Thursday, February 02, 2006

I Like James Frey

There. I said it. I think he is a great writer and I am appalled by this media circus.

You can disagree with me. That's fine. Maybe you didn't like the books. Maybe you haven't read them. We can't all agree all the time. . .But seriously: You have GOT to be kidding me! Can we agree that this is getting a bit out of hand? Why are Americans so. . .embarassing? Did they not SEE the President of this (addicted to oil) country on T.V. Tuesday night? Direct your petty anger at a REAL problem. The James Frey Fiasco is so trivial in the grand scheme of things.

If I have to hear one more complaint about him, I will throw something at someone. It will be heavy. And it will hurt.

Apparently, people want their money back. Their. Money. Back. Wha?! Because they think reading his "memoir" was a waste of time? What kind of country do I live in?! No. Don't answer that. It is too depressing. Americans and their sense of entitlement. So self-righteous! It's not like he is Milli Fucking Vanilli.

I have read both books by James Frey. Yes, he claimed they were factual and based on his life. Yes, we all know now that pieces of his story were embellished or untrue. Sure, we were lied to. (Doesn't our government do that to us on a daily basis?) Sure, he shouldn't be calling himself a "memoirist" if he isn't really telling an actual "memory" in its truth. Does that make it less of a great book? No. Not in my eyes. I think he's a talented writer. He told a great story. It impacted people when they read it. But where are all the people who were singing his praises before The Smoking Gun and Oprah bad mouthed him? You realize though, that if he had just published the book as a fictional story, none of this would be happening. It would still be a great book and the movie studio pansies wouldn't be backing out of making it into a film.

And Oprah! Don't get me started on her. She willingly puts her stamp of approval on his book, lauds him as some amazing talent, tells the world she is behind him despite the controversy and then publicly revokes her support while he is on her show? On. Her. Show. Is that some ratings ploy? I know, I know- but it is Oprah. Bow down to her, almighty Oprah, Queen of Weight Loss and Housewives. She does so much good. Blah, blah, blah. Yeah, yeah, yeah she has done great things. But THIS is not one of them. That was a low move on her part. She is not above reproachment. And she pisses me off.

So, James, while I am disappointed you didn't keep to the facts and you weren't honest with all of us, I still am a fan of your writing. I am still inspired by the journey you have taken and how you have turned your life around. It is no small feat. I will still recommend your book. But, next time? Just make the story up. It will be easier. On everyone.

30 comments:

alissa said...

I want to hit Oprah - actually, I want to bitch slap her.

Great post Sizz! I agree with you 100% poor James. People need to get over themselves already.

Melissa said...

Here, here!!!! Honestly I was sort of happy to see Oprah get a bit of come-uppance. Her ego is bigger than she has *ever* been and now it's coming back to bite her on the ass. I have laughed myself silly over the whole stupid thing. What made me laugh the hardest was the fact that his book sold something like a million more copies after Oprah put her stamp of approval on it. Yes, Oprah, that's right, that "liar" made tons-o-money because your opinion is so important to all the housewives/soccer moms of the world. Hahahahaha.

Was it a good book? Sure. Was it fact? Not so much. Just move it from the biography section to fiction and lets move on.

Mrs. Ca said...

Well, you know I agree with you on this, since you commented on my rage-post-Oprah post.

I think he is very talented.

The last line in the article you linked to made me the most angry - filing a lawsuit because you used this book in therapy and it isn't all true.

The message still works.

People are stupid.

Sorry. Rant over.

Lushy said...

Amen. It was still a good book, no matter what area of the bookstore it is shelved in. I don't need for it to be true for it to entertain me or move me.

evan said...

really, when you get down to it i don't even want it in the fiction section. it's still his life. he was a drug addict and an alcoholic and a criminal. to what extent is up for debate.

and is he a good writer? no. he's a freaking great writer. whatever teh factual content of the book it was the most compelling thing i've read in a while. why? because it was so damn well written. when oprah writes a book that makes me cry then i'll care about her opinion.

i will proudly display my copy WITHOUT the oprah seal of (dis)approval.

Bill said...

I know nothing about this guy and haven't read the book but I keep hearing about this fiasco. As I commented on Egan's blog, the phrase "weapons of mass destruction" keeps going through my head.

People have some pretty fucked up priorities.

gronce said...

Thank YOU!

How many people have embellished in their memoirs? Please! Like, most everyone? I think that only a couple of the details he "fine tuned" serve to make a more powerful story, but that's just me. Meh.

Totally agree with you that there are about a frillion things going on in this country that actually matter and this doesn't even come close to being one of them.

This country needs to get a grip!

Oh, and if you haven't already seen this, it is hilarious

http://www.gawker.com/news/fake-writer-day/do-not-piss-off-the-oprah-151023.php

ocg said...

Sizz-

I haven't read any of Mr. Frey's books, but after your review and stamp of approval, I shall. I won't listen to Oprah, but you? Of course...

And as he attempted to originally sell this book as fiction and no one would have it... who can get mad that he found the way that would make him successful? Well, me actually... but that's merely out of jealousy...

AND

If anyone wants to sue him, then I think he should donate money to a rehab center or something, no one should receive ANY... people read words from a book, if it entertained them then they got their money's worth...

