A LIFE IN BOOKS: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley is an illuminated novel that contains 101 books within it, all written and designed by Lehrer’s [fictional] author-protagonist, Bleu Mobley. Nearly a year after the controversial author is thrown into prison for refusing to reveal the name of a confidential source, he decides to break his silence. But it’s not as simple as giving up a name to the grand jury. Over the course of one long night, in the darkness of his prison cell, he whispers his life story into a microcassette recorder, tracing his journey from the public housing project of his youth, to a career as a journalist, then experimental novelist, college professor, accidental bestselling author, pop-culture pundit, and unindicted prisoner. In A LIFE IN BOOKS: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley, Mobley’s autobiography/apologia is paired with a review of all 101 of his books. Each book is represented by its first edition cover design and catalog copy, and 34 of the books are excerpted. The resulting retrospective contrasts the published writings (which read like short stories) with the author’s confessional memoir, forming a most unusual portrait of a well-intentioned, obsessively inventive (but ethically challenged) visionary.