A True Story, Based on Actual Lies

Book - 2013
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This hilarious, irreverent, and profoundly honest memoir explores our cultural obsession with social media and dares to ask: Who is the real "you" and what is the story you tell others?

At age 26, Dave Cicirelli found himself at a crossroads. While his friends on Facebook appeared to have lives of nonstop accomplishments, his early adulthood felt disappointingly routine. So one October morning, Dave announced on Facebook that he was dropping everything and heading west. Many thought him brave--or crazy.

No one guessed he was lying.

"Fake Dave" set off on a wild adventure, toilet-papering an Amish horse and buggy, freight-hopping with a farmer's daughter, and being kidnapped by a religious cult. But the online prank quickly became a social experiment. People began connecting over his journey, and some were inspired to change their own lives. But as Fake Dave's popularity grew, the real Dave became increasingly isolated, struggling with the implications of his secret.

Clever, funny, and surprisingly candid, FAKEBOOK is a true memoir of our digital age. It explores what the old ideas of reputation and relationships mean in our new world of constant connection and ultimately asks: How do you draw the line between your virtual self and who you really are? And can you discover yourself on a journey that never took place?

Publisher: Naperville, Ill. : Sourcebooks, [2013]
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9781402284151
Branch Call Number: 818.602 Cicir
Characteristics: xii, 306 pages : illustrations


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May 08, 2017

I thought this book was going to be way more interesting than it was considering the way I found out about it was discovering some kid was trying to steal it from the library. Hey, books are free here!! No need to steal... Unfortunately, this book sucks. Maybe it got more interesting, but I could only make it through the first quarter and I had to push myself to get that far. Who knows how it ends, but the beginning is just some guy deciding it would be fun to create some fake adventures for himself and post them on facebook.

Mar 14, 2015

David Cicirelli, by his own admission, has made many professional advances by convincing people that he can spin straw into gold. This talent for manipulation, combined with young adult-ennui and mild career angst, propel his decision to create an alternative virtual life for himself on Facebook. For six months, he catalogues the unlikely adventures of his alter ego, bolstering his deceptions with validation from confederates and Photoshopped "evidence".

The book is a quick read, and Cicirelli is a decent storyteller, but the narration is more glib than amusing. Moreover, despite Cicirelli's professional credentials as a graphic designer, I'm skeptical of his future as a commercial artist. Many of the shots from his "trip" scream stock photo. Most look glaringly fake, not just the one he copped to as a bad job. (His colleague's scathing critique is made on artistic, not moral, grounds. "Even the resolutions didn't match. You should always scale things down to the lowest resolution.")

Cicirelli's philosophical "insights" about the meaning of it all (social media, deception, the self, the careful curation of one's on-line persona) are mostly slicker than an oil spill. It's hard to buy his half-hearted explanation that he's conducting a "social media experiment", especially since his dupes are friends and acquaintances, not strangers who might be less invested in and therefore less hurt by the process.

Sometimes Cicirelli claims to be disgusted by his own scheme. His self-inflicted penance for abusing the psychic goodwill of his Facebook friends is to make his false self as unsympathetic as possible. The created identity starts and ends as a parody of a clueless boor. Both the fake and the actual man come across as arrogant, lonely assholes with a wide streak of sociopathy. Fakebook Dave compounds these shortcomings by being a whiner as well.

Real Dave comes closest to arousing sympathy when his attempts at romance are foiled; it is then that he is at his most human. The women he chooses are surprisingly undeterred by the soap opera he has created for his evil twin. Nonetheless, his attempts to engage with them are doomed. His lack of self-reflection, in combination with his quest for extreme physical attractiveness, lead him to superficial connections with incompatible women. The relationships he craves never get off the ground.

The thrust of Cicirelli's experiment, up to and including the publication of the book, is a deliberate and very successful form of branding: self as marketable commodity. Cicirelli would be the first to agree with me on this, since, after all, that is his main point.

heatd1230 Mar 06, 2014

facebook is the best in the world

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