True Story tie-in edition: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa

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9780062339270: True Story tie-in edition: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa
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Now a Major Motion Picture Starring Jonah Hill & James Franco and Distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures

When New York Times reporter Michael Finkel meets accused killer Christian Longo–who has taken on Finkel's identity–his investigation morphs into an unforgettable game of cat and mouse. True Story weaves a spellbinding tale of murder, love, deceit, and redemption, following Finkel's relentless pursuit of the shocking truth.

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Review:

In True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa, disgraced New York Times writer Michael Finkel recounts the story of the murderer who assumed his identity and examines the reasons for his own fall from journalistic grace, in a memoir that is gripping, perceptive, and bizarre. In 2002, Finkel, a rising star at the Times, was fired for fabricating a character in a story about child laborers in Africa. Just as the story of his downfall was about to become public, he learned that a man named Christian Longo, arrested in Mexico for the murder of his wife and three small children in Oregon, had been living under an assumed identity: Michael Finkel of The New York Times. Sensing a story--and an opportunity for redemption--Finkel contacted Longo, initiating a relationship that would grow increasingly complex over the course of Longo's trial and conviction.

Finkel makes no excuses for his actions. Nor does he deny his own narcissism--a narcissism that allowed him to rationalize his own lies as surely as Longo rationalized his crimes. Ultimately, Finkel says, his year with Longo taught him "how a person's life could spiral completely out of control; how one could get lost in a haze of dishonesty; and how these things could have dire consequences." The lesson, Finkel need not add, applies as much to the disgraced writer as it does to the killer. --Erica C. Barnett

About the Author:

Michael Finkel has written for National Geographic, GQ, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Vanity Fair, the Atlantic, and the New York Times Magazine. He lives in western Montana.

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