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The Made-Up Man

Narrated by: Ramiz Monsef
Length: 6 hrs and 52 mins
4 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Existential noir meets absurd comedy when a young man reluctantly enlists as source material for an art project.

Stanley had known it was a mistake to accept his uncle Lech's offer to apartment-sit in Prague - he'd known it was one of Lech's proposals, a thinly veiled setup for some invasive, potentially dangerous performance art project. But whatever Lech had planned for Stanley, it would get him to Prague and maybe offer a chance to make things right with T after his failed attempt to propose.

Stanley can take it. He can ignore their high jinks, resist being drafted into their evolving, darkening script. As the operation unfolds, it becomes clear there's more to this performance than he expected; they know more about Stanley's state of mind than he knows himself. He may be able to step over chalk outlines in the hallway, may be able to turn away from the women acting as his mother or the men performing as his father, but when a man made up to look like Stanley begins to play out his most devastating memory, he won't be able to stand outside this imitation of his life any longer.

Immediately and wholly immersive, Joseph Scapellato's debut novel, The Made-Up Man, is a hilarious examination of art's role in self-knowledge, a sinister send-up of self-deception, and a big-hearted investigation into the cast of characters necessary to help us finally meet ourselves.

©2019 Joseph Scapellato (P)2019 Blackstone Publishing

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Fascinating, but not for everyone

I just finished listening to this book, and I wonder if it would have been better to have been read in print. Nevertheless, it wasn’t quite like any book I’ve ever read and stretched me in intriguing ways. I would not recommend this to anyone, but if you are a fan of magical realism (there is technically no magic in this but it is certainly fantastical) and have some interest in academia and academic matters as well as performance art, you will likely find this a book that sticks with you.

In the end, this book is a psychological portrait and a kind of love story. The text and the narrator’s performance are engaging and likely to propel you through to the (spoil alert) rather ambiguous ending.