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Impostor Paperback – September 5, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Richard Beymer (September 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615175511
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615175515
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,471,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Phyl L. Good on February 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
When you read "Impostor: or Whatever Happened to Richard Beymer? (an unauthorized autobiography)," the one thing you should not attempt to do is try to discern the autobiographical from the fantastical. The questions would drive you as crazy as he - or his literary representation at least - appears to be, in the book.

Did he or his mother spend time in a mental institution? Did he really have a brief dalliance as a young man that resulted in very eyebrow-raising results later in his life? Did he really rent that New York apartment, with its sinister connections to the apartment next door?

Did he really die by gunshot? Or on an operating table?

Is he really from another planet??

See what I mean?

The book takes the form of a movie script that attempts to chronicle the life of George (Beymer's alter ego) from his early teen years till the present. But the bizarre disconnects begin when we realize that George himself is actually writing and filming the script as it goes along. He is both a character inside the film and the observer who chronicles all the events, watching himself live (and die?). Add to this the time shifts, replaying of events with different characters and outcomes, and Spaceman George's desperate attempts to escape this planet once and for all, and the book is both confusing and exhilarating from beginning to end.

The format of a movie script is logical, given Beymer's line of work, but it might take some getting used to for those more accustomed to reading a linear narrative in prose form. But once the reader has made the mental shift from "prose" to "script," the story thrusts itself forward, with all its convolutions.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Michael Creedon on December 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
There are by now hundreds, if not thousands, of reviews of IMPOSTER, by Richard Beymer, but I find just cause to add yet another. I do not feel that my predecessors have taken the book seriously enough. It is not just "powerful and relevant to nothing." It is powerful and relevant to the core problems of living: "Who Am I? Why am I here? How do I decide what to do with my life? And one of the preposterous answers passed down through the schools of hidden wisdom through the ages is: live in the I AM. Now the reader can say the author in using his mock-heroic character, the immortal George Oops, who plays all the key roles in the book, is mocking the I AM too, but if so, he mocks it as he accepts it.

Once we get inside the book, we find it is a backwards history of George Oops, and it takes place in a mental hospital, nut ward---places I have come to know well myself---and the reader may choose to identify George Oops (certainly the best name in all of literature) with Richard Beymer if he chooses. George is the writer, the leading actor, a bit player, the center of his Scheherazade-load of memories, he's everyman. And he's an imposter. Because who he really is is I AM. Here, now, nameless, in the instant, Being. His goal: to get back to the Mothership---interpret that as you may: mother, nirvana, the Universe, God, Oneness, Home---but we don't need to interpret too much. He tells us where he so desperately wants to go: the Mothership. Where he came from and where he must return.

IMPOSTER is one of the funniest books I have ever read.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Christopher J. Jarmick on December 31, 2007
Format: Paperback
Ambitious, outrageous, revealing, frustrating, repetitious, funny, no make that f***ng hilarious at times, playful, sad, annoying, 100 pages too long, poorly paced, self-indulgent, quirky, tricky, goofy, stupid, smart, silly, obvious, passionate, surprising, like a puppy wanting to go chase the ball over and over again--it will exhaust you.

Impostor (rather than "Imposter") is a flawed, everything-and two kitchen sinks semi-fictional-memoir self published by actor/celebrity Richard Beymer. Beymer starred in West Side Story and made himself famous again 20 or so years later in the Twin Peaks television series. But don't expect tales about famous directors or working on movies and bedding starlets. Some of that is within the prose... but in dream-like stream of consciousness bursts of writing that zig and zag through a myriad of come-ons and self indulgent fantasies and ideas that will wear out most readers pretty fast. Instead, consider this an experimental work of fiction and enjoy the fun-house ride.

It starts quick and reveals most of its bag of tricks too soon,meaning it feels repetitious by the time you are 50 pages into it. But then again.. so what... why trust the reader to keep going if you don't lay it out for them? It's full of goofy revelations, half-baked philosophies, and it begins to feel like Kurt Vonnegut's Kilgore Trout is now an actor and frustrated filmmaker named Richard Beymer whose not quite sure how honest and truthful he wants to be about his life and thoughts about life that he wraps it up inside a 70s movie that should have been directed by Monte Hellman and Bob Rafelson--except it's a period piece done in 2007 that tries too hard. Or maybe you'll think of Hunter S.Thompson's adventures on Acid with his lawyer.
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