Facebook book to hit shelves in the fall

Author Ben Mezrich is famous for writing scandal-fueled tales about ambitious kids at elite universities. Now he's confirmed that his next subject will be Facebook.

Ben Mezrich, the author whose book Bringing Down The House inspired this summer's gambling flick 21, has confirmed to the Boston Herald that he's writing a book about Facebook's origins and that West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin is going to turn it into a movie.

As you may recall, part of a proposal for the book, tentatively titled Face Off, was leaked to gossip blog Gawker and launched a mini-firestorm because of some supposed inaccuracies--not to mention the fact that it doesn't look like the book will portray Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in the most positive light. It implied that the book, reportedly worth a seven-figure advance, would depict Zuckerberg as a hard-partying social climber who founded Facebook in his undergraduate days at Harvard University so that he could hook up with more girls.

In the Herald interview, Mezrich obliquely skirted the question of the leaked proposal, neither confirming nor denying its accuracy. "What was in Gawker--that was not all truth. That's not what the book is about...What is Gawker even doing writing something about me?"

What's funny is that rumors had been swirling that the book, and possibly the movie, were in limbo. As the Herald points out, Zuckerberg has not been speaking with Mezrich about the book. From what we've heard, Facebook isn't particularly thrilled about it (company representatives were not immediately available for comment) and that they aren't planning to deal with Mezrich at all. The author has come under occasional fire for stretching the truth, after all; and as scandal-fueled Ivy League rags-to-riches stories are his specialty, one can imagine some of the plotlines (even if the alleged proposal turns out to be a red herring). Facebook's legal department can be aggressive , too.

But if Mezrich is talking to the press about the as-yet untitled book (we're guessing it's not going to be called Face Off), it's on--which means that actor Michael Cera might want to start brushing up on his knowledge of the "social graph." Really, this could be quite the breakthrough for the former Arrested Development and Juno star.

Fortune editor David Kirkpatrick is also working on a book about Facebook, not to be confused with Mezrich's. That one, titled The Facebook Effect, promises to be a much more buttoned-up, businesslike affair.

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About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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