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In the summer of 1998, Kirn—then an aspiring novelist struggling with impending fatherhood and a dissolving marriage—set out on a peculiar, fateful errand: to personally deliver a crippled hunting dog from his home in Montana to the New York apartment of one Clark Rockefeller, a secretive young banker and art collector who had adopted the dog over the Internet. In this true and chilling story of a writer being duped by a real-life Mr. Ripley, Kirn invites us into the fun-house world of an eccentric son of privilege who would one day be unmasked as a serial impostor and a brutal double-murderer.

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Walter Kirn

Walter Kirn is the author of bestselling Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade, as well as Thumbsucker and Up in the Air, both made into major films. His work has appeared in GQ, New York, Esquire, and the New York Times Magazine.


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Richard Rayner

Richard Rayner is the author of ten books, both fiction and non-fiction, including Los Angeles Without a Map (filmed from his own script with David Tennant, Vinissa Shaw, Johnny Depp and Julie Delpy), The Blue Suit, Murder Book, and, most recently A Bright and Guilty Place, optioned for film by Christopher Nolan. He writes for the Los Angeles Review of Books, the LA Times, the New Yorker and other publications as well as for TV and film. He teaches at USC.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the reservation policy for ALOUD?

    As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at 7 PM.

  • Why do programs fill so quickly?

    ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.

  • Where does ALOUD take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park for ALOUD programs?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?

    We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.


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