:omg Who cares ???? :omg
Originally Posted by geek the girl
Well, let me see.....um-m-m......I DO, for one. The Smoking Gun does, for another. And anyone who bought the book because they were informed that it was "100% autobiographical c.a.r.e.s.".!!!
I love to read, NEED to read, and devour almost any genre. Fiction, non-fiction, biographies, text books....if it's printed, I'll read it.
But, handing James a "Get Out of Jail Card" (again!) for lying about his AUTOBIOGRAPHY is akin to saying that the man charged with Stem Cell Fraud or the countless newspaper reporters who've been caught writing gripping "news" stories (when they were completely fabricated).."Who cares if the research or news stories are true???
If he just needed to make it a tad more gruesome, so instead of just vomit and snot, he had to add "piss and blood", that'd be okay with me. And if his jail terms were listed as "eight days" instead of the real 5, that would still be okay with me. But to change his age from 12 to 18 and place himself at the scene of an accident that killed two girls when in truth he was NO WHERE THERE...THAT IS NOT OKAY WITH ME!
Did he write an interesting book? Yes. Does he have a unique style? Yes. But when he is a lauded for his "harrowing escape from his own additions" when it should be his "mediocre escape from his own addictions", that's when many readers have a problem.
I'm calling James Frey "Mr. James Gump" from now on, since his stories are just as unrealistically written. "Wanna box of chocolates, James?"
Special SHOUT OUT to LUCY for posting the Smoking Gun article! I read all 6 pages, followed every link and emailed the article to interested friends...and OPHAH'S site.
(Update: I just went to Oprah's site and apparently, posters have tried to post the Smoking Gun link and article on there ALL DAY LONG, but are getting their posts deleted by Oprah moderators! Maybe she's a share holder in his new film? :shrug I like Oprah and have nothing against her, but I'd think for all the time that she was on the air that her staff could have done a bit of research on this guy.)
Sadly, I would not be surprised if this bears out to be true. Mr. Frey is/was employed as a Hollywood screenwriter at the time he wrote this book and the book does not disappoint in that it is chock full of larger than life caricatures whose existence no one seems able to verify. I had done some research after reading the book and was not able to locate any information on any of the "friends" of Freys and therefore remained skeptical of the books veracity. However, I still believe some good can be found in the book in that, as I said before, Mr. Frey presents another avenue of recovery other than 12 Step/AA/God that is espoused by every recovery/rehab program out there. Options are a good thing.
That being said, how I wish someone from Hazeldon would come out and either negate or confirm the existence of these parties and events in Frey's book. This of course, will most likely never happen as it would break patient confidentiality. Too bad.
I couldn't agree with you more, horsnhound. Whether the Bible, the Tao, the Yellow Pages or Navel Lint, if it creates a feeling of wellness in a person and they can overcome addictions, more power to EVERYONE!
Originally Posted by horsnhound
Well, the Smoking Gun interviewed enough cops and attorneys and classmates of James to put to rest any doubt that he's created one hellofa piece of fiction.
Originally Posted by horsnhound
The thing that I find most upsetting is his insistance on this being ALL true. I was talking about the book with my roomie, and comparing what MILLION would have been like if it had been listed as "Fiction". I don't know how many people HERE have read The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair, as a writer Sinclair gained fame in 1906 with the novel The Jungle, a report on the dirty conditions in the Chicago meatpacking industry. The book won Sinclair fame and fortune, and led to the implementation of the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906.
So, it is possible to write a fictional story on facts and change people's lives and history. James could have done the same but he chose an easier, albeit false way of promoting his book. What also rankles me is that at least twice in the book: once when "Steven Tyler" makes a lecture and later, when a new patient "brags about being in the mob" and James laughs and scoffs at both of them, calling them "liars and embellishers." He is outraged that these men are "adding onto the facts" and trying to gain fame, fortune and glory out of addiction". Well, isn't it a bit hypocritical of him to have said that when he's now worth millions? Surely, he'd know that people would check his background, when he writes such an Indiana Frey and the Temple of Addiction book. But then again, James wrote that addicts are all liars and they believe their own lies. :shrug
Too true. One line conceivably has the potential of altering a persons life.
