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Eye of the Beholder

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Eye of the Beholder by Daniel Hayes
Mass Market Paperback $6.99

Mar 28, 1998 | 192 Pages

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Author Essay

EYE OF THE BEHOLDER is the humorous follow up to THE TROUBLE WITH LEMONS.  Here we see our two main characters, Tyler and Lymie, get into even more trouble as they decide to play a Halloween prank on their town by sculpting forgeries and claiming them to belong to the local legendary artist Benito Badoglio. Mayhem erupts when the experts believe the sculptures are genuine.

We asked the author, Daniel Hayes, what inspired him to come up with such a crazy story line.  As it turns out, Hayes’ hilariously funny 200-page book was inspired by a 2-page article about a few Italian college students who, after hearing about a local legend, decide to pull a hoax on the town.  Legend has it that, in 1909, the famous Italian sculptor Amedeo Modigliani, tossed several unfinished head sculptures into the Fosso Reale, or Royal Mote in a fit of depression. The undergrads decided to create head sculptures of their own and threw them into the mote.  The heads were later found and identified as being genuine Modigliani masterpieces by renown critics.  The story became the scandal of the decade in Italy. Using this snippet of reality, Hayes plotted the basic outline of his story. But that was the easy part.  The hard part was dreaming up his own characters,  deciding how Tyler and Lymie actually cook up and execute the scheme, and of course, the youthful dialogue that Hayes is famous for.  The result is a laugh-out-loud slapstick adventure.  But the book is not all humor.  Hayes uses this story to show irony, as oftentimes we are forced to take the word of these "art experts" as fact simply because we don’t know enough about art ourselves.  More importantly, he teaches us that  beauty is truly in the EYE OF THE BEHOLDER.  

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