A mad fever dream starring Jim Carrey, incorporating morsels of autobiography with adventures involving Nicolas Cage, Kelsey Grammer, Taylor Swift, Anthony Hopkins, Goldie Hawn, Sean Penn, and many more.
... a simultaneously baffling and mesmerizing examination of Carrey’s psyche ... As a reimagining of the traditional Hollywood tell-all, Memoirs and Misinformation is a compelling curiosity. But the novel beyond the novelty is a bit of a mess. Seemingly central characters and story lines are unceremoniously abandoned, and the book’s absurdist approach eventually wears thin. Did we really need a drug trip in which Carrey imagines a razor-toothed Nancy Reagan devouring infants? With so much esoteric imagery, this fever dream of a novel runs hot and cold ... The book is at its best when Carrey grapples with his insecurities and anxieties. Ultimately, Memoirs and Misinformation is about how even larger-than-life figures are prone to feeling small. A bombastic, science fiction-fueled finale hammers home the Truman Show-esque idea of being undressed by the all-knowing public eye ... Carrey the author got ahead of the curve and wrote his own fictionalization. Yes, the result is undeniably chaotic and indulgent. But it’s unquestionably Carrey.
Having presumably left the writing part of this project to the capable Mr. Vachon, Mr. Carrey affects a tone of jaded contempt for the Hollywood star system. And while he pokes fun at the narcissistic, mystically inclined habits of coddled movie stars, the gibes double as zany gossip about his celebrity buddies ... The nifty thing about Mr. Carrey’s caricatures is that they simultaneously serve as self-promotion. The story ends with Carrey and other stars battling an alien invasion, an antic, hammy finale that points up the book’s essential silliness while also highlighting the fact that, in Mr. Carrey’s mind, his career misfortunes and Armageddon are inextricably connected. This novel is harmless fun, but it’s still more press release than satire.
Throughout, Carrey has flashbacks to his Canadian childhood, which are some of the most interesting parts of the novel. Reminiscent of Mark Leyner’s absurdist depictions of wealth...and with a similarly otherworldly depiction of L.A. in A. M. Homes’ This Book Will Save Your Life (2006), this is an engaging, fun tale that plays with the public perceptions of celebrities, questions our compulsive need to view, and contains a gloriously off-the-wall conclusion.