From Publishers Weekly
Hoaxes are but one tile in the vast mosaic of mis- and disinformation detailed in this delicious compendium of fakery. The ones that Boese offers are a far cry from the classic deceptions spotlighted in his previous The Museum of Hoaxes
; they're mainly smirky Internet pranks, like a fake CNN.com news report that fellatio protects against breast cancer. But Boese finds inexhaustible fodder for his theme of the ubiquitous fakery of modern life, including Enron-style business scams, lip-synching scandals, artificial flavors, mislabeled meats, doctored photos, covert marketing campaigns, celebrity plastic surgery and denials of surgery, breast implants, and that oldest of ruses, the fake orgasm. He also covers a smattering of conspiracy theories—from perennials like subliminal advertising and the "Paul is dead" rumor, to a recent Sudanese panic he dubs the "penis-melting Zionist robot comb"—proving that we are at our most gullible when we are most suspicious. Boese wittily tracks down the leads to establish the truth or—usually—falsehood behind the facade, and sprinkles in handy "Reality Rules" to bolster readers' defenses against nonsense, the most pertinent of which is, "[j]ust because you read it on the Internet doesn't mean it's true." Photos. (Apr.)
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From the author of the entertaining Museum of Hoaxes
(2002) comes an even more entertaining follow-up. The book is a reasonably thorough, not to mention playful, guide to fakery. Advertising posing as legitimate news stories, nonexistent movie reviewers, fraudulent sales pitches, reality television, imaginary Internet bloggers, phony celebrities--they're all here, and plenty more, too. The book also features a series of "reality rules" (#5.2: should a suitably dramatic picture of a major event not exist, one will be created) and several "case files" that use real stories to illustrate various kinds of fakery (like the professor who fell for the Nigerian bank scam). Boese, a self--described "hoaxpert," keeps us on our toes by slipping in real-but-improbable events among the fakes and challenging us to see if we can tell the difference. All too often it's impossible to know whether something he describes is bona fide or bogus, and that's Boese's point: we need to stay on our toes, if we want to avoid getting fooled. David PittCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved