On Books I’ve Never Read

Everyone claims to be perusing Proust, but who are they kidding? Confessions of a literary faker.

By Barbara Guggenheim

It’s a recurring nightmare. Dewar’s calls. They’re interviewing me for a whiskey ad and everything’s going well until the final question: “What’s the last book you’ve read?” If I were telling the truth, I’d have to mention Jackie Collins. But I’m ready with a list: Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past and Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore’s The Medium is the Massage.

Have I read any of these? Absolutely not. Faking what you’ve read is a widespread offense, and I’m a serial offender.

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