Mike McGrady, Known for a Literary Hoax, Dies at 78. The story behind the hoax is fascinating and entertaining:
That year, The Village Voice rapturously described the book as being “of such perfectly realized awfulness that it will suck your soul right out of your brainpan and through your mouth, and you will happily let it go.”
First published in summer 1969, “Naked Came the Stranger” quickly sold 20,000 copies. Later that summer, Mr. McGrady and his co-conspirators came clean, and news of the book’s genesis made headlines round the world. By the end of the year, the novel had spent 13 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list.
“What has always worried me,” Mr. McGrady told Newsday in 1990, “are the 20,000 people who bought it before the hoax was exposed.”The last sentence of the article is the kicker.