Jean Shepherd’s ‘I, Libertine’ Hoax

From WFMU’s Beware of the Blog:

Over 50 years ago, one of the greatest media hoaxes ever was foisted upon New York City and the world at large. Overnight WOR-AM radio show host Jean Shepherd asked his listeners (“the Night People”) to go into bookstores and ask for a book that didn’t exist. Armed with a fictitious title and author, along with a vague plot outline, the Night People got their hooks in wherever they could. Fueled by bewildered bookstore owners and distributors, I, Libertine eventually did end up as a genuine bestseller. The crazy tale is recounted here in Shep’s own words on Long John Nebel’s radio show from 1968.