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True Story tie-in edition: Murder, Memoir,…
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True Story tie-in edition: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa (vuoden 2015 painos)

Tekijä: Michael Finkel (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
2861289,009 (3.66)7
Biography & Autobiography. Language Arts. Nonfiction. HTML:

The improbable but true story of a man accused of murdering his entire family and the journalist he impersonated while on the run

In 2001, Mike Finkel was on top of the world: young, talented, and recently promoted to a plum job at the New York Times Magazine. Then he made an irremediable slip: Under extraordinary pressure to keep producing blockbuster stories, he fabricated parts of an article. Caught and excommunicated from the Times, he retreated to his home in Montana, swearing off any contact with the media. When the phone rang, though, he couldn't resist. At the other end was a reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle, whom Finkel congratulated on being the first in what was sure to be a long and bloodthirsty line of media watchdogs. The reporter was puzzled.

In Waldport, Oregon, Christian Longo had killed his young wife and three children and dumped their bodies into the bay. With a stolen credit card, he fled south, making his way to Cancun, where he lived for several weeks under an assumed identity: Michael Finkel, journalist for the New York Times.

True Story is the tale of a bizarre and convoluted collision between fact and fiction, and a meditation on the slippery nature of truth. When Finkel contacts Longo in jail, the two men begin a close and complex relationship. Over the course of a year, they exchange long letters and weekly phone calls, playing out a cat-and-mouse game in which it's never quite clear if the pursuer is Finkel or Longo??or both. Finkel's dogged pursuit of the true story pays off only at the end, in the gripping trial scenes in which Longo, after a lifetime of deception, finally tells the whole truth. Or so he says.… (lisätietoja)

Jäsen:Jonathan5
Teoksen nimi:True Story tie-in edition: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa
Kirjailijat:Michael Finkel (Tekijä)
Info:Harper Perennial (2015), Edition: Media tie-in, 352 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
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True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa (tekijä: Michael Finkel)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 12) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Michael Finkel was a respected and up and coming staff writer for the New York Times when he violated one of the major rules of journalism: He made something up. While reporting on a story about child warriors in Africa, he created a "composite" character as the focal point of the story. When the malfeasance was discovered, he was fired "for passing off as true a story that was, instead, a deceptive blend of fact and fiction."

He was out west licking his wounds, humiliated and wondering what to do next when he was contacted by a reporter. He thought he was being contacted about his firing, but the reporter wanted to know what he thought about Chris Longo. He learned that a man named Chris Longo had just been arrested in Mexico, where he had fled after murdering his wife and three young children. While in Mexico, Longo had adopted the identity of and passed himself off as New York Times writer Michael Finkel. Intrigued by this connection, Finkel contacted Longo, and began a correspondence with him, and a friendship of sorts developed. Over the next several years, Finkel interviewed Longo on a number of occasions, and when Longo was tried for the murders, Finkel followed the trial. This book resulted.

It consists of alternating chapters describing his relationship with Longo (as well as the story of how he, Finkel, came to falsify his reporting) and the story of Longo's life and how he came to murder his wife and children.

I mostly enjoyed this, but in undercurrents I occasionally got the feeling that Finkel doesn't really believe that what he did was really so bad that he deserved to be fired. Of course, he was fairly young, and also somewhat arrogant, with a dream job, and maybe a little bit power-mad. To me, he occasionally seems to try to justify himself, with quotes like this:

"I'd cheated on the quotes, but I had captured the correct story. My article was true in spirit--it was a higher truth than that bound by mere facts and figures--and I was able to delude myself that this was all that mattered."

And again, "I knew what I had done was against the rules. I hid my actions from my editor of the Times, though I believed I could wheedle my way out of it in the unlikely chance I was caught."

So while he admits that he knew he was doing wrong, he nevertheless deluded himself into thinking it was really not that bad, and if he got caught he could wheedle his way out of it. So I'm not really sure we can believe he has learned his lesson, and that we can trust that in the future his reporting will always be faithfully true, including this book. So I found myself sometimes taking what he writes with a grain of salt. Maybe it's a case of the man doth protest too much: the opening line of the book is: "This is a true story." And the last line is: "He won't be pleased, he said, unless everything in this book is absolutely, unassailable true."

