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Fake Like Me

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  813 ratings  ·  186 reviews
What really happened to Carey Logan?

After a fire decimates her studio, including the seven billboard-size paintings for her next show, a young, no-name painter is left with an impossible task: recreate her art in three months - or ruin her fledgling career.

Homeless and desperate, she flees to an exclusive retreat in upstate New York famous for its outrageous revelries and
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published June 18th 2019 by Grand Central Publishing
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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 ·  813 ratings  ·  186 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
3.5 stars rounded to 4

I'll admit, I'm less than knowledgable about anything involving the art scene. I am not cool, hip, or in the know about much these days other than Peppa Pig and Blippi, but it was nice to delve into an "adult" story that did not feature talking pigs or a grown man wearing clothes that appear to fit a toddler. This story is also being touted as a thriller, which I guess it is in some ways, but I would classify this more as a literary thriller, or a dramatic, thought provokin
Diane S ☔
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lor-2019
She met her when she was nineteen, a fledging art student meeting Carey Logan, an artist part of a collective called Pine City. She admired her strange work, her notoriety, Carey was the in artist, Pine City the in group. Then she hears that Carey had stopped creating, turning instead to performance art, and then kills herself. Why did this happen? Our no name artist wants to know, wants to know obsessively. In time she gets her chance, after experiencing a tragedy of her own, and what she finds ...more
You've got to admit that Humpty Dumpty was a piece of art. Well, then you can admit that this poor piece of art committed suicide by falling of the wall. And so it was again in Fake Like Me, except that this time it wasn't Humpty Dumpty ...

Franz Kafka said:“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we're reading doesn't wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy p
(4.5) A no-name painter – 'no-name' as in 'not famous', but also literally, as she remains nameless throughout the book – is on the verge of a career breakthrough. She is nearing completion of her series Rich Ugly Old Maids, a set of large-scale oil paintings loosely based on the seven virtues. Then the loft in which she has been living and working burns down. Her insurance won't be paid out, because she wasn't supposed to be living there; her management still expects the show to be delivered on ...more
Bam cooks the books ;-)
It's 1996 and the unnamed narrator of this story is a fledgling artist from Florida, currently a sophomore at the Academy in NYC, and feeling pretty lonely in the big city. One day she notices a group of five young and beautiful artists who are 'making it' in the art scene. Three of them have graduated from the same art school she's attending and all are becoming well known for their nihilistic and shrewd work, rather all of a type. But it is a young woman of the group named Carey Logan who is t ...more
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
A young un-named painter with potential is poised to make waves in the art community with her collection of seven billboard-size paintings.  When her apartment goes up in flames and decimates the entire collection, she lies to her gallery and says that six have been safely crated and stored; only the final painting she was still working on has been destroyed.  
The gallery decides it's in their best interest to have her to re-create the final piece, which has already been sold, in total secrecy.

A No-Name (literally and figuratively) young female painter develops a fan-girl crush on Carey Logan, the most visible and successful member of an art collective known as Pine City, who all graduated from No-Name’s art school about six to ten years ahead of her. That crush-torch is carried from a distance for 15 years, during which time Carey Logan commits suicide. Then No-Name’s studio burns, along with six paintings she’s promised for an upcoming show. A lucky encounter gets her an in to wo
Lisa Gabriele
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky to receive an ARC of Fake Like Me, and I DEVOURED it over a weekend, taking it with me everywhere I went. A young unnamed artist struggles in the shadow of an impossibly cool dead one, another young artist—gorgeous, enigmatic, talented—worshipped beyond measure in the downtown New York/Hudson Valley art scene. There's a mysterious compound where our dead girl created her work, and where those she left behind are still haunted by her death. Yes, there's a man gutted by her loss, who o ...more
Anna Luce
★★✰✰✰ 2 stars

Beyond its promising summary Fake Like Me is little more than a predictable and unsatisfying ode to the female artist.