OCG

Rosie said...

I like him too.

Americans are just a bunch of un-thinking followers who need to get off their HIGH HORSES.

sue said...

Haven't read it, but also am not too concerned about it. I mean, so WHAT if the guy fudged a bit? It's his story... As far as I'm concerned, this is getting blown waaay out of proportion. Crazy world. Really.

Nihilistic said...

Where does that sense of entitlement come from? Its horrid! Want their money back - how lame! I think its lame to want your money back for Millie Vanillie as well. Hell you listened to the damn music and waved your hands in the air like you just didn't care, you got your money's worth! Goes back to asking the question - Will this matter 20 years from now? NO it won't. But Iran and President dumb ass will!

Kevin said...

I could give a rat's patootie about him "embellishing." I haven't read the book, but I intend to. I do own in, I just need the time.

What people don't realize is that nothing is ever 100% accurate. Whether it was intentional or not. As I recall, U.S. history books in the southern states kept hyping the ideals of the C.S.A. until just a couple decades ago. Now who's misleading who?

But I do like the WMD comparison. That's brilliant. We're embroiled in a war for reasons that no longer exist and people are worried about the credibility of a book?

Bob Merrick said...

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Let's move on to the president, who lied to start a war, which has killed thousands and isn't anywhere near over. I'd settle for one hour-long special on the impeachment hearings that the White House is bracing for. Or the laws that he's broken by spying on us."

—Lady Bunny, on the continuing coverage of James Frey's Million Little Pieces and his January 26 appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show

Bellina said...

Excellent, excellent, excellent post! I was so shocked when I read that first link just now. I've had my head in my ass so much the past month that I hadn't heard of people wanting their money back...for wasted time! Give me a break! This country IS embarassing! Holy crap!

Amanda said...

You rock girl! Good post!!

Mr_Rodacre said...

you know, can I sue people for making up fictional stories with entirely believeable characters and circumstances because they seemed real to me when I read them? I think not.

Bex said...

sizz - exactly how i feel! additionally, i make up/embellish details of my life all the time, simply because i can't remember anything. i mean, i can't tell you what i did every minute of last week and i'm not addicted to anything!

Jenster said...

Thank you Sizzle! Someone emailed me about the Smoking Gun story the day it broke because I was just recommending the book a couple of days before. My first reaction was "so??". My reaction now? So?? They were still good books, and James is still a great writer. He made a bad move by not putting a disclaimer on the book, but it doesn't change the message. The man was on some serious drugs. It's impressive that he remembered enough of anything to write about it. Get over it America. There are bigger things that we should be pissed off about.

Moonchild said...

I'm going to read the book too. I'd like to know how many other nonfiction writers ever embellished even a little?

Sizzle said...

You have all restored my faith in humanity. Thank goodness for likeminded folk!

If you haven't read the books, read them. They are worth it.

:) sizz

Anonymous said...

I hardly read, mainly due to my ADD as well as a general lack of patience.
But I gotz to hand it to Mr. Frey, he kept my eyes stuck to that book, did not want it to finish, my life is a depressing bore now that it has ended.
But wait there is his new one.
And here to the statement, that no publicity is bad publicity.
Supple

English Professor said...

Now that Oprah is talking about Elie Wiesel's _Night_, I fear that someone will try hard to find embellishment in it, as well. I desperately hope that I'm wrong.

Lizzie said...

I haven't read either book and obviously he shouldn't have passed something off as fact that wasn't, but I completely agree that everyone is making far too big of a deal over this. Our president lies to us about the reasons for going to war but we vote him back into office. Yet an author embellishes his memoirs and we're drowning in our indignation.

And I've always hated Oprah. I don't trust anyone who feels the need to put herself on the cover of her magazine... EVERY SINGLE MONTH.

gorillabuns said...

wish i had read the book to understand the flack spinning around. alas, i never read anymore. the same book on my bedside table for six months is not good.

still, i don't understand why the hoopla. it's a freakin' book for goodness sakes. our government lies daily and everyone is more upset over this book!

Aimee said...

I liked the book a lot, but what got me was the magnitude of what he went through, what he endured, and what he ultimately overcame. I kept wondering if I had it in me to go through everything he did... Then immediately hoping I'd never have to find out.

While I don't think he should be publicly lambasted or thrown under the Oprah tour bus, I am a little disappointed to learn that the things I was most moved by were actually embellishments. He's done a lot of good for himself and countless others, and he's clearly a hell of a storyteller. Maybe he and Dubya have something in common after all.

Bill said...

God help us all when Oprah discovers there is actually truth in fiction. James Joyce will be on the griddle next! (Except he's been dead for quite some time.)

Burn Shakespeare texts!

sandra said...

I SO agree. Oprah looked like a small, self-righteous bitch. And I have enough to say about it that I may just have to post an entry of my own about this! :)

D'Andre said...

Here, here!!!! Great post...

Krisco said...

"Direct your petty anger at a REAL problem. "

Oh Mz Sizz, you are hilarious. And SO right - there are so many real problems out there.

The publishing industry lied. They lied. They need to repent, and we need to get on with it. Wait, all that has happened. Let's get on with it.

Anonymous said...

BUSH'S FAULT!!