Book Review: Can You Ever Forgive Me? - Lee Israel

by @edent | #

Can You Ever Forgive Me? - Lee Israel

Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Now a major motion picture starring Melissa McCarthy - Lee Israel's hilarious and shocking memoir of the astonishing caper she carried on for almost two years when she forged and sold more than three hundred letters by such literary notables as Dorothy Parker, Edna Ferber, Noel Coward, and many others.

Short stories make the best films. And this is a very short story of an utterly fascinating tale.

I've always wondered how autograph and memorabilia sellers verify their wares. Turns out - they don't! Or, at least, used to be lax about the whole subject.

The wonderful thing about any criminal's memoirs is how easy it is to empathise with them. Seeing the thought process go from "of course it's not wrong to steal a loaf of bread to feed a starving child" until it becomes "no one really gets hurt if I rob a bank" is terrifying. If you spotted a risk-free loophole, would you exploit it?

Much like Mini and Me - the autobiography of a child arsonist (read my review) - it is impossible not to sympathise with the author's predicament while raging against their antisocial behaviour.

The movie is almost a page-by-page recreation of the book - and both are brilliant.

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