read: 22 April 2006
This arrived in my mailbox as a gift one day. I had really enjoyed the author’s book Museum of Hoaxes so it was a fair bet I’d enjoy this one too. And I did, sort of. This book tracks, instead of cultural hoaxes in the pre-Internet days, 'net hoaxes. As someone who spends a lot of time online, this book seemed to be the work of someone who spends less time online. No big issue that, but while I was impressed with the research that went into his last book, this one seemed to be mostly the result of a lot of Google searching and a few telephone calls. Actual “hoaxes” if you can call them that, are interspersed with gags, gaffes and just weird stuff on the web. The combination of the lax selection policy plus a book design that offers us pull-quotes in brown and green and sometimes a combination of the two meant that this was definitely my less-favorite of Boese’s two books. It was nowhere near as entertaining, not as well-researched and seeemd to favor the sensational story over one with real online-hoax cred. I was less surprised reading this book and the hassle involved in reading its edgy layout wasn’t as worth it in the end.
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