Fake like me

Barbara Bourland

Book - 2019

"After a fire decimates her studio, including the seven billboard-size paintings for her next show, a young, no-name painter is left with an impossible task: recreate her art in three months--or ruin her fledgling career. Homeless and desperate, she begs her way into an exclusive retreat in upstate New York famous for its outrageous revelries and glamorous artists. And notorious as the place where brilliant young artist Carey Logan drowned in the lake. As the young painter works obsessively... in Carey's former studio, uncovers strange secrets and starts to fall--hard and fast--for Carey's mysterious boyfriend, it's as if she's taking her place. But one thought shadows her every move: What really happened to Carey Logan?"--Provided by publisher.

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Gothic fiction
New York : Grand Central Publishing 2019.
First Edition
Physical Description
359 pages : illustration ; 24 cm
Main Author
Barbara Bourland (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* An abstract painter on the verge of making a name for herself, the unnamed narrator of Bourland's (I'll Eat When I'm Dead, 2017) second novel loses everything in an electrical fire. Desperate to secretly—fraudulently—remake the monumental paintings expected in her upcoming Paris show, mere months away, she begs her way into a summer residency at Pine City: the exclusive upstate New York enclave of the eponymous five-person artist collective she's admired since she was an art student at their alma mater. She's most inspired by Pine City's star, Carey Logan, who came, like the narrator, from nothing and nowhere, and who famously drowned herself after she changed course in her work and the art world responded negatively. Bourland has an uncanny knack for spatial description and relates artwork and every last thing in Pine City—"half Dirty Dancing, half Twin Peaks"—with pristinely observed color and feeling. She also nails the creep factor, and her narrator's high tolerance for it, with foreboding signs that the no-name painter isn't totally welcome there, and that there's more to Carey's story. The deck stacked against her, the narrator tells the glitteringly compelling tale of her fevered summer and wisely reveals meaningful intersections of class, gender, and making art. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

In 1996, the nameless first-person narrator—then a 19-year-old sophomore art student—has a memorable encounter with Pine City, the collective of five beautiful young artists in New York City. Carey Logan, the most famous of the group for her sculptures made of casts of body parts, speaks to the narrator while casting her hand and becomes her artistic lodestar. Years later, Logan has given up sculpture for performance art; her final piece is filming her suicide. The narrator, having achieved some success with her abstract billboard-sized paintings, is mere months from an exhibit in Paris when her loft burns down, taking with it six of her seven exhibition works. Frantic to find space for reconstructing two years of art in three months, she wangles her way into Pine City's upstate New York retreat, landing in Logan's former studio and in the heart of Tyler Savage, Logan's former boyfriend, as she seeks Carey's real story. VERDICT The creative process confronts reality in this compelling literary thriller centering on art, identity, and deception, as told in Bourland's (I'll Eat When I'm Dead) sharp prose. A must for those with an artistic bent, a sheer reading pleasure for all.—Michele Leber, Arlington, VA Copyright 2019 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

The unnamed artist who narrates this exceptional thriller from Bourland (I'll Eat When I'm Dead) is finally enjoying success and financial freedom in her career. Then disaster strikes when a fire in her New York City loft/studio destroys Rich Ugly Old Maids, her newest series of seven paintings, which she considered her "crowning glory." Out of desperation, she assures her gallerist that only one was destroyed. Now she has three months to recreate her large, intricate oil paintings for a Paris show. She secures space at a sprawling former upstate summer resort, the home of art collective Pine City and her idol, sculptor Carey Logan, whose suicide by drowning three years earlier served as a turning point in the artist's work. She feverishly dives into painting and falls hard and fast for Carey's paramour, Tyler Savage, soon becoming consumed by the mystery of Carey's last days, her rumored final work, and what drove her to suicide. Bourland expertly shines a light on the nature of female ambition and desire and the often dark heart of inspiration. Readers fascinated with the blood, sweat, and tears of creating art will be especially rewarded. Agent: Victoria Sanders, Victoria Sanders & Assoc. (June) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A satire of the absurdly glamorous New York high art scene, in which a young artist crumbles under unimaginable pressure while at an upstate artists' retreat.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The acclaimed author of I'll Eat When I'm Dead offers a twisted psychological portrait of a woman crumbling under unimaginable pressure, as well as a razor-sharp satire of the contemporary art scene. 25,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

From critically acclaimed author Barbara Bourland, comes an "impressively intelligent thriller," nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award, about a young painter who tracks the mysterious life and death of her role model, uncovering strange secrets that lead to the truth of her demise (Refinery29). After a fire rips through her loft, destroying the seven billboard-size paintings meant for her first major exhibition, a young painter is left with an impossible task: recreate the lost artworks in just three months without getting caught -- or ruin her fledgling career. Homeless and desperate, she begs her way into Pine City, an exclusive retreat in upstate New York notorious for three things: outrageous revelries, glamorous artists, and the sparkling black lake where brilliant prodigy Carey Logan drowned herself. Taking up residence in Carey's former studio, the painter works with obsessive, delirious focus. But when she begins to uncover strange secrets at Pine City and falls hard for Carey's mysterious boyfriend, a single thought shadows her every move: What really happened to Carey Logan?