Wednesday, January 11, 2006

And more....

Well, that rumor isn't true; Random House says they won't refund your money for the book. You should return it to your bookstore and they'll do it.


If you liked the book, why wouldn't you just keep it?

Did you see James on Larry King? Maybe he just got caught up. Kind of like a freewriting, when you do all one sentence, how the sentence starts carrying you along with it, picking up speed, and you're letting it rip, letting the words pour out and you don't even know where they came from.

Maybe that's what happened.

As he said to Larry, it's only a few pages--something like 20 out of 400-something--that are in question. Should those 20 pages serve to ream the guy? Would anyone want to ream him if his book were failing instead of wildly succeeding? Was he being whiny, talking out of the side of his mouth? Once a lying addict, always a lying addict??

I dunno....

Larry did seem to go pretty soft on the guy. Barbara Walters would have made him cry. (Does she even still do interviews?)

Here's a transcript of the show. Oprah called in. Scan to almost the end of the transcript.

You're all so quiet out there. What do you think?


amy said...

I for one couldn't believe what a dope that old fossil Larry King was. Not only soft on Frey, but he clearly didn't read his books or the article in Smoking Gun. I really grew tired of Frey saying It was Only 18 pages in a 400-plus page book. Because, to me it was about 100 percent of data that could possibly be substantiated by independent sources. Almost every other thing in his book, the reader has to take on faith. So if the only things you could possibly check out all check out false, then I start to think he's making a whole lot more up. I wonder if there ever was really a Leonard for example. Besides, the three months in jail being a lie is a huge issue in setting up his Leonard book. I don't care if he had a disclaimer in that one. He messed up big. I'm also really tired of him and publishers and other book Industry types insulting the reading public by intimating that we're all idiots who don't understand the difference between autobiography and memoir. It's really condescending. We readers are not upset that Frey recreated conversations or said it was a hurt cheek instead of a hurt gum, or that he didn't include an index. No, he lied about what kind of trouble he was in. And when your book is about the trouble you're in, you shouldn't start making stuff up from the get-go, and then basing your follow-up on the same old lies. I don't think the interview served him well, and I think he's a fraud. I do agree with you that who would give the book back? Do people really want to return the book, or is that the media fanning flames?

Caroline said...

I remember seeing the episode of Oprah where Million Little Pieces was the subject. I can remember seeing the woman that went into rehab literally thanking Frey for her life. I thought Frey was quite an extraordinary man, although the idea of no novocaine on a root canal made me raise an eyebrow. No dentist worth his license would allow that, I think. Especially a root canal, where if you jump the wrong way when a nerve is touched, it can be a big problem.

Enough about root canals... *ugh*

When the "scandal" all came out, that the factual innacuracies of the book were being scrutinized, it made me wonder.

One thought that I had was... If he has embellished, how much did he embellish? How much of it was "the fish was THIS big" type of thing, and how much of it was his editor saying "We need to make this bigger and more dangerous to sell the book". How much of it was him, and how much of it was directed in the process from draft to finished product? We don't really know, and no one is really saying.

We are all guilty of it when we recount tales of happenings in our lives. Most of the time I turn it into bits and snippets of a characters life in some fiction I am writing. I don't know if I would do that for a memoir, or a non-fiction piece about my life. The truth is important. The facts are what people buy a memoir or biography for.

But sometimes the facts can be boring, and need some decoration to get the page turning, right?

I think that Frey's book has helped people. I think it has helped to shed light on something very sad and scary in society today, which is drug use and addiction. If it helps people, I for one am glad.

But as a writer, I have a heavy heart as I read the press about the book being innacurate or "fictionalized". Will this taint other memoirs about touchy subjects? Will we look more fervently at people's works where they claim to have been part of these amazing transformations?

I want the truth about what really happened in his story to come out, but I hope that it does not have far reaching effects on other writers. I hope that this does not make people judge other books by their cover, based on one persons deception of a traumatic event in their life.

That said, I have not read the book. I have been tempted to buy it, but I am waiting for it to become available at the library, since I can't afford to spend inordinate amounts of money in a Chapters right now.

I am more curious to read it now, though. *grin*