Appreciation - Liam Pieper - Keeping Up With The Penguins
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Now and then, you come across a book that makes your jaw drop. The latest one for me is Appreciation by Liam Pieper, kindly sent to me for review by Penguin Books Australia.

The conceit in and of itself is a bit of a show-stopper: a cancelled Australian artist has to enlist a ghostwriter to pen a memoir, in the hopes of rehabilitating his public image and restoring the eye-watering value of his paintings. “He will have to suffer the worst of indignities,” the narrator says on page 66. “He will have to write a book.”

The blurb promises Appreciation is “a wild romp through Australian celebrity that’s as bold and scathing as it is hilarious”, and I can tell you it definitely delivers. This book is sharp as hell, a brutal critique of Australian arts culture and the media-managed shrink-wrapped nature of ‘authenticity’ as a brand. Best of all, it comes from an insider – Pieper himself is an award-winning ghostwriter, and presumably has extensive experience dealing with real-life characters like his fictional Oli Darling. How else would he pitch the tale so perfectly?

I mean, the gall! The gumption! Pieper clearly doesn’t care about making friends in the industry (or not getting sued, for that matter). I imagine he’ll struggle to get any arts funding in the foreseeable future, but I’m very grateful for his sacrifice. Hats off!

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Read Appreciation on audiobook via here. (affiliate link)