Friday, January 27, 2006

Macho, macho man, I wanna be...

Read James Frey's book "A Million Little Pieces" a few weeks ago for a book club. At the meeting, I was one of the three out of fourteen who thought Frey had some major truthiness issue. I made a fool of myself, proclaiming, "My cousin was addicted to meth and HE did shameful things. Like begging his dealer to screw his girlfriend for a free fix. And leaving the apartment and walking around in the rain while the dealer screwed her. Thinking the whole time was how bad he wanted that meth." The other people, all but one of them women, listened attentively. "Not like Frey -- who does all kinds of things that you and I would find shameful, but from a young guy's point of view, they're NOT. Frey beat the shit out of anyone who got in his face. He screwed cute chicks every few pages in the book. He won every argument he was in. He says he's ashamed but I think he's proud of what he did."

There was a polite silence. The next commenter acknowledged what I had said in about 3 words and then moved on.

We ALL agreed it was a great book. Here's the write up by the very well-read Brit hostess of the evening, "...the media had just exploded with outrage that some parts of the book may be exaggerated or *gasp!* made up!!! Did we care? In the end, we decided not. This was an excellent and thought-provoking book, written in a unique style that brilliantly conveyed the author's mindset as he struggled through withdrawal. Although some found a few of the stylistic tics wearisome, and others didn't care for the 'love element' bit towards the end, all were very glad to have read the book and have an opportunity to discuss with others."

But after watching Oprah maul Frey for daring to lie to her and especially for brazenly denying that he was lieing and MOST especially for trying to cloak the denial in the accepted literary subterfuge of proclaiming that names and events and people had been changed but had "emotional truth"... I'd say the conventional wisdom about James Frey has changed. His editor, Nan Something, looked even more the fool by saying that she'd accepted it all at face value, too.


At 2:42 PM, Blogger Astor Column said...

I fell off my chair laughing at how Frey sucked up to Oprah... after she'd whacked him with a rolled up paper for an hour.


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