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May 12th, 2007

26lies Review

From Jason Andrew (highway_west):

This short book is a collection of thoughts and reflections disguised as the personal dictionary of a possibly fictional version of the author. I found it very intriguing. I’ve read through it twice and skimmed it several times since then.

Warning: this book is NOT a speculative work as most of Peek’s other fiction such as Black Sheep. In theory, we’re reading about the man who has been nowhere, done nothing, and met nobody. However, this book is about truth and point of view. How much does the truth really matter when it comes to the writers? Does it matter if these stories about Peek’s life actually happened? Sly entries about JT LeRoy, Helen Demidenko, and other literary frauds are peppered through out the book. Is this entire book a fake-out? The real fun comes from trying to separate the lies from the truth and exploring the idea that maybe truth can be personal as well as universal.

My favorite entry was about a classroom of children that sang a racist song to a Hindi teacher and the guilt that the writer felt afterwards. I wasn’t familiar with the product references, I presume it is an Australian reference, but the emotions were spot on. In the end, I didn’t care if the entries were completely true. Certainly my gut felt they were true and that is the highest praise one can give to any book.


The other week I came across a blog entry of someone in Queensland trying to get 26lies into a University course. How cool is that?

Obviously, we're, like, a cult classic now, and you should buy it from Amazon, or buy it from Wheatland Press.

(And this, here, is the write up of the book in the Ziesing Books catalogue: "New Very interesting-like virtually all the stuff from Wheatland. Get this: It began as a blog game: the blogger was to write an entry with ten words that all began with the letter they'd been given by a friend. Peek started working his way through the alphabet. By the time he got several letters into the alphabet Deborah Layne was convinced his stuff was worth a book. Here it is--one of the goofiest darn things you've ever read.")