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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, March 2014: An epigraph from Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley says much
about what’s to come in Walter Kirn’s remarkable confessional: “He was versatile, and the world was wide!” When Kirn
first met Clark Rockefeller, he was smitten by the man’s wealth and eccentricities. Coming off a failed marriage (to the
daughter of Thomas McGuane and Margot Kidder), Kirn was a bit of a wreck, as was Rockefeller. The two men were drawn to
each other. As the friendship progressed--into some uneasy terrain--Kirn ignored the clues “spread out for [him] to
read,” and plowed ahead to become a confidant and enabler. Except, it turns out, Clark wasn’t a Rockefeller at all.
Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter was, as Kirn puts it, “the most prodigious serial imposter in recent history.” He was also
a murderer. So what did that make Kirn? “A fool,” he admits, “a stubborn fool.” This is a compulsively readable,
can’t-look-away book and, ultimately, a brave piece of work. Kirn has laid himself bare: his failed marriage, his
Ritalin reliance, his misguided allegiance to a sociopath. In exposing his own “ignorance and vanity,” what Kirn has
really crafted here is the story of a bamboozled writer who for fifteen years ignored the big story right under his
nose; who, in trusting his imposter friend, “violated my storyteller’s oath.” With Blood Will Out, Kirn has impressively
restored his storyteller’s credentials. --Neal Thompson