Home Books Exclusive: Gay Talese Will Promote “Voyeur” Book, Doesn’t Disavow It, Says WashPo...

Gay Talese– contrary to a Washington Post story this morning– does not disavow his new book “The Voyeur’s Motel.”

Talese tells me that the headline should read: “Author  Gay Talese disavows Paul Farhi for distorting how he feels about the book.”  Gay says: “I definitely am going to promote it, beginning this coming week.”

He’s sticking to his booking on The Late Show with Seth Meyers, and will be doing plenty of other appearances.

The legendary 84 year old author and reporter first tipped off “The Voyeur’s Motel” in the New Yorker this winter. He wrote then, and writes in the book– which I’ve read and is quite mesmerizing– that he knew certain things his subject, Gerald Foos, told him did not add up. Talese cautions us that Foos is not always reliable. But he makes a damn good character, nonetheless.

This would matter if Foos had been retelling history. But this is Foos’s private history– a voyeur who owns a motel and witnesses, among other things, a murder. Did he own the motel? Yes. Did he equip it for spying? Yes. That’s all you need to know. Are we listening to some tall tales? Sure. But what did you expect? This isn’t Ulysses S. Grant telling his life story. Foos is a notable low life.

So I’d calm down, WashPo. “The Voyeur’s Motel” is true enough. The writing is impeccable and no one’s been harmed if Foos was good at exaggeration.

 

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