Radio 2 Book Club: A Forger's Tale

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A Forger’s Tale: Confessions of the Bolton Forger by Shaun Greenhalgh will feature on the Radio 2 Fact not Fiction Book Club on Thursday 8 June.

You can win 10 copies of this fascinating book for your reading group, and we also have an exclusive extract for you to read.

A Forger’s Tale

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In 2007, Bolton Crown Court sentenced Shaun Greenhalgh to four years and eight months in prison for the crime of producing artistic forgeries. Working out of a shed in his parents’ garden, Greenhalgh had successfully fooled some of the world’s greatest museums. During the court case, the breadth of his forgeries shocked the art world and tantalised the media. What no one realised was how much more of the story there was to tell.

Written in prison, A Forger’s Tale details Shaun’s notorious career and the extraordinary circumstances that led to it. From Leonardo drawings to L.S. Lowry paintings, from busts of American presidents to Anglo-Saxon brooches, from cutting edge Modernism to the ancient art of the Stone Age, Greenhalgh could – and did – copy it all.

Told with great wit and charm, this is the definitive account of Britain’s most successful and infamous forger, a man whose love for art saturates every page of this extraordinary memoir.

Some discussion points

Your reading group might like to consider the following points if they read A Forger’s Tale.

• How is appreciation for a piece of art affected by knowing if it’s genuine?
• Should a painting’s monetary value affect your appreciation or enjoyment of it?
• What does this book say about the art trade in general?

A word from Shaun

“Having my book featured on a BBC Radio programme is very unexpected and, I feel, quite an honour. Especially one which promotes books and reading. Reading words on paper, heard in your own quiet mind, always seems to be better remembered than those heard by listening to others.”

Selection panel review

The book was selected with the help of a panel of librarians from across the UK. Our readers loved A Forger’s Tale – here are some of their comments:

“I thought this book was fascinating, even though I don’t have a particular interest in art, and knew nothing of the Boston Forger case. A warm, fascinating and sometimes funny read, I would recommend widely.”

“This book is well-written, with a wide appeal. It discusses art, sculpture and different techniques in fascinating detail, without discouraging the non-specialist reader.”

Get involved

Tune in to the Radio 2 Arts Show with Jonathan Ross on Thursday 8 June to hear a live interview with Shaun.

Have you read A Forger’s Tale? You can share your thoughts with us on Twitter using #FactNotFiction.

You can see what other readers thought or add the book to your group’s reading list.

Want to find out more? Take a look at the Radio 2 Book Club Twitter feed.


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