GRAND DECEPTION by Alexander- Ed. Klein


Email this review


A fascinating bag of fabulous, tricky, gay -- and sad -- deceivers offers an amazing array of creative careers where peculiar talents have been put to work to hoax, humbug, swindle and fraud -- and sometimes just to bemuse and bewilder. All from real life and reported by such recognized writers as Holbrook, Edith Sitwell, Louis Biancolli, Asbury, Gene Fowler, Wechsberg, William C. White, Alva Johnston, Liebling, John T. Flynn, Alan Hynd, Klaus Mann and others. The eccentrics themselves, those who outwitted the experts, the game of illusion for the sport of it (look, there's Virginia Woolf right in the middle of some Abyssinian princes), the Jiggery pokery of legal machinery, and the mating call of large profit -- these are the categories in which you will meet such interesting people as Van Meegeren, the astounding art forger, de Rougemont who never did travel among cannibal chiefs, the Cardiff giant's begetters, Kreisler and his own compositions which first appeared under little known names, Insull and finance gone wild, the taking of Jay Gould's scalp, Falion and Erle Stanley Gardner's courtroom tactics -- and many more to tax your credulity -- but after all others fell for them. There's a little man who was always there, a man who was a woman, a prophet-fornicator, Orson Welles' Martian broadcast, literary forgers, medicine, the sinking of Manhattan, spoofing in spiritualism, Florida and Hollywood press agenting, -- and more, more, more in which people and the public have been gulled -- gladly. Quackery and duplicity to satisfy the Walter Mitty in everyone.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1955
Publisher: Lippincott