- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Crown (February 9, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553448064
- ISBN-13: 978-0553448061
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #314,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Liar: A Memoir Hardcover – Deckle Edge, February 9, 2016
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Praise for Liar
“I’ve never read a book more intimately devoted to articulating how tenuous our hold on identity is. Identity is made, unmade, remade by chasing memory, and memory is a series of emotional intensities we barely survive. We make up stories of ourselves to bear the weight of our actual lives. We live between those stories and events coming at us like catastrophic meteors. And yet, mercifully and sporadically, love comes. Read Rob Roberge’s memoir, Liar. Because life is what happens between truth and the fictions we make to withstand it.” —Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Small Backs of Children and The Chronology of Water
“Uncompromising and deeply affecting, Liar is a brilliantly fragmented, darkly humorous account of a lifelong struggle with addiction and mental illness that stands with Fred Exley's A Fan's Notes. Strip-mining his memories for veins of truth, Rob Roberge unearths a fractured, unholy, and undeniable work of brilliance.” —J. Ryan Stradal, New York Times bestselling author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest
“Wow, what an amazing book. Blunt, brave, sad, funny, and full of heart, Rob Roberge’s jaw-dropping journey through life makes you feel all your feelings, some of which you didn’t even know you had.” —Dan Marshall, author of Home Is Burning
“Rob Roberge’s Liar is an unforgettable story, but what sets this stunning memoir apart is the unforgettable voice. Roberge interrogates memory with an ardent desire to be good and to do right. A deeply moral and complicated book, it comes from the heart of a man who writes about love, loss, and addiction like no other writer. You’ll fall in love.” —Emily Rapp, author of The Still Point of the Turning World
“Roberge’s memoir is [an] engrossing read….A fascinating book that will remain with readers for some time.” —Booklist
“In this absorbing memoir, novelist Roberge (The Cost of Living) shifts among memories of his youth, drug-fueled episodes from his young adulthood, and recent relapses into addiction that threaten his marriage and his work as a college professor…The sense of urgency in Roberge’s writing is increased by his effective use of the second person…The rapid back-and-forth mirrors to some degree the diagnosis of bipolar disorder with rapid cycling, which he first received in the 1980s. But it is also the way Roberge is best able to try and make sense of his world and his experiences.” —Publishers Weekly
Praise for Rob Roberge
“Roberge’s writing is both drop-dead gorgeous and mind-bendingly smart.” —Cheryl Strayed, New York Times bestselling author of Wild
“Roberge is the bard of the rough road, singer of the long haul, both lyrical and ferociously realistic” –Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander
“Roberge is a modern master of the down-and-out-that-just-got-worse. His stories are dark and thrilling. They take hold of the reader like some bad, bracing dope and don’t let go until you feel the full measure of your own humanity. Prose this carefully wrought and true puts him in the tradition of Bukowski, Hammett, and Denis Johnson.” —Steve Almond, New York Times bestselling author of Against Football
“Roberge’s words bring it all back to life for me—the sounds, the sights, the smells, and the tastes. And it’s not always a pretty ride. I like that Roberge never takes the easy way out.” —Steve Wynn, The Dream Syndicate
About the Author
ROB ROBERGE is the author of four books of fiction, most recently The Cost of Living (2013). He teaches creative writing and his work has been widely anthologized. He also plays guitar and sings with the Los Angeles-based band the Urinals.
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Top Customer Reviews
And wow. It was like being on a panel with Rob all the way across the Pacific Ocean. His honesty was intense, his story sad but without self-pity, his voice true. I wouldn't say this is enjoyable as in wow, ha ha, funny, funny. More like ouch! Life is hard and some lucky people can lie their way into a future life.There are some disturbing drug related scenes, which might be hard for those truly wishing to avoid such. But I recommend it completely.
In his recent NYT op-ed, Arnold Weinstein writes of art, "Reading a book, seeing a painting or a play or a film: Such encounters are fueled by affect as well as intelligence. Much “fleshing out” happens here: We invest the art with our own feelings, but the art comes to live inside us, adding to our own repertoire."
LIAR lives inside me. My repertoire will be improved because I read this.
There are many reasons why I was captivated with Liar -- the obviously blunt, intelligent, intimate writing, and little things like the mention of the Rat in Boston, my old hometown -- but I was also strongly drawn to it from a craft standpoint. I've just finished the 4th draft of my 1st book, a memoir written in short vignettes, in 2nd person, and (originally) in present tense. So all the ways that Roberge used those - POV, time, flash-type vignettes - fascinated me. Despite my strong differences from the author (most obviously at the opening: I was never a 10 year old boy), his use of 2nd person immediately implicated me in the story. I could write an essay about the way he uses this device - and I may, but not here. Here I just want to say: thank you, Rob Roberge, for writing so damn well and sharing this damn hard story.
Liar skips around in time but I had no trouble following it. It goes down dark passageways that are interesting because the narrator matters; you want him to succeed. Imagine Jesse Pinkman from "Breaking Bad" with Walter White's brain.
Roberge talks about lacking boundaries; there's nothing he won't share. In some ways that makes this a perfect text for a creative writing class to study. He's learned to write about people as if they were already dead, to state his truth, which includes drugs, love, life and death. What lifts this above an AA story is the consciousness of the writer, the ability to convey the depth behind issues.
We're all facing something; many of us come from homes where addiction flows like wine. Who we are, how we redeem ourselves becomes our tale. Here is permission to tell your truth. If it's scarier than his, then you truly have a story indeed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
“An intense memoir about mental illness, memory and storytelling, from an acclaimed novelist.Read more