Reporting the latest developments in the 2004 plot to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea, Lydia Polgreen writes that the details are “too outlandish even for Graham Greene” and that “fact has proved as strange as fiction, if not stranger.” The events “loosely mirror the plot of Frederick Forsyth’s 1974 book, ‘The Dogs of War’,” et cetera and so forth (“Fact Mirrors Fiction in African Coup Trial,” New York Times).
Personally, I think she’s flogging it pretty hard, but at least she seems to be in the fiction-is-stranger-than-truth camp. I always scrunch my eyebrows when I hear people respond to strange tales by saying, “You couldn’t make that up!”
Oh, really? Ever read Edgar Allan Poe? Or Carl Hiaasen? Or Kurt Vonnegut? Or . . . .