Fakebook by Dave Cicirelli (3 out of 5)

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A unique concept for a book. People so possessed by Facebook that it takes over every moment of every day of the rest of their lives….yes, they exist. And sadly, many of them exist. Dave Cicirelli gets a wild idea one day. He decides to do his own version of a “social media experiment”. By the way, not sure he ever really utters that phrase, but I am using it to describe the book. If he did indeed describe this as thus, my apologies, no theft of your phrase was intended. It was the very first phrase that popped In my head when I finished reading this. And it is a pretty quick, enjoyable read. And funny. Dave Cicirelli, for all intent and purposes, is a funny man. Some might think his idea of the experiment and the followup may not be, but those fools have no sense of humor and may they end up listening to old dusty records of Gordon Lightfoot.

So what is this book about, with a subtitle like ” A True Story, Based on Actual Lies”? Simple. Cicirelli is 26 and questioning where he is at in his life (some go through it at 30, some at 40, others, apparently, at 26) and where he wants to be. Where he wants to be is unstuck in the mire of monotony that he’s in at the time of his restlessness. He finds himself endlessly comparing his true life accomplishments (or lack thereof) to that of his friends, who are building new continents of Styrofoam in Antartica and popping out a kid every few seconds. And therein lies the seeds of his ingenious idea. He wakes up one morning and announces to his “friends” on Facebook that he’s quitting his job and his life, and hitting the road to head out West. Of course, the circle explodes in frenzied Facebook activity, some calling him insane, others crazy, still others calling him an inspiration. “Fake Dave” (he calls himself that) heads out on an adventure, toilet papering an Amish horse and buggy, posting crazy photos of “partying” with beautiful young ladies and crazy dudes, jumping trains (ala Jack Kerouac style) with a farmer’s daughter, getting down with a Ben Franklin statue (it’s not as obscene as I made it sound, and hey, it didn’t happen anyway!), and being held prisoner by a religious cult (that story is hilarious), among other things. Every new chapter is another glimpse into a road trip that sounds like a bad head trip, but one you find yourself taking again and again. Real Dave is stunned by how easily people are buying into his crazy escapades, as well as buying hook, line, & sinker, the obviously Photoshopped pictures that he posts (believe me, the pictures in the book are more than half the fun of reading it). Eventually, the road trip has to come to an end. Or does it? How far can Dave take this experiment?

Well, without giving too much away, I can tell you- he takes it pretty far. It’s absolutely fascinating to read the comments he gets, the private messages, the invites, all of it. It’s absolutely fascinating to see just how much influence a social media double-edged sword like Facebook provides. It’s also absolutely splendid how the social media experiment mushrooms into what it turns into. The fact that Dave’s parents and coworkers are in on it and front-seat spectators only adds to the amusement of the reader being taken along on this phony journey into the land that time should forget- Facebook. Or as Dave has appropriately named it, via his adventures, Fakebook. Totally worth it to read this book. And think about it. How much of what you post about yourself on Facebook is real? How much isn’t, but you wish it were? How many of your friends do you envy for their seemingly productive output in creative outlets? How many of your friends do you secretly covet for undercover missions of the forbidden kind? How many would play along, if you were truly the wunderkind you say you are? It’s one of those books that is side-splitting funny, and alternately mind-blowing as far as the thought snake it unwinds in your mind. Give it a shot, you will laugh, you will laugh even harder at the pictures, and better yet, you will recommend it to someone who needs to read it. And there are those people out there, so pass it on!

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~ by generationgbooks on August 13, 2014.

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