Originally Posted by lambikins
That works for better AND worse. If the line is a lie it can have no effect or change everything.
In this books case, I'd say the lying is a side issue not closely related to its impact on anything other than the authors reputation for veracity.
Okay, I just went and read all six pages on Smoking Gun and all I have to say is: EW. :mmm So fine, he's a big, fat liar. If he's an addict, then he's a liar - the two words are synonymous, in my (albeit limited) experience. The thing that I find absolutely reprehensible is the use of that girl's death and the insertion of himself into a story he had no part in. If anyone is interested, read the last two pages or so of the article on Smoking Gun (link in Lucy's post above) about the accident that killed two girls and how Frey changed the details of the story and placed himself at the center. What a pig :down
I really hadn't planned on reading the book anyway, as I tend to stay away from Oprah books (there are a few exceptions - usually ones I read before she picks them!), but now I really won't read this one. He's getting rich by telling stories that he claims are true and they're not. That would be fine if he didn't market them as non-fiction. It's an insult to anyone who has really gone through the types of things that Frey describes in the book.
I hadn't read the whole six pages on Smoking Gun when I wrote my post. I have now, though, and I'll second Critical's EW. It's one thing to fictionalize events that actually took place in order to heighten a work's literary value (which I thought was the case here), but to take advantage of a tragic accident like that is just horrible. I still think A Million Little Pieces works on a literary level, though, but I'm with everyone who thinks it should have been labeled fiction, or loosely autobiographical fiction. Of course, if that had been the case, he probably wouldn't have gotten this much exposure - his editors must have known that.
All of this raises some interesting questions, though. Haven't Dave Pelzer (author of A Child Called It) and J.T. Leroy (author of Sarah and The Heart is Deceitful above All Things) faced similar allegations about their allegedly autobiographical books? Pelzer has sold almost a million copies here in Sweden - for some reason, Swedes are crazy about autobiographies right now; the more tragic, the better - and once it was suggested that Pelzer made some of the events up, people went ballistic. It is interesting to me how the seemingly (emphasis on "seemingly") true and real has become so coveted by readers all around the world. The same yearning for some kind of authenticity can be found in the whole reality TV phenomenon, although of course a lot of it is heavily edited. I guess what I'm getting at is this: In a society where the lines between the real and the fictional have become blurred, is it really such a big surprise that authors jump on the pseudo-autobiographical bandwagon too? Of course, the issue here is what many of you have already pointed out - that James Frey went on Oprah (how much more public can it get?) and swore that the book was 100% autobiographical. Perhaps pseudo-autobiography should become a new genre, a way to deal with books that blend truth and fiction.
I haven't had nearly enough coffee to truly make my point clear here, but this whole fiction vs. autobiography debate is very interesting to me on many levels. We've discussed it quite a bit in class lately, and there's also a big debate about it going on in Swedish newspapers. It's probably just a matter of time before this whole James Frey story reaches the papers over here.
I'm usually all for fictionalizing your life - Bret Easton Ellis did a darn fine job doing just that in Lunar Park - but once you start exploiting and using other people, that's where I draw the line.
Geek - What I find interesting about the whole non-fiction/autobiographical fiction issue is that when someone publishes a book as "loosely autobiographical," so many people want to believe that it is ALL true. I'm sure Carrie Fisher (to use the example again) had lots of people quizzing her on whether that character was really her mother.
When someone publishes something like Frey's book, it seems that the questions about its veracity start to fly. In this case, the questions were valid and warranted. :mmm I guess the thing I find most objectionable (after the story about the train crash, of course) is that he is making money by telling a story that, for many people, is probably very close to their actual life experiences. I'd think it would be like a slap in the face. I'm not an addict, so I can't speak for them, but I'd be pretty annoyed at Frey if I were an addict.
