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Thread: A Million Little Pieces by James Frey

  1. #51
    Just Forting Around roseskid's Avatar
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    Well, this should be interesting...James Frey will be on Oprah today.
    Love The Bachelor? Catch the recap for this season's sacrificial lamb lucky guy here in Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4, Episode 5, Episode 6 and Episode 7.

  2. #52
    Caged Mah Jongg Solitaire Champion Maveno's Avatar
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    CNN.com

    Oprah to author: 'I really feel duped'
    James Frey upbraided by talk show host




    CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- Oprah Winfrey challenged author James Frey over his disputed memoir, asking him on a live telecast of her show Thursday to explain why he "felt the need to lie."

    "It is difficult for me to talk to you because I really feel duped ... but more importantly I feel that you betrayed millions of readers," Winfrey said to Frey, who wrote the hugely popular "A Million Little Pieces."

    Frey's story of substance abuse and recovery became one of the best-selling books of 2005 after Winfrey named it to her book club last fall, with countless addicts citing it as inspiration. It was originally published in 2003.

    The memoir began to unravel earlier this month when an investigative piece on The Smoking Gun Web site (www.thesmokinggun.com) challenged some of the facts in the book, including Frey's assertion that he once spent three months in prison.

    Frey, 36, appeared on CNN's "Larry King Live" show after The Smoking Gun story appeared, and Winfrey phoned in her support for him and for the book, calling the allegations against Frey "much ado about nothing."

    "What is relevant is that he was a drug addict ... and stepped out of that history to be the man he is today and to take that message to save other people and allow them to save themselves," Winfrey said in the surprise call two weeks ago.

    But Winfrey, who has been widely criticized, even by e-mailers on her Web site, for her apparent indifference to the controversy, said Thursday that she regretted making that call.

    "I left the impression that the truth is not important," she said.

    Frey acknowledged to King that he had embellished parts of the book, and he told Winfrey Thursday that the same demons that fueled his addictions caused him to mischaracterize himself.

    "I made a mistake," Frey told Winfrey on Thursday.

    Frey's acknowledgments have not hurt sales so far, with both "A Million Little Pieces" and its sequel, "My Friend Leonard," high on best seller lists. His publisher, Doubleday, said last week that Frey was writing a brief author's note for future editions of "A Million Little Pieces."
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I've got a novel idea..don't lie in the first place.
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  3. #53
    FORT Fogey lambikins's Avatar
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    So, did anyone watch this? I got Maveno's notice too late to see the LIVE show, but caught it at 11:05 pm, along with Larry King and the Anderson 360 Report, staying up until 2:00 am.

    Gotta jet to work right now, but will comment later.


    MSNBC.com

    Oprah’s Revenge
    In an hour of talk-show theatre, James Frey admits guilt and then repents

    WEB EXCLUSIVE
    By Malcolm Jones
    Newsweek
    Updated: 9:03 p.m. ET Jan. 26, 2006




    Jan. 26, 2006 - Don’t you dare lie to Oprah Winfrey. Because if you do and then you get caught, she will drag you back onto her show and rake you over the coals for a solid hour. James Frey found that out the hard way on Thursday. The author of “A Million Little Pieces” has admitted falsifying parts of his bestselling memoir of drug and alcohol addiction and rehab, which Oprah picked for her on-air book club last fall.

    When Frey appeared on “Larry King Live” last week to defend himself, Oprah called in to support him. At that point, she began drawing as much flak as Frey from pundits who accused her of a cavalier attitude about truth vs. fiction.

    That plainly hurt, because one of the first things she said on the Thursday broadcast was, “I left the message [in the phone call to King] that the truth does not matter. And I am deeply sorry about that, because that is not what I believe.” Now, “I feel duped,” she told Frey on her syndicated talk show. “More importantly, I feel that you betrayed millions of readers.”

    It was classic talk-show theater. Frey took his lumps, equivocated less than he had previously, and in the final minutes of the show admitted, with a little prompting from Oprah, “to lying.” “Which is not an easy thing to do,” she said. “If I come out of this experience with anything,” he went on, “it’s being a better person and learning from my mistakes and making sure that I don’t repeat them.” The public ritual of admission of guilt and repentance was complete.

