A NATIONAL BESTSELLER * A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITORS’ CHOICE * A WASHINGTON POST BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
"An invigorating work, deadly precise in its skewering of people, places and things . . . Stylish, despairing and very funny, Fake Accounts . . . adroitly maps the dwindling gap between the individual and the world." —Katie Kitamura, The New York Times Book Review
A woman in a tailspin discovers that her boyfriend is an anonymous online conspiracy theorist in this “absolutely brilliant take on the bizarre and despicable ways the internet has warped our perception of reality” (Elle, One of the Most Anticipated Books of the Year).
On the eve of Donald Trump's inauguration, a young woman snoops through her boyfriend's phone and makes a startling discovery: he's an anonymous internet conspiracy theorist, and a popular one at that. Already fluent in internet fakery, irony, and outrage, she's not exactly shocked by the revelation. Actually, she's relieved--he was always a little distant--and she plots to end their floundering relationship while on a trip to the Women's March in DC. But this is only the first in a series of bizarre twists that expose a world whose truths are shaped by online lies.
Suddenly left with no reason to stay in New York and increasingly alienated from her friends and colleagues, our unnamed narrator flees to Berlin, embarking on her own cycles of manipulation in the deceptive spaces of her daily life, from dating apps to expat meetups, open-plan offices to bureaucratic waiting rooms. She begins to think she can't trust anyone--shouldn't the feeling be mutual?
Narrated with seductive confidence and subversive wit, Fake Accounts challenges the way current conversations about the self and community, delusions and gaslighting, and fiction and reality play out in the internet age.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
What if you discovered your boyfriend was a popular online conspiracy theorist? What if you realized that this was just one of many secrets he was keeping from you? Lauren Oyler’s debut novel answers these questions and raises many more, as her unnamed protagonist confronts the moral implications of her New York media job and wrestles with thorny issues of political and online activism in the Trump era. Wryly self-aware and extremely funny, Fake Accounts takes us to Berlin, to the 2017 Women’s March, and inside the daily madness of online “reality.” This sharp satire masterfully skewers performative grief and our obsessive need to publicly document every emotion. Oyler delivers her knockout punch with a smile—we can’t wait to see what she serves up next.
In Oyler's bold debut, a blogger discovers her boyfriend is an influential online conspiracy theorist. A suspicion that the unnamed narrator's withdrawn boyfriend, Felix, might be cheating leads her to find his anonymous social media accounts, which stoke alt-right sentiments as Donald Trump's inauguration looms. The narrative flashes back to show the couple's meet-cute in Berlin he's a tour guide, she's a tourist and their burgeoning long-distance relationship, which changes for the worse after he joins her in New York. Felix is a habitual liar, prone to inventing alter egos for himself and the narrator when meeting strangers, and initially she plays along, but soon longs for the real Felix. She resolves to break up with him, but first she travels to the Women's March in Washington, D.C., where she gets a phone call informing her Felix has died in a bike accident. Feeling adrift, she quits her job and moves to Berlin, where she leans into a lying life of her own with the men she meets on dating apps, the mother of twins whom she nannies, even the German government. Oyler experiments with various forms along the way: there is a lengthy parody of fragmented novels, copious analysis of millennial internet habits, literary references from Dickens to Ashbery to Ben Lerner, a Greek chorus of ex-boyfriends, and direct address to the reader. Oyler wields all these devices freely, creating a unique, ferociously modern voice. This incisive, funny work brilliantly captures the claustrophobia of lives led online and personae tested in the real world.