2 1/2 stars. ( )
  arubabookwoman | Nov 21, 2023 |
A fascinating account, as the subtitle would indicate, that probes what it means to be truthful both through self-revelation and through interviews with a sociopath incapable of telling the truth. ( )
  AnaraGuard | Nov 1, 2020 |
This book is well written. But the crime it addresses is so vile that I found I could not finish the book. I just didn't want to read an in-depth portrait of the killer, or listen to his self-serving lies. I skipped from chapter 23 to chapter 40, and from reading the last two chapters (40-41) I do not believe that the author excuses the crime in any way, so it is not his fault I couldn't tolerate the entire book. It just seemed that there were more worthwhile ways to spend my time. ( )
  iBeth | Apr 23, 2018 |
Michael Finkel was a New York Times Journalist who was fired after it was revealed he falsified details in a story.

Christian Longo was a man accused of having murdered his entire family.

What brought these two men together was the name Michael Finkel. While on the run from the law in Mexico, Longo impersonated Finkel, a journalist whose stories he had read and admired.

Finkel is hiding away at his home, disgraced after the truth about his chocolate trade story came out. When he receives a phone call from another reporter about Longo using Finkel's name, Finkel himself sees it as an opportunity to write another great story, this time one that is completely truthful. But as he gets sucked in by Longo's charms, Finkel begins to realize just how blurred the line between truth and lies can be.

This is an absolutely fascinating read. It is a murder mystery, as readers learn about the case along with Finkel. It is a psychological study of two men brought together by lies and the desire for redemption. It is a look at the relationship between journalist and subject, and where that relationship can shift and change into something resembling friendship-and the struggle to understand feeling kinship for a man who may have committed a horrible deed. And in the end, it is an examination of what it truly means to tell the truth and to tell a lie, to others and to yourself. ( )
  seasonsoflove | Jun 22, 2017 |
This was an odd choice of book for me. I decided to read it for two reasons. One I saw the preview for the upcoming film about this story and knew I would need to read the book since the book is always better. And two the Christian Longo case was big news the first time I ever visited my favorite place on the planet, the Oregon coast. The trial was in the newspapers everyday we were in Oregon so I had a frame of reference starting out. This book is very well written and super fascinating. Not my usual fare but well worth the read. ( )
1 ääni Maureen_McCombs | Aug 19, 2016 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 12) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)

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Biography & Autobiography. Language Arts. Nonfiction. HTML:

The improbable but true story of a man accused of murdering his entire family and the journalist he impersonated while on the run

In 2001, Mike Finkel was on top of the world: young, talented, and recently promoted to a plum job at the New York Times Magazine. Then he made an irremediable slip: Under extraordinary pressure to keep producing blockbuster stories, he fabricated parts of an article. Caught and excommunicated from the Times, he retreated to his home in Montana, swearing off any contact with the media. When the phone rang, though, he couldn't resist. At the other end was a reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle, whom Finkel congratulated on being the first in what was sure to be a long and bloodthirsty line of media watchdogs. The reporter was puzzled.

In Waldport, Oregon, Christian Longo had killed his young wife and three children and dumped their bodies into the bay. With a stolen credit card, he fled south, making his way to Cancun, where he lived for several weeks under an assumed identity: Michael Finkel, journalist for the New York Times.

True Story is the tale of a bizarre and convoluted collision between fact and fiction, and a meditation on the slippery nature of truth. When Finkel contacts Longo in jail, the two men begin a close and complex relationship. Over the course of a year, they exchange long letters and weekly phone calls, playing out a cat-and-mouse game in which it's never quite clear if the pursuer is Finkel or Longo??or both. Finkel's dogged pursuit of the true story pays off only at the end, in the gripping trial scenes in which Longo, after a lifetime of deception, finally tells the whole truth. Or so he says.

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