This book is not doing any favours to modern and in particular abstract art. If anything it confirms the notion that today anything can qualify as art, and that critiques of modern art use an array of pretty metaphors that have little meaning or depth.
ps: by "modern" art I mean conceptual, installation, and performance art (made by artist of dubious talent such as Tr
Kasa Cotugno
I can't remember reading anything that delved so deeply into the art world as this. Our narrator, a truly original painter who doesn't know her power, loses her home and 9th floor walkup studio in a fire and talks her way into an artists' compound of almost mythic reputation in the Adirondacks.
Barbara Bourland claims to not have an in depth knowledge of this world, but this book belies that fact. Her descriptions of the creative process ring so true as our heroine creates her billboard-sized oi
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I finished this book last night but needed some time to digest everything I had read. I went back and forth between 4 and 5 stars (4 stars only because I'm generally not a big art fan and some of the descriptions bogged me down), but in the end, it was so out of the realm of my expectations and so mind-bending, that I felt that alone was worthy of 5 stars.

I think it's a bit difficult to classify this book - it is a suspense, but not really a suspense; it is a thriller, but not really a thriller,
I have to admit I know very little about modern art – or at least I did before starting this book. However, this was in no way a handicap to enjoying Fake Like Me. In fact, reading the book was something of an education into the movers and shakers of the art world and the physicality and science involved in creating artworks like those produced by the narrator.

The author convincingly conveys the intensely personal, almost visceral nature of the process of creating art for our narrator. ‘Everythi
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.

Regardless of medium, the lengths to which a creative person will go to achieve their vision has been well documented. On stage and screen, Method acting is a celebrated practice – a technique in which the artist fully immerses his or herself to wholly identify with their role, authenticate their performance; Robert DeNiro’s reenactment of boxer Jake LaMotta in 1980's ‘Raging Bull’ being one of the most notable examples. In music, the famously eccentric French composer Erik Satie once
Oct 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel is told from the point of view of an unnamed narrator. It is 1996 and our narrator is a young art student, visiting a gallery in New York. The artist is Carey Logan, part of a collective called Pine City, who includes not only Carey, but Jes Winsome, Marlin Mayfield, Tyler Savage and Jack Wells. For the young art student, Pine City are everything she aspires to and Carey the most inspiring.

Years later, the artist is struggling to make her name, when her studio loft burns to the groun
Robin Loves Reading
While worried that she’ll never paint again, an unnamed narrator has a breakthrough. She begins to come out of her shell. She was rather successful, and even begins to travel with her work. She becomes extreme interested in learning about another artist, Carey Logan. She learns that Carey has a very similar style. As a matter of fact, the closer she looks at Carey’s work, she noticed that Carey used a model of hers in a recent sculpture.

Our unnamed artist is quite determined to see who Carey is
Laura Peden
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, audible
"𝙀𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙮𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩'𝙨 𝙘𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙙𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙧𝙤𝙮𝙨 𝙨𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙚𝙡𝙨𝙚."

*𝐴𝑢𝑑𝑖𝑜𝑏𝑜𝑜𝑘 𝑅𝑒𝑣𝑖𝑒𝑤* Fake Like Me is a visceral, haunting character-driven suspense novel that delves into the art world. This book will not be for everyone. It’s not action packed, there are no gimmicks. Personally I found it intriguing and compulsive, but I’m also a lover of fine art. We are never given the narrator’s name. She’s a somewhat successful, somewhat struggling painter on the cusp of a huge upcoming deadline. She’s finishing up the o
I am not an artist and I have no idea what it means to be one. So I enjoyed genuinely peeking into the bohemian-like art world for a while.

Our main protagonist stays without a name. She is a thirty-something artist in New York. She is still a nobody although she sold some of her paintings in the past. Now she is about to have her break-through with a new series of paintings. But all this paintings get destroyed in a fire. For some reasons she can’t admit that they are all lost. So she decides t
Jami Murphy
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I hate the rating thing, but then I also love it. This book has me in a bind. On one hand it’s really not quite a five star read, however, on the other hand, it is most definitely a five star read for me, personally.

When I am trying to decide if the book is good I usually lean on the following criteria:

Did I read it continuously.
Did I read it instead of doing life things, like making dinner.
Did the characters stay with me during, between, and after reading the book.
Did I consider rereading
Darcia Helle
This is an instance where the book and I simply weren't meant to be together.

The writing itself has a nice literary quality. It flows well and has great rhythm.

But the story bored me. I know, I'm sorry. Of course I expected the plot to revolve around the art world, but I didn't expect to read such detailed minutiae about the painting process. I felt like I was back in my college art appreciation class, and that bored me as well.

The "no-name painter" narrating the story remains without a name. I
Jul 11, 2019 rated it liked it
"This was fraud. This was wrong. I was a cheat. Above all else I was a liar."

This one was interesting. I don't know if the artists obsessed with another artist is an original plot, but this one felt pretty fresh and interesting. The demise of the art and the ultimate reason for her to rush 2 years work is way too few days was interesting and fast paced.

But I didn't enjoy the love story as much. The twist and turn, the on and off - it just felt.....frustrating and boring after a point. But I did
Alan Teder
Is It Art? Is It a Mystery?
Review of the Hachette Audio audiobook edition (June 18, 2019) published simultaneously with the Grand Central Publishing hardcover original

This reading was part of my investigation of the novels nominated for the 2020 Edgar Awards by the Mystery Writers of America. Fake Like Me is a nominee for Best Novel. The winners will be announced April 30, 2020.

For the longest time here I had to keep doing double takes to make sure that I was reading the correct book. I had pick
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc, fiction
This is a difficult novel for me to review. When I spotted it on Amazon Vine, I could have sworn that they had listed it as a graphic novel, but apart from one map, the ARC has no other illustrations, or suggestions that there would be any art in the final work. Now, admittedly, this could well have been my mistake, so my disappointment on not being able to see how an ARC graphic novel would be presented is all mine. Having said that, I was intrigued by the subject matter. I am certainly not an ...more
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was anticipating a white knuckle mystery. Instead it read more like a cross between a rather boring memoir and women's fiction. The unnamed narrator seems to carry on her own personal pity party through most of the story. The very end, when the solution to the mystery is revealed there is a spark of what I was expecting but it quickly faded.
Sharon L.
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
“The history of art is littered with the bodies of dead women.” 3.5 stars rounded up to 4.

First up, I need to mention that this book is not a fast-paced, dark-and-twisty thriller as some of the marketing may suggest. It is however, an impressive examination of the life of a struggling artist and a fascinating satire of the New York art world.

The unnamed artist at the center of the novel is on the cusp of the most important gallery show of her career when a fire destroys all of her paintings. Sh
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Death and fraud in the art world, YES! Smart and engrossing, and so vivid and incisive I almost expected to find the works of art with a google search. In the acknowledgements the author calls it "a love letter to the labour of artmaking", which is very much how it reads. Belongs next to Siri Hustvedt on the bookshelf.
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So much of this novel struck me in such deep and personal places. Bourland is wildly perceptive and her writing both expansive and incisive. It is a fucking tour de force.

The main character's interior psychological landscape felt so real to me, maybe because it hit so close to home. Her desire to see herself reflected in those who are living the life that she wants for herself. Her lack of any familial or societal support both growing up and into her adult life. Her thoughts about her career and
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2020, mystery, i-own
Holy hell I lovedddd this. The characters and the story were so fascinating and enveloped me completely. I will say I really would not classify this as a thriller, but regardless I was on the edge of my seat following such an unstable narrator. One of my new faves
Aug 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 368

Publisher - Riverrun

Source - Review Copy

Blurb from Goodreads

At once a twisted psychological portrait of a woman crumbling under unimaginable pressure and a razor-sharp satire of the contemporary art scene, FAKE LIKE ME is a dark, glamorous, and addictive story of good intentions gone awry, from the critically acclaimed author of I'll Eat When I'm Dead.

What really happened to Carey Logan?

After a fire decimates her studio, including the seven billboard-size
Jasmine's Tea
Jun 06, 2019 rated it liked it
This novel was definitely marketed wrong -- nowhere did I find the mysterious, dark and thrilling genre that was advertised. Instead, the focus was on female perseverance and the process of creating art in an almost obsessive manner. The novel is rife with in-depth details regarding artistry and its associated techniques, tools, and struggles to succeed. While much of the time these details were lost on me, I did acknowledge that a reader either interested in art or an artist themselves would ga ...more
Beautifully written with sensory details that immerse you in the process of painting and the life of the artist. I wasn't expecting the twist at the end!
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Barbara Bourland is the author of FAKE LIKE ME, a finalist for the 2020 Edgar Best Novel Award, and I'LL EAT WHEN I'M DEAD, an Irish Independent Book of the Year. Her third novel is forthcoming from Dutton. She lives in Baltimore with her husband and their dog.

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