I specialize in reviewing Print-On-Demand (POD) published books for my website and Midwest Book Review. Please query for a review by email to hgunther234@hotmail.com.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

THE FAMOUS FAKES by J. D. Guinness

The Famous Fakes
J.D. Guinness
Outskirts Press
10940 S. Parker Rd - 515, Denver, CO, USA
ISBN: 1598000497, $10.95, 170 pp, 2005

The funniest book I have read since Kurt Vonnegut’s Hocus Pocus. I couldn’t stop laughing, even when I wasn’t reading.

A subtitle for this book might be Oliver Hardy, Stan Laurel, Charlie Chaplin and Mae West in Bed-busting Slap Shtick or Olympic Endurance Champion Paul Stanley's search for love, self and his favorite 1981 Playboy centerfold.

In the Author’s Note he states that he did not censor the recollections of these creative, highly individualistic, professional celebrity impersonators, and that he tried to be true to the spirit of the Famous Fakes–their bravery, openness, exuberance, humor, and lies. He clearly states that this tell-all biography is intended for adult readers only. "If this were a CD, it’d say PARENTAL ADVISORY, EXPLICIT CONTENT, which would capture some of the rock’n roll outlaw attitude of our heros."

Allow me to quote from the back cover–a succinct synopsis of the essence of this story:

"Celebrity impersonators. Do they really love to do it, or do they really do it for love?

Meet the Famous Fakes – known publicly as Stan, Oliver, and Charlie (and privately as Paul, Jean, and Steve). They’re three self-proclaimed "studs" (and world-proclaimed "losers") in a three-man theatrical company.

Desperate for a break, they’re ready to do just about anything to take their particular "boys’ club" on the road. But to let a woman join them? On stage, yet?! That’s only asking for trouble . . . isn’t it?

A "backstage pass" that even gets you into their beds, The Famous Fakes is a wild, sexy comic novel for adults. Read it, and find out why, before you can "be yourself", you might just have to "do" everyone else!"

Paul Stanley (Stan Laurel) was the writer in the group with some serious sex issues–little success with women and a fixation on large breasts–possibly the result of being nursed by his mother until the age of eight. After a romp with Caitlin, an older woman who thought he was a male prostitute provided for her birthday, he begins to think he’s a total failure at relationships, and I quote:

"Guess he’d had this coming. Yes, his entire life had been misspent. An emphasis on fucking, not friendship, sex, not soul, cock, not career. And so the inevitable: life without love. To Paul, the real tragedy of life was the shortness of an orgasm (Perhaps this being his idea of tragedy explained everything)."

When Karla Krawchuk joined the group as Mae West and the Famous Fakes had a violent falling out in front of the audience on opening night of the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival, where they were to present I Ordered Custard Pie, Now Let Me Have It, the results were skyrocketing. The review from W.A. Dykk, who had trashed them previously, read:

"This is the single greatest thing I have ever seen in the theatre. A violent, vulgar, hilarious, interactive explosion of rage, despair and sexual nihilism. Pie reflects the decay of pop culture and the lack of any truly original ideas in all modern art, manifest in its main characters, those most pathetic of creatures, Professional Celebrity Impersonators. The cast is uniformly venomous and brilliantly real. Pie suggests that the only way out of our current cultural ennui is to rip up and tear down our current idiotic obsessions with celebrity, Hollywood-type sex, fame, and nostalgia. To go completely, foul-mouthed and foaming-mouthed mad in order to be sane. To be real. By trashing celebrity-hood and thus rejoicing in our own speech and our own sexual pleasure, in short, by not being afraid of what other people might think, we have a shot at real happiness. This is powerful stuff. This is the New Famous Fakes. Pie is no trifle."

"People who followed their career tend to agree that the real legacy of the Famous Fakes is this: You can do anything you want. You can go to the moon. You can score the winning goal in the Stanley Cup playoffs. You can star in a full-length feature film. You can make love to a beautiful woman. You can marry that woman. People have. People do. The thing is, the moon won’t come to your house. The Stanley Cup won’t wish you a happy birthday . . . ."

"But isn’t it odd, that to simply make love, and to have someone make love to you, from the first erection to the last eruption, is the so-called "dirtiest" thing we hear and yet it’s also the most wonderful thing we feel! When you’re making love, you know for certain what’s right! Taking a chance, letting yourself go . . . ."

It is my opinion that The Famous Fakes is one of many books which will come our way with unique insights to help break down and through our fears and hang-ups about sexuality, loving, and the joy of life–to help us laugh and not take it all so seriously.

J.D. Guinness lives with his wife and daughter in Winnipeg, Canada. He is a multi-talented writer, director, producer, and as you can see from the excerpts I’ve quoted, he is an accomplished professional writer. The Famous Fakes is his first book, and I say, well-done and thanks for the good time!

Do I recommend this book to a mature audience? As Stan would say, "I cer-tain-ly do."

Reviewer: Kaye Trout - March 16, 2006 - Copyright


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