    What was most interesting about this hour-long punishment, which included commentary from Frey’s publisher and several prominent journalists, was the difference between how publishers vet manuscripts and how the media handles accuracy. It was a difference that was addressed but never resolved. Fact-checking is a routine part of almost every news operation. Publishers with worries about a manuscript they plan to publish may question an author, and they may run the manuscript by a lawyer, who looks at it for questions of libel. If a book is particularly technical, it may be sent to one or more outside experts for verification. Academic presses routinely subject manuscripts to peer review before publication. But that’s about it. Most publishers insist that they cannot afford to fact-check every manuscript that comes their way. In the case of small- to medium-sized houses, that’s probably true. In the case of Doubleday, Frey’s publisher and a unit of a large multinational corporation, the defense looks a little rickety.


    In an interview with the Associated Press, Ashbel Green, a senior editor at Knopf who specializes in history and nonfiction, acknowledged a “traditional dependency on the author” when it comes to the truthfulness of a manuscript. But, he noted, “I think for a while [the Frey episode] will make people careful.” Certainly Doubleday has taken the issue to heart. Even before the Oprah broadcast had concluded, Doubleday issued a press release announcing that “A Million Little Pieces” would be accompanied by notes from the publisher and the author admitting that “facts have been altered and incidents embellished.” In other words, let the buyer beware.

    © 2006 Newsweek, Inc.

    © 2006 MSNBC.com

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11049829...week/from/RSS/
    Still crazy, after all these shears

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  4. #54
    REALITY BITES Wisconsinswede's Avatar
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    Since when did Oprah change her mind from supporting the book because is all "about redemption"? I hate wafflers. (Oh wait, no pun intended, fans aside....if you make a decision please stick by it, debate both sides and let others decide for themselves)

    I loved the book, it changed the way I think about addictions and redemption. Who knows why he embellished. It still doesnt negate the fact that the book is one of the best books I have ever read.

  5. #55
    FORT Fogey JamiLee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wisconsinswede View Post
    Since when did Oprah change her mind from supporting the book because is all "about redemption"? I hate wafflers. (Oh wait, no pun intended, fans aside....if you make a decision please stick by it, debate both sides and let others decide for themselves)

    I loved the book, it changed the way I think about addictions and redemption. Who knows why he embellished. It still doesnt negate the fact that the book is one of the best books I have ever read.
    Okay one of my best friends has been clean 17 years and she loved the book and the second one too. She said something like you. Who cares it was a great read.

    I hated he lied. So? To each his, or her own.

    Bugs me Oprah decides to look all good after her stupid STUPID Larry King phone call. That is phoney to me.

    I hope the guy stays straight and maybe Oprah will eat too much.
    The Pats will be back next year. Watch out.....

  6. #56
    PWS
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    According to CNN today this was listed by the NY Times as #2 on the NON-fiction paperback list. Man, are they not going to move it to fiction? #1 is Night, Oprah's latest pick.

  7. #57
    Caged Mah Jongg Solitaire Champion Maveno's Avatar
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    Just wanting to keep everyone updated on this.. here's a couple of articles.

    CNN.com


    James Frey -- here being questioned by
    Oprah Winfrey -- called recent weeks "humbling" and "terrifying."


    NEW YORK (AP) -- In a rare and dramatic author's note, James Frey acknowledges alterations and embellishments throughout "A Million Little Pieces," writing that narrative mattered more than truth in his admittedly fictionalized story of addiction and recovery.

    "I wanted the stories in the book to ebb and flow, to have dramatic arcs, to have the tension that all great stories require," writes Frey, whose three-page note will be included in future editions of the book, to be shipped later this month, and was posted Wednesday on the Web site of his publisher, Doubleday, an imprint of Random House, Inc. (http://www.randomhouse.com.)

    Memoirs have traditionally included brief disclaimers warning that names and events have been changed, often to protect identities. But Frey's book, which until now carried no note of any kind, is unlike other memoirs: It is a million-selling story enshrined, then eviscerated by Oprah Winfrey, who had initially supported him against reports of alleged fabrications.

    Frey's note, itself a story of suffering and redemption, confirms much of what The Smoking Gun published in early January and builds upon his admission to Winfrey last week that he had lied: He invented a three-month jail term, exaggerated other run-ins with law officials and distorted his role in a train crash that killed a high school classmate. He also acknowledges making himself appear "tougher and more daring and more aggressive than in reality I was, or I am."

    "People cope with adversity in many different ways, ways that are deeply personal," he writes in his author's note, offering a similar explanation to what he gave Winfrey on her talk show. "My mistake, and it is one I deeply regret, is writing about the person I created in my mind to help me cope, and not the person who went through the experience."


    A Winfrey book club pick last fall, "A Million Little Pieces" was released in 2003 and its origins remain unclear. Frey has said the manuscript was offered to publishers as both a novel and as a memoir. His literary agent, Kassie Evashevski, has said there was only brief discussion of shopping the book as fiction, out of respect for his family's privacy.

