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09 January, 2006

Another entry about shit, er, bullshit

I read James Frey's, "A Million Little Pieces" and immediately called bullshit. Aside from the fact that it is poorly written (or "stylized" as his bizarre hangers-on would call it), the tales of the book are simply too convenient. In short, they read like a bad crime novel.
I've grown up around family and friends suffering from addiction. None of them would recognize what this piece of shit has fabricated as being realistic. And neither,
it appears, does the Smoking Gun. Six pages of research call into question the most important facets of Frey's story with documents from various police departments, and eyewitness accounts. I don't think the piece goes far enough to uncover the scope of his bullshit, but hopefully the entirety of the charade will soon follow elsewhere.
Most disturbing in all of this is that James (while amassing great sums of cash) has developed a macabre fan base, due in part to his appearances on Oprah's bookclub. Despite the evidence of his lying, Frey's fans will have none of it. Before I became blocked from his site message board (although you can easily work around this, folks) I read dozens of threads by people living in denial. While many were reluctant to believe any of the Smoking Gun piece (if they were willing to read it at all) , a shocking number had read it and still didn't care! Apparently, they are okay with being taken for suckers so long as the crying and sadness is still genuine .
I find most creepy the Oprah/Frey horde and their fetishistic obsession with misery. Ironically, a tale of addiction and sorrow is like a drug to them and they can't get enough of sobbing and quasi-spiritual uplift. I can't relate to this voyeuristic melancholy and those who take such pleasure in it, and it scares me that it's so widespread. Is it too much to ask that people simply accept hard facts for what they are instead of trying to create some sort of magical workaround? For James Frey it appears he just wanted to become famous and make some dough, but for his fans it's more like a quest to find supernatural answers to problems best addressed with candor and realism. A modern day snake oil salesman has given them just that.

Posted by JP |


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