One of his top ten literary hoaxes, as shared at the Guardian:
Theodore Sturgeon – I, Libertine (1956)Read about another entry on the list.
In the 1950s US bestseller lists were compiled by newspaper subeditors who would phone around bookstores to ask what was selling. The late night talk radio host Jean Shepherd, in collusion with his listeners, concocted a fake book, I Libertine, a raunchy historical romance by the similarly fictitious author Frederick R. Ewing, a retired Royal Naval officer resident in Rhodesia and expert in eighteenth century erotica. Shepherd urged his listeners to request the title from as many bookshops as possible. Despite its non-existence it was banned in Boston before the publisher Ballantine commissioned Kurt Vonnegut’s friend (and character in Slaughterhouse 5) Theodore Sturgeon to make the hoax text a reality.