Memoirists are so screwed: it's gotten to the point where you can't even sleep with tons of prostitutes without having to present a receipt for verification anymore. We already told you how British debauched dandy Sebastian Horsley, author of Dandy in the Underworld, was barred from entering the States for his very own book party, due to his checkered past. Now the NYT is forced, in the wake of a rash of fake memoirists, to contort itself into a variety of amusing positions in order to verify his story! Details on the memoir: "a debauched life of cocaine, heroin, opium and amphetamine use, writing that he spent more than £100,000 (nearly $200,000) on crack cocaine and £100,000 to consort with more than 1,000 prostitutes."
However, "British public records are not available in the United States, and it was not possible to verify independently many of the details in Mr. Horsley's memoir." Also, the Times mentions that the publisher, Harper, "did not independently fact-check it." How one fact-checks a life of drugs and whoring, we'll never know. (Is this part of reporter Joyce Wadler's new guidelines for "vetting little-known subjects who are receiving attention for the first time"?)
Let's all sing it together: "We won't get fooled agaaaaain!"
Related: Former Gawker Choire Sicha reviewed Horsley's book for the NYT a few weeks back. In a post on his personal blog titled So Pleased That I Trust No One Ever, he explains, "I went out of my way to check on [Horsley's] accuracy as a memoirist." So he's clean.