Especially since he had no memory of having written it.
During the few minutes it took me to access Useless America's details on Amazon's web pages, the novel's sales rank jumped from 70,301 to 69,844. It jumped another 60,000 places when I submitted my own order. Sadly, sales have tailed off a bit in the last few days - down to 219,986 at the last check. Maybe Amazon have sold out and Viking Penguin are reprinting. But my copy must be on its way by now. As the named author of Useless America, I'm looking forward to my first sight of it.
The only hitch is that Useless America is a phantom book - and its not even a phantom of my own creation.
Crace explains that he was in talks with Viking Penguin several years ago, to write a novel, and the novel was signed and entered into somebody's catalogue, complete with ISBN. That marketing information made its way to Amazon's database, and there Useless America remains, for anyone to order.
They're going to be waiting a long time for delivery, though.