This is one of those books which I have read before, just read again and will re-read in the future.
It never ceases to amuse and amaze me in equal measure. Harris is now well-known as a novelist; Pompeii is one of my favourites but this is the best of his non-fiction.
It is so hard to understand how anyone could ever have been taken in by this, the crudest of hoaxes; the diaries were written in notebooks, aged with tea leaves and full of misquotes and misunderstandings.
I suppose the bigger picture illustrates the extent of corporate greed. The huge publishing empires in Germany, England and America did not look carefully enough because they were blinded by the enormous financial rewards if they should be genuine. In other words they had a vested interest in their authenticity, so they failed to make even the most rudimentary of checks. Even when a handwriting analysis was completed, it compared the style of writing in the diaries with other faked work by the same forger.
The conception, inception and deception is a great read.