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Download Caveat Emptor: The Secret Life of an American Art Forger Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Caveat Emptor: The Secret Life of an American Art Forger Audiobook, by Ken Perenyi Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (292 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ken Perenyi Narrator: Dan Butler Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2012 ISBN: 9781482975031
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The true story of America’s greatest art forger! Ten years ago, an FBI investigation was about to expose a scandal in the art world that would have been front-page news in New York and London. After a trail of fake paintings of astonishing quality led federal agents to art dealers, renowned experts, and the major auction houses, the investigation inexplicably ended, despite an abundance of evidence collected. The case was closed and the FBI file was marked “exempt from public disclosure.” Now that the statute of limitations on these crimes has expired and the case appears hermetically sealed shut by the FBI, this audiobook, Caveat Emptor, is that artist Ken Perenyi’s confession. It is the story, in detail, of how he pulled it all off. Unlike other forgers, Perenyi produced no paper trail, no fake provenance whatsoever; he let the paintings speak for themselves. And that they did, routinely mesmerizing the experts in mere seconds.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “By his own admission, Ken Perenyi is a liar, a cheat, and a thief—but to give him his due, he is also pretty brilliant…His astonishing memoir, Caveat Emptor, is by turns horrifying and hilarious…One hesitates to praise an unrepentant wrongdoer’s autobiography—innocent teenagers contemplating career options should not be allowed near this book—but anybody with the slightest interest in painting or deception will find Caveat Emptor an engrossing read.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Even if you know nothing about fine art, Dan Butler’s superb performance will bring this complex and sometimes shady world to life. His sensitive delivery of Ken Perenyi’s poignant memoir of life as a liar and thief makes it hard not to like this consummate scam artist in spite of it all…Butler’s easy reading style carries the narrative flawlessly, with occasional forays into excitement and danger where the going get tight for Perenyi. At those points he ratchets up the emotional wattage just enough to keep you on the edge. This is a thoroughly competent delivery using only Butler’s native voice—but what a voice.”

    AudioFile

  • “The most fascinating parts of his account are his meticulous descriptions of the forging process…A captivating story rich in illuminating details.”

    Booklist

  • “Perenyi channels Holden Caulfield with his forthright, unadorned prose style and straightforward accounts of his past exploits…The details of Perenyi’s forgeries are fascinating, as is the development of his artistic though duplicitous techniques.”

    Library Journal

  • “Readers will be captivated as they follow the development of this remarkable talent over a forty-year career.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 2/18/2014

    " Caveat Emptor is a quirky tale about Ken Perenyi's experience as an art forger who passed off dozens? hundreds? of paintings as originals. The book begins with some over-telling about his youth that really doesn't connect with the meat of the story--his art forging experience. The first half of the book could be summed up as he was a disengaged youth, unsure of what to do with his life until he happened upon art forgery. The second half of the book reads more as arrogant boasting than truthful story telling. While I still found the story compelling, I wonder how much is truth and how much is an embellishment of the truth. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gail Berinato | 2/5/2014

    " Could be a how to book to forge paintings. I am amazed at the speed he painted his detailed paintings! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lou | 1/23/2014

    " I gave it a 3 star because i enjoy books on art, art forgery, history etc. but agree with Scott's review. It seems as if two people wrote this book. I also found the Roy Cohen part fascinating. Questions that are left unanswered: is there really this much art forgery in the world? Why didn't the feds prosecute him? Why drop the case? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kasandra | 1/15/2014

    " Fabulously entertaining and full of detail about how he pulled off more than 30 years of forgeries, Perenyi illuminates the world of art dealers, collectors, and auction houses in a way that will most likely make you not feel quite so bad for those people who bought his works, believing they were authentic. Great photos in the book, and an envious description of a rollicking lifestyle in New York, Miami, and London from the late 60s onward. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Alienman | 1/12/2014

    " I couldn't even finish it because it felt like precious time was being wasted that could have been spent reading something better. The guy writes as if everything in his life happened to him, not by the choices he made, but by the choices of those around him and the circumstances he came into. He's so busy pointing out the flaws in others that he spends no time giving himself any sort of personality. He tries to come across as passive in the path he took towards who he became and I just don't buy it. It was a boring read, so unengaging and wooden that reading a high school history text would have been more fun and less pocked with obvious bias. I was so excited to read this and came away very disappointed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian Goldstein | 1/12/2014

    " fascinating, forging a form of flattery! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Isabel | 1/5/2014

    " I didn't like how he bragged about pulling off such a huge lie, but I must admit that his life is pretty interesting and it's worth the read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa | 12/26/2013

    " Fascinating tale of a master art forger. Art History majors take note. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aaron Patterson | 12/24/2013

    " Really neat look into the life art forger. Enjoyed it very much. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jane | 12/15/2013

    " I just could not finish this book. It is way too involved with the author's personal agenda, and his understanding of right and wrong leaves me cold. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris Abraham | 12/9/2013

    " Poorly-written but beautifully-told and about something with which I am endlessly fascinated: forgery. As told by the art-forger himself, Ken Perenyi. Told from the 1st person by an unreliable narrator, himself, but it transported me to NY and the UK in the 60s, 70s, and 80s -- as if I were there. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rick | 8/14/2013

    " The book reads like a novel most of the time. A really good read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mimi | 3/30/2013

    " Book is excellent, very compelling--but it occurs to me that as a master forger his story may be "embellished". Still an excellent read! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carolin | 3/17/2013

    " an easy read and interesting story about art stuff "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Peregrina651 | 12/20/2012

    " I am embarrassed to admit that I have read this book and even more upset that I put money into the pocket of the author, who I found to be an amoral, unrepentant, self-deluding sleaze. Now, excuse me while I go shower. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ken Roberts | 12/12/2012

    " Good inside info on the art world. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dale | 12/10/2012

    " Fast paced. Easy read. Entertaining, true story about a man who falls into the world of art and art forging. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 9/21/2012

    " I learned more about art conservation from this book than some classes I've taken. "

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About the Author

Ken Perenyi was one of the world’s greatest art forgers for more than thirty years, only barely eluding a heavy prison sentence at the end of his covert career. He currently runs an art gallery in St. Petersburg, Florida, where he still produces some of the most remarkable forgeries in the world.

About the Narrator

Dan Butler, audiobook narrator, actor, writer, director, and producer, has had major roles on and off Broadway and has appeared in numerous television shows, including Frasier, House, and Monk. He cowrote and directed Karl Rove, I Love You and has appeared in such feature films as Crazy, Stupid, Love; Silence of the Lambs; Enemy of the State; and Fixing Frank, among others.