Only $499: Clifford Irving's "Hughes"

The first edition of Clifford Irving's Howard Hughes autobiography, one of the grandest literary frauds of all time, is now available for $499, only $150 more than the original price. The book that cost Irving jail time, hung the "con man" label on him, and forced repayment of a big, fat advance is being sold on the Internet by the author's firm, TerrificBooks. The site doesn't offer an explanation of the price jump.


What Did Famous Folks Read?

There's a fascinating project going on at LibraryThing, collecting titles included in the libraries of famous people of the past. Among many you'll find the libraries of Ernest Hemingway, Marilyn Monroe and Tupac Shakur.


Fingerprinting the author

it's too early in the morning for me to quite grasp the meta-book concept but here it is.


Most Wanted Secret Documents

This isn't literary but you might find it intriguing. A country by country list of documents held by government and sought by persons or groups outside government, compiled by Wikileaks.


'Free' Author Helped Himself to Wikipedia

Best-selling author, Wired top editor, hot number on the lucrative speaker circuit, and start-up entrepreneur -- and plagiarist explains himself. We live in an age of the "remix" so it's okay to, um, recycle the works of others.


Forensics to the Rescue

I haven't seen stories lately on the use of forensics in determining the authenticity of major books or documents, but here we have one. "The Archaic Mark" has long been puzzle. Now the only puzzle is, "who dunnit?"


Where Do These Books Belong?

New York City police raided a home for several very good reasons that didn't include suspicion of book theft. But in the course of the raid they turned up a collection of Civil War books valued at $20,000 (probably a conservative estimate). The lady of the house has operated under 25 aliases and has a lengthy rap sheet so authorities suspect she may not have collected the books via legitimate methods, but they have no indication of who the true owner might be.


What's the Point?

I run a bunch of searches that are supposed to pick up stories like this one as they appear, but obviously this has been around a while. Still, interesting for the point the faker makes, that the judges were more interested in the character of the author than in the quality of the book.