Influenced by the rise of the science of psychology and the turmoil of the early 20th century, A Perfect Hoax is an ironic and affectionate story of illusion, self-deception, and impracticality in a practical world. Mario Samigli is in his seventies; he has all but given up his cherished aspirations as a writer and smiles at the world through his one remaining literary outlet — fables. When a travelling salesman with a taste for practical jokes persuades him that a Viennese publishing company wants to translate his early failed novel, Mario is caught in a fantasy of success and fame, and neglects his beloved invalid brother. A Perfect Hoax follows the elaborate prank as it escalates, forcing Mario blindly down a road that can only lead to disappointment.
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