Frey'd at the Ends
I first heard of James Frey's book A Million Little Pieces from a good friend of mine. She said it was an amazing read that she couldn't put down; well written in a different style, and it was a true story!. I thought the cover art was pretty cool and when I read the first page of her copy, I thought I'd pick it up. That and a new bottle of cake decorations. I didn't because of a lack of fundage and, well, I'm reading three books now so I wasn't in a rush to start a new one. Plus those cake decorations are rather fattening and I'm trying to become more svelt and appealing.
Today I was at The Huffington Post and saw a link saying "Was Oprah duped by her best-selling book club author?" and had to check it out. Anytime Oprah looks silly, I'm all about reading it. The link took me here. I'm such a fan of The Smoking Gun site and they seem to have really done their homework here. It's a six-page read, but they take Frey apart quite nicely, to the point where you really can't doubt what they produce.
Obviously, the work done by TSG does nothing to diminish how good the book is as a work of fiction based on a true story, but Frey presents the tale as pure non-fiction. The bit about the train accident is particularily unsettling in how he uses it to his advantage to portray himself as sympathetic. The guy seems to be a decent writer, but he may just have delusions of being a badass. And of course it's going to be a movie. Of course it is. He's going to ride the wave of publicity and being called out as a fraud will only make the book more in demand - hell, look at Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code. That got endless critiques from a wide variety of professionals and all it did was make the book sell better. Now Dan Brown, and soon enough, James Frey, will wipe their asses with hundred dollar bills wraped in letters critical of how they wrote their books.
I made a serious vocational error somewhere along the way....