It's similar to those guys who go on and on about their harrowing experiences in Vietnam when they were never in the service at all. :mmm
If Frey is, indeed, in recovery for addiction, then more power to him. BUT - if his "rock bottom" wasn't as dramatic as what he portrayed in his book, he should have just written and presented this book as a novel.
:up Good for you that you slogged through all six pages, Critical!!
Originally Posted by Critical
:yeahthat Totally agree, Critical. I could write a best seller, too, if I could imagine myself in situations and sell it as truth!
Originally Posted by Critical
Here's an interesting couple of quotes that I ran into:
Book Writer: "Books can be misleading!!! My dear boy, you use your Common Sense! My books wouldn't have sold half as well if people didn't think I'd done all those things!"
Accuser #1: "You're a FRAUD! You've taken credit for what other "writer's" have done!"
Accuser #2: "Is there anything you can do!?"
Book Writer: "YES!!! Now that you mention it. I'm rather gifted with "plagerism", otherwise, you see, all those other "writer's" would have gone blabbing and I never would have sold another book! In fact...ah...I'm...ah...going to have to do the same thing to YOU!"
So, who's the Book Writer and who's Accuser #1 and Accuser #2 ????
The Book Writer is Gilderoy Lockhart, the Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Lockhart is obsessed with himself and his image. In his books, he tells of his exploits fighting various types of magical creatures, but the truth is that he simply interviewed the folks that really dealt with the creatures, then preformed Memory Charms on them. I simply substituted the word "writer" for "wizard" and "plagerism" for "Memory Spell".
Accuser #1 Harry Potter and Accuser #2 is Ron Weasley, as they finally find out, when they find Lockhart bailing on them, that he is all fraud.
How interesting that this completely fictional character (or IS he?!) named Lockhart can come so close to another famous author's "real-life" stories?!
This is from the Smoking Gun article: "Of course, if "A Million Little Pieces" was fictional, just some overheated stories of woe, heartache, and debauchery cooked up by a wannabe author, it probably would not get published. As it was, Frey's original manuscript was rejected by 17 publishers before being accepted by industry titan Nan Talese, who runs a respected boutique imprint at Doubleday (Talese reportedly paid Frey a $50,000 advance). According to a February 2003 New York Observer story by Joe Hagan, Frey originally tried to sell the book as a fictional work, but the Talese imprint "declined to publish it as such." A retooled manuscript, presumably with all the fake stuff excised, was published in April 2003 amid a major publicity campaign."
:clap Yay for YOU, geek the girl, to delve deeper and change part of your opinion. You're impressive; most people wouldn't have bothered!
Originally Posted by geek the girl
I am with you, Critical. Earlier in this thread I said that my impression of Frey, the person who had appeared on the Oprah show (before I turned the channel to Judge Alex) was that he was not anyone that I wanted to give my money to by buying his book. I was then criticized in this thread for not having read the whole book before daring to criticize him, which I had never claimed to do (unlike this liar-author who is getting rich off saying he did lots of things that didn't actually happen). Looks like my impression of him has some merit after all and I don't need to give him more royalties (or Oprah, for that matter). I'd rather read genuine fiction than psuedobiografiction.
Originally Posted by Critical
Actually L.G.,I believe you are referring to my post where I refuted your belief that Mr. Frey did not give thanks to anyone but himself and how his taking credit for his own recovery was a "bad thing". I have NEVER backed this book as being thruthful, and if you go back and re-read my post you will note that. What I did do is correct your notion that Mr. Frey never gave thanks to anyone, and that in the end we are all responsible for ourselves. If any good is to come out of this book it is the knowledge that there are other paths to recovery other than 12 Step/AA/God.
Originally Posted by LG.
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