    In his author's note, Frey says that when he began writing the book, he didn't think of it as fiction or nonfiction, but as an inspirational guide for overcoming drug and alcohol addiction. In interviews before The Smoking Gun story came out, Frey often called the book a true story, even recalling how he had read "War and Peace" and other literary classics while in jail.

    He describes the past few weeks as "shocking for me, incredibly humbling, and at times terrifying." However, as he told Winfrey, Frey believes that "A Million Little Pieces" remains of value and its "central message" intact. Although he says he made use of "medical records, therapists' notes and personal journals," he defends relying upon "memory," as opposed to documented fact, as his primary resource.

    "I believe, and I understand others strongly disagree, that memoir allows the writer to work from memory instead of from a strict journalistic or historical standard," he writes.

    "A Million Little Pieces" is "a subjective truth, altered by the mind of a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. Ultimately, it's a story, and one I could not have written without having lived the life I've lived."

    One of Frey's toughest critics, author Mary Karr, said Wednesday that Frey's note was self-serving and evasive. "He's sticking to his talking points," said Karr, whose books include the memoirs "The Liars' Club" and "Cherry."

    "He keeps saying there's a great debate about fact and fiction in memoirs. But the only debate is in his mind. It's not really that hard; you just don't make stuff up."

    Despite Frey's humiliation on Winfrey's TV talk show last week, when she called him a liar and said he betrayed both her and his readers, "A Million Little Pieces" remained Wednesday in the top 10 on Amazon.com. and Barnes & Noble.com.

    His future appears less promising. His literary agent has dropped him and his current publisher, Riverhead Books, is reconsidering a recent two-book deal. The first book, about contemporary Los Angeles, is scheduled to come out in 2007.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Agent drops ‘A Million Little Pieces’ author
    Evashevski says she can't trust Frey after revelations about lies in book

    msnbc.com


    Author James Frey’s story about drug
    addiction and recovery, originally released in
    2003, zoomed up The New York Times best
    seller list when Oprah Winfrey named it her
    book club selection in September 2005.


    NEW YORK - It’s true, James Frey, you need a new literary manager.

    Brillstein-Grey Entertainment literary manager Kassie Evashevski, who represented the author of “A Million Little Pieces” for more than four years, said she’s not representing him anymore because of his tall tales.

    “In the last week, it became impossible for me to maintain a relationship once the trust had been broken,” Evashevski told Publisher Weekly for a story on Tuesday. “He eventually did apologize, but I felt for many reasons I had to let him go as a client.”

    Frey’s story about drug addiction and recovery, originally released in 2003, zoomed up The New York Times best seller list when Oprah Winfrey named it her book club selection in September 2005. But early this year, The Smoking Gun Web site challenged some parts of the book, including Frey’s claim that he served a three-month stint in prison.

    Frey later admitted he had spent only a few hours in jail and had fabricated or embellished other parts of “Pieces.”

    Evashevski said she had chosen to represent “Pieces” because “I thought the book was the most visceral and vivid description of drug addiction I had ever read.”

    She told Publisher Weekly she didn’t believe Frey set out to con anyone and she learned about his deception only after he called her to say thesmokinggun.com would be running a negative story about him.

    She said she had kept quiet on the debate about “Pieces,” which included Frey’s appearances on CNN’s “Larry King Live” and Winfrey’s television shows, because she wanted to let Frey speak for himself.

    Winfrey telephoned King’s show to express support for Frey, but days later she challenged the author on her own show about why he “felt the need to lie” about the events in his book and chastised him for betraying readers.

    Frey told Winfrey he didn’t think of his book as a novel, despite its fiction.

    “I still think it’s a memoir,” he said.
    All things beautiful do not have to be full of color to be noticed; in
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  8. #58
    FORT Fogey lambikins's Avatar
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    I read all of that information late, late last night, Maveno; thanks for posting it.

    Here's some more fall out from James lies:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/eo/20060131/...E0BHNlYwN0bWE-


    "Studio Rethinks Frey's "Pieces" By Sarah Hall
    Tue Jan 31, 6:40 PM ET



    James Frey's Million Little problems are showing no signs of going away.


    Shortly after Oprah Winfrey publicly drummed the discredited memoirist out of her book club, Warner Bros. announced that it was having second thoughts about going forward with a planned film adaptation of Frey's A Million Little Pieces.


    "We're reevaluating our position on what to do," Warner Bros. President Alan Horn told the Los Angeles Times Friday. "Obviously, we watch Oprah and, like everybody else, we're aware of the change in authenticity of this piece."


