A memoir from the man behind one of the greatest literary hoaxes of the twentieth century: the forged autobiography of Howard Hughes. “Fascinating!” (Time).
The ultimate caper story, novelist Clifford Irving's no-holds-barred account of the literary hoax that stunned the publishing world, is the story of his faked “autobiography” of Howard Hughes. The Hoax was first published in Great Britain in 1997, where it became a bestseller. But no American hardcover house would touch The Hoax until now. One major publisher offered a $500,000 advance when the book was nearing completion, drew up the contract . . . then abruptly bowed out. Why? The answer is implicit in this classic tale of daring, treachery, and corruption. As fast-paced and exciting as any spy novel, it involves the reader at every devilish twist and turn. Clifford Irving tells how the hoax developed, like a Chinese puzzle, from its madcap beginning to the final startling confession—a witty and nail-biting story of international intrigue and beautiful women, of powerful corporate executives and jet-set rogues, of cover-ups and headlines.
Clifford Irving, his wife, Edith, and his collaborator, Richard Suskind, went to prison for their efforts. But, as the author himself writes: “Beyond all the naivete and stupidity, beyond the vulgarity inherent in the amount of money involved—beyond all this a certain grandeur had rooted itself in the scheme, and I could still spy a reckless and artistic splendor to the way we had carried it out.”