Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

FAKE! The Story of Elmyr de Hory, the Greatest Art Forger of Our Time

4.1 out of 5 stars 114 customer reviews

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$24.12

Ace the ACT.
Wiley Architecture, Construction, & Design Sale
Save up to 40% on select architecture, construction, and design guides during August. Learn more.
click to open popover
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 243 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1st edition (January 1, 1969)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 119904475X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0070320475
  • ASIN: 0070320470
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #675,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Craig Clarke VINE VOICE on January 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Subtitled The Story of Elmyr de Hory, the Greatest Art Forger of Our Time, Fake! is the only kind of true-crime book I can get into: not the story of a murderer, but of a classy kind of con artist.

As any fan of Orson Welles's F for Fake will already know, Elmyr de Hory was responsible for a real shake-up in the art community. For decades, he sold all over the world paintings of his own as the work of old masters. But his story never reads as a mean-spirited attempt to get rich, mostly due to the approach.

Author Clifford Irving (who would, just a few years after writing this book, pull off his own fake -- with the fictional Autobiography of Howard Hughes) portrays Elmyr as a sympathetic figure. He only did it when he needed money; when he was flush, he focused on his own art career, and never painted in others' styles during those periods.

Sadly, his own career never took off, and so he was repeatedly forced to go back into his particular bag of tricks and produce works in the styles of Picasso, Modigliani, Derain, Renoir, and others until he was finally caught, though he was never convicted due to what was essentially a technicality. Elmyr always claimed to have never signed any of the paintings (although his business partners may have) which keeps the paintings from being outright forgeries.

Fake! is a terrific book. Part biography, part crime story, part world travelogue, and probably part fiction, it remains wholly engaging and eminently readable.
Comment 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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!
Read more ›
Comment 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It starts well but it loses something about the millionth time there is a conflict between our anti-hero and his business mates, all of whom are gay and into easy money. Mr. de Hory was a talented painter but the writer seems to not understand art well enough to explain that he was only able to copy. he did not seem to have anything original to say. He also did not have the ability to be truthful to himself or others and he attracted the like who took full advantage of the situation.
The best parts are how they got away with it. The author seems to think the art dealers were naive but i think the lack of integrity on everyone's part lead to a lot of fake art that is probably still around. And perhaps it really does not matter.
1 Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I am a Clifford Irving fan, and this is one of my very favorite Irving books. The story of art forger Elmyr de Hory is a fascinating one. It is obvious that Irving has a strong art background as he is able to explain in detail how de Hory succeeded in duping the art world with his "fakes". Irving met de Hory when they both lived on the island of Ibiza, and, in addition to the intriguing story of de Hory's ability to perfectly recreate well known and coveted works of art, Irving entertains with his stories of life on Ibiza. I really loved this book.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition
Remarkably well told, true story of the long career of the world's most successful art forger. Irving knew Elmyr De Hory well when they both lived on the Spanish island of Ibiza in the 1960s. The story of De Hory, and his two accomplices reads like a mystery as they manage to continue their shady careers, just one step ahead of the art world. How they managed to do so gives us fascinating insights into the arena of upscale galleries and world-famous collectors. A must read for aficionados of art and painting.

Finding Uri
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews