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Fake Like Me

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  132 ratings  ·  47 reviews
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
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published June 18th 2019 by Grand Central Publishing
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3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  132 ratings  ·  47 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
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.

(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
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
Denise  Reed
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved Bourland's first novel I'll Eat When I'm Dead, but also understood why it was poorly received overall. Her follow-up, Fake Like Me is smoother and more accessible. Although I preferred the former, I would be more likely to recommend the latter.

While IEWID took place in the fashion magazine world, Fake Like Me takes place in the younger, hipper side of the art world in New York circa 2011. Our narrator is an up-and-coming painter who has prepared for her "big time" show for two ye
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 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's not a thriller, but I found the book really gripping. The Narrator has 3-4 months to finish 7 paintings that were destroyed when her loft. Along the way, she finds herself unraveling the mystery of her artistic hero's suicide as she works at the same artist colony. The book reflects on the creative process, artistic techniques and how hard it is to be a successful artist (with some biting criticisms about artists who start with privilege.) I couldn't stop listening to the audio book but unf ...more
Jamie Klingler
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Woah. I’m pretty blown away. Picked it up a few months back and didn’t get beyond the first chapter or two—- and then re-engaged and was gripped. The art world isn’t one I know at all, but this book nails the superficial constructs of image and trying to make it. Dark and funny and very readable.
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.
Blake Fraina
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Writing a book that’s truly unique must be a kind of double-edged sword. Of course, it’s wonderful to create something that's unlike anything out there, but on the downside, pretty much the only tool in a publisher’s marketing kit is to liken a book to something else that sold well in the [recent] past. And that’s too bad.

From the look of things, Barbara Bourland’s Fake Like Me, is being aimed squarely at the Gone Girl/Girl on the Train crowd. And while an essential mystery does lie at the heart
Jun 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: giveaways
I won this ARC on a giveaway posted here on goodreads.

I just wanted to say I tried. I tried for 20(+) days to get myself to open this book and read but that didn't happen too often. If you haven't guessed I DNF this book, I made a deal with myself that if I didn't finish it by the day before it's release I could drop it. I'd also like to point out I semi-know the ending considering I skimmed and skipped the last 200ish pages and therefore I read enough.

Fake Like Me is a poorly advertised not mys
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-s
4.5This book was so good that I finished it 3 weeks ahead of the buddy read schedule set by the publisher. It is BRILLIANT.

I was nervous that maybe this book wouldn't be for me as I am not into the art scene. As it turned out, it really doesn't matter. Bourland makes you feel how the narrator feels about the art, about those she meets and the way in which the deceased artist Carey Logan affects her as she attemps to follow in her successful stead.

The atmosphere of this book is palpable - absolut
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
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed Fake Like Me by Barbara Bourland. It’s told from the point of view of a nameless artist who is struggling to live and produce the art that she wants to make. Just as she’s building up to a huge show, her loft burns down containing all of the art she’s going to show. She tells the gallery and her agent that they are undamaged. She manages to secure studio space in Pine City where her art hero, Carey Logan lived and worked prior to her suicide.
I loved how the narrator was so pass
LianaReads blog
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
An interesting read to say at least. I know nothing about art and painting but we all know or heard stories about artists that live in their own world and they are always moody and self absorbed,the fact that some of them have no inhibitions or have to use alcohol and other substances for their creativity to occur to the next news about their bodies found out of life and always the mystery around them.The story is compelling and told only from the point of view of our heroine that has no name, I ...more
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Barabara Bourland loves looking at the world with satire claws. This book looks into the art world and how fake it can be. There is a large part dedicated to the main character working as a painter and all the insecurities that went along with not being established. When all of the main character's work burns down in a freak accident she has to recreate her entire exhibition in three months without anyone knowing. While she does this she chases after the phantom of Cary Logan, the artist who the ...more
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! It started off maybe as a 4 star book, but by the second half I was hooked and couldn't put it down.

I was drawn into the characters and the story, especially the subtle commentary on women's roles within society. Perhaps my favorite part of the story that I found the most fascinating was learning about the creation of art. I don't really know much about the production of art, but I loved Bourland's vivid descriptions of the labor that went into the protagonist's ar
I've always been fascinated by New York artistic scene and that was the main reason I requested this ARC.
It met all my expectations and I found it engrossing, exciting and enthralling.
I liked the characters development even if none of the character was likable, the unknown heroine is sometimes whiny and most of the time seems to have doubt about her own value.
The humour, the description of the creative process and the artistic scene are amazing and they picture something that is both harsh and e
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Barbara Bourland was formerly a freelance writer and web producer for titles at Conde Nast and Hearst, among others. She lives in Baltimore, MD, with her husband and their dogs.
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