I am acquainted with author Ben Peek only through that most unreliable medium, the blog. What's strange is that after reading his autobiography, I feel if anything that I know him less. This must be intentional on his part; the book is called twenty-six lies/one truth, for a start, and seeded in amongst very real sounding snippets of growing up in Sydney Australia are cautionary tales of authorial fraud over the centuries. This leads to the book saying two things at the same time: look how honest I am, in voice, in style, in content, in fact there's nothing I wouldn't reveal about myself; and; you would be foolish to believe a word I'm saying.
None of the characters (but one) in the Ben's past are given full names, just letters. One effect of this was that I quickly became lost as to who was who. Turns out I can't remember a single letter as well as I can a name. But what was interesting about this, and pretty cool too, was that it made me less likely to read back and double check what Ben had already written about people. I don't know if he slipped inconsistencies in about his friends, but if he did, I wouldn't have been able to tell. A neat trick.
The layout of the book is worth mentioning. There are twenty six segments, one for each letter of the alphabet, and each with ten "entries" about something starting with that letter. It gives the book the feel of a crazy dictionary, again combining the trustworthy and the untrustworthy.
I would say this is experimental fiction in the best sense of the word. I've never seen a book quite like it. This is not what I would call a "fun" book, but it is the most intriguing thing I've read in a long time. It's sort of like a bomb slipped into the foundations of the autobiographical form. I might not ever be able to trust a memoir again.