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Susan Midalia's Review

When Oliver (Oli) Darling, a narcissistic, successful painter from rural Victoria makes an unpatriotic remark on live TV, his reputation and career are instantly shattered.  What follows is a highly enjoyable satire of celebrity culture in which image triumphs over talent and money becomes the measure of all things. Australian writer Liam Pieper’s fourth book is a clever blend of Wildean wit and Swiftian savagery, slickly delivered cynicism and moments of genuine tenderness, as well as a hilarious parody of crime fiction.

Appreciation is a delightfully entertaining satire of the greed and corruption that infects the arts scene. It's also a thoughtful account of the country/city divide which moves beyond satire to show the need for community and compassion rather than transactional relationships based purely on self-interest.

If you want to read a book that isn't mired in grief, trauma or despair, that will make you laugh out loud as well as think, I can highly recommend Pieper's clever blend of biting wit and serious social commentary. 

The Guardian Review

Publishers Reviews

A wild romp through Australian celebrity culture that's as bold and scathing as it is hilarious.

Oli Darling is a queer artist from the country - it says so right at the top of every press release. His art has brought him fame, money, fashionable substance abuse issues and only a little imposter syndrome. But then he goes on live TV and says the one thing that can get a rich white guy cancelled.

With his reputation in tatters, nobody is buying Oli's schtick or his art. That's a problem for all the people who've invested millions in him. Powerful, dangerous people. To save his own skin, Oli will need to restore his public image. Together with a ghostwriter, he must do the most undignified thing imaginable- he will have to write a memoir.

So begins a journey through the underbelly of modern celebrity that sees Oli confront the consequences of his own ruthless mythmaking - lies he's told others, lies he's told himself. Perhaps he was right to feel like an imposter. And maybe the only way out is to take a good hard look at himself.

Outrageous satire of the highest order, Appreciation sets its sights on the question of authenticity in a time where image trumps talent, narcissism rules, and no canvas is so tarnished it can't be painted over.

'Made me laugh gleefully, and also made me squirm. Pieper's pen is a sharply honed blade - there's a hell of a lot of truth in this deceptively jaunty satire. I gulped it down.' Christos Tsiolkas

'A clever, wry and utterly hilarious impaling of Australian culture. A worthy successor to Oscar Wilde.' Kris Kneen

'Smart and daring, witty and incisive. A work of genius.' Jessie Stephens

'A deft skewering of contemporary values - as hugely entertaining as it is piercingly relevant.' Nick Earls

'Hugely memorable.' Hannah Kent

'Bold and compelling.' Peter Pierce, Weekend Australian

'Crackling with a tension that doesn't let up.' Jay Daniel Thompson, Australian Book Review

'A high-stakes, self-aware literary thriller.' Elke Power, Readings