    Frey came under fire earlier this month after the Smoking Gun Website published a lengthy report disproving large portions of his account of his struggles with addiction and stint in rehab.


    For example, though Frey claimed in his book to have spent 87 days in jail, the Smoking Gun determined that he was behind bars for just a few hours, a fact the author later admitted was true. Frey also confessed to lying about undergoing a root canal without Novocain and to altering the circumstances surrounding his girlfriend's death.


    At first, Winfrey stood by Frey, whose so-called memoir she helped promote into a bestseller. However, as the media storm around the author continued to rage, the Queen of Daytime eventually revoked her support during a live broadcast of her show, stating that she had made a mistake.


    Warner Bros. paid $125,000 to option A Million Little Pieces in 2003, and will pay $425,000 more if the film gets made. Frey was reportedly paid $150,000 to write the script.


    Before the Smoking Gun revealed his fabrications, Frey announced that the film version of his book was being coproduced by Brad Pitt and directed by Mark Romanek.


    He listed Ryan Gosling, Tobey Maguire, Orlando Bloom, Josh Hartnett and Jake Gyllenhaal as just a few of the actors in contention to portray him.


    "Whoever they're gonna choose, I'll be happy with. I'm much more worried with the studio staying true to the story than I am about who they put in it," Frey told Winfrey in an interview that took place shortly before his fall from grace.


    Now it looks like Frey's worries about the studio's interpretation of his story were all for naught, seeing as the project may never get off the ground.


    "At some point in the near future, we'll meet and decide what, if anything, to do about it," Horn told the Los Angeles Times.


    Warner Bros. isn't the only entity feeling disenchanted by Frey's falsehoods. Angry readers in New York, Chicago, Seattle and Los Angeles have filed federal class-action suits against publishers Random House and Nan Talese, claiming that reading A Million Little Pieces was a waste of time and demanding that they be reimbursed for the cost of the book, as well as for their lost hours.


    Meanwhile, social worker Jennifer Cohn filed a suit in Manhattan Supreme Court, seeking $10 million in damages on behalf of her patients to whom she recommended the book because of its "redemptive theme."


    Neither Frey, nor the publishers had any comment on the suits."

    What's so sad and tragic about all of this, is like Martha Stewart and her stock evasion, all she and Frey had to do was the right thing: lose some money in the stock market and retain your glorious reputation and for Frey...have a disclaimer put into the book once it was accepted into publication.

    But the lies....the lies.....geez.
    Still crazy, after all these shears

    "lambikins, put the crack pipe down and back away from the keyboard." Unklescott

    "lambikins... I have come to the conclusion that you are the Jedi Master of the Kitchen on FORT!" SuperBrat

  9. #59
    Caged Mah Jongg Solitaire Champion Maveno's Avatar
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    claiming that reading A Million Little Pieces was a waste of time and demanding that they be reimbursed for the cost of the book, as well as for their lost hours.
    That's just classic. Yeah, well...I'm going to sue him now cuz I've spent WAY too much time posting these articles, reading them and basically wasting my precious time so people at the Fort can be updated on this fiasco.

    People are so wierd. SUE SUE SUE!!!

    But, THIS is funny and I did laugh..so maybe I can't sue..because I had a nano-second of enjoyment.
    "Whoever they're gonna choose, I'll be happy with. I'm much more worried with the studio staying true to the story than I am about who they put in it," Frey told Winfrey in an interview that took place shortly before his fall from grace.
    All things beautiful do not have to be full of color to be noticed; in
    life that which is unnoticed has the most power.

  10. #60
    CCL
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    Climbing Solsbury Hill CCL's Avatar
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    Ok, let me say upfront that I haven't read this book (not really my area of literature). So I'm not as invested as others. That said, I have to say I'm in the camp that says "so what?" All memoirs contain fictional elements, whether it is the writer embellishing a past event or maybe leaving out an important event that could affect the viewer's opinion of him/her. I doubt any autobiography or memoir is 100 % accurate. Frey did go beyond the point of mere embroidery, true enough. But it is his story of his past life and not an independent article on someone else's past life. To the point - should he have been more truthful? Maybe so. Should he have included a disclaimer saying that all events might not have transpired 100 % as written? That would have been good. But, regardless, I think the author has been crucified above and beyond. I wish they'd just leave him alone already. As for Oprah - I saw parts of the Oprah show and she came off as totally sanctimonious.
    Anyways, that's my 2 cents.
    If you type "google" into google you can break the internet.

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