A Review of “Impostor: Or Whatever Happened to Richard Beymer?” – An Unauthorized Autobiography

I have always admired Richard Beymer’s role as Benjamin Horne on Twin Peaks.  For some reason I have long neglected his book Impostor: Or Whatever Happened to Richard Beymer, but just now finally got around to reading it.  All I can say is “wow”.

This Unauthorized Autobiography is actually a movie script based on Richard’s alter-ego George.  There are a few different Georges that appear in the book, and after a few pages it becomes almost impossible to tell exactly who is telling the story.  There’s crazy institutionalized George who pitches his Hollywood script to his Doctor, a teen George who has a catastrophic visit with a prostitute and may still be stuck in a bad drug trip from his youth (making this all one big hallucination), or there’s the has-been actor George who records everything and everyone via hidden cameras, especially the girl next door whom he is filming 24 hours a day for his future award winning film.  Let us not forget many of the ex-girlfriends who have constantly patronized, used, and played along with George’s mischief throughout his many pitfalls.

This wildly original book feels like Inception meets Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (and I mean that as a huge compliment) as Richard constantly pushes the boundaries of sanity and just whatever “reality” is.  Richard at times feels like Alice, and this Wonderland is filled with broken dreams, messy break-ups, delusions of grandeur, and re-imaginations of the past.  A lot of this book feels autobiographical, but then again George dies a couple of deaths and would never have made it out of the mental ward anyway to write this book.  While riding this roller coaster of a book, it is very challenging to stick with one narrative which invites many interpretations as well as revisits to the material.  Whatever really happened to Richard Beymer could only be answered by the man himself, and even then I doubt you would get much of a straight answer.

Brilliant, refreshing, and sublimely psychedelic.  One must read it to believe it.

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One Comment on “A Review of “Impostor: Or Whatever Happened to Richard Beymer?” – An Unauthorized Autobiography”

  1. November 10, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

    This is an intoxicating book. Sure wish Kubrick was around to paint his interpretation of another part of Richard Beymer’s wonderful mind.

    It’s all good!

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