A Writer's Closet

Welcome to the weird flotsam of a writer's mind . . .

Location: Southern California

Friday, January 27, 2006

Frey gets flogged

I'm furious that I missed Oprah's flaying of James Frey yesterday. Doubly so because I was miserable with a stomach bug and it would have cheered me up immensely. When Frey originally pitched A Million Little Pieces he marketed it as fiction, and then later changed it to memoir without any editing. He knew there were lies in there, not just lies about his jail terms, but lies about how a girl died. That's really unforgivable to me. I can only imagine how her family must have felt when they learned the truth.

It's hard enough to get published these days and I can sympathize with the pressure to make a story more interesting, but he got chosen for Oprah's book club for crying out loud. Talk about scrutiny. But like anyone who's carrying an enormous lie, he just held it and hoped no one would find out. He did agree to go on Oprah again to get his caning, I'll give him that much. Fact checkers aren't infallible either, so if a novelist is going to lie and hide it, they'd better be prepared to take the fallout. I don't have any sympathy for him but I'm curious to see what this does for sales of this book and also My Friend Leonard, which supposedly picks up where AMLP left off. You know what they say, there is no such thing as bad publicity.


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