life as a Fake is Carey at his most audacious and entertaining.
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|Title of Romance eBook: My Life as a Fake|
|Release Date: 05-20-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||My Life as a Fake|
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My Life as a Fake
Chapter OneThe Old Rectory, Thornton, Berkshire. August 1985
I have known John Slater all my life. Perhaps you remember the public brawl with Dylan Thomas, or even have a copy of his famous book of 'dirty' poems. If it's an American edition you'll discover, on the inside flap, a photograph of the handsome, fair-haired author in cricket whites. Dewsong was published in 1930. Slater was twenty at the time, very nearly a prodigy.
That same year I was born Sarah Elizabeth Jane to a beautiful, impatient Australian mother and a no less handsome but rather posh English father, Lord William Wode-Douglass, generally known as Boofy.
Slater's own class background was rather ambiguous, though my mother, a dreadful snob, had a tin ear, and I know she thought Slater very grand and therefore permitted him excesses she would not have tolerated from the Chester grammar-school boy he really was.
It was Slater who carved my father's thirtieth birthday cake with his bare hands, who rode a horse into the kitchen, who brought Unity Mitford to dinner during the period she was stealing stationery from Buckingham Palace and carrying that nasty little ferret around in her handbag.
I cannot say that I understood his role in my parents' marriage, and only when my mother killed herself - in a spectacularly awful style - did I suspect anything was amiss. In the last minutes of her life I saw John Slater put his arms around her and finally I understood, or thought I did.
From that moment I hated everything about him: his self-absorption, his intense angry good looks, but most of all those electric blue eyes which inhabited my imagination as...