Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Shop the Truthdig Gift Guide 2014
December 19, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Get Truthdig's headlines in your inbox!


A Win for the Cuban People






Truthdig Bazaar more items

 
Ear to the Ground

Frey’s Rehab Chums Can’t Confirm Book Details

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Jan 24, 2006
James Frey
Robert Caplin for The New York Times

James Frey, author of the book “A Million Little Pieces.”

NYT: Two men who say they attended a Minnesota drug and alcohol rehabilitation center with the author James Frey said in interviews that they believed his overall description of his experience was accurate but added that they could not corroborate many of the specifics in Mr. Frey’s book “A Million Little Pieces.”

The two men, one a state judge in Louisiana who in June was convicted of mail fraud, were offered to The New York Times as witnesses by Mr. Frey’s publishers, Doubleday and Anchor Books, imprints of Random House, to back up the accuracy of his descriptions in the book. Their names and telephone numbers were given in response to comments from former employees of Hazelden, the Minnesota rehabilitation center reportedly attended by Mr. Frey, who have said his portrayal of the treatment experience there was false and misleading. Mr. Frey has admitted to embellishing his past, but has maintained that his experiences in drug rehabilitation were real. | story

Hey, if you can’t trust a drug addict…

More Below the Ad

Advertisement

Square, Site wide

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By karly louise, March 2, 2006 at 2:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

i think that whether truth,lies or exaggerated james freys book is inspirational. he didnt lie about overcoming his addiction, but the way he got there could of been exaggerated in some ways but does that really matter. people should admire him for his bravery in overcoming his addictions to drugs and alcohol. he wanted to share with people his story so that it could help them or inspire them in some way, does it really matter that he lied about little things such as his issues with the police etc. the real story is how he recovered from such serious addictions.

Report this

By Stepp, February 22, 2006 at 8:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t see why so many people are criticizing James. How many authors out there exaggerate and “stretch the truth” when writing their stories. So what if each and every detail in the book is not compoletely accurate. I give him so much credit for having the strength to share his amazing story. I can relate greatly to him. I have a relative that is currently an addict. She is at the point in her life that he was in when his book began. I see James Frey as an inspiration to those out there who are at that breaking point, where they feel that life is worthless and everyone would be better off if they were gone. Thank you James, thank you for sharing your amazing story. You will always have my support!!!

Report this

By Ron, January 29, 2006 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

say it, ‘dre’!

the frey episode is just another example of how people love to place blame on others and deflect responsibility. you sheep see frey being ripped apart in the media, and now you can’t help root for the underdog - cuz you can feel yourself in that hot seat. fact is, IT IS ALL HIS OWN DOING. he deserves to be drummed out of the literary world and accept the consequences of his own actions.

no one did this to him - oprah didn’t make him write the book or tell her it was true. no one made him say, over and over, that it was all 100% true during 3 years of promotion. sure, others carry some blame, but none of it relieves him of his burden. time to step up and be that badass he pretended to be.

and anyone who is pissed about his multiple transgressions (trashing a literary genre, missapproariating other families’ tragedies, calling his peers “pussies”, lying to his fans over and over + many more) has every right to be, and every right to comment on it.

i’m glad this hasn’t gone away and just been swept under the rug. this discussion of ‘truth’ needs to happen more often.

Report this

By george morris, January 27, 2006 at 6:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Every honest recovering addict knows that Frey is full of BS

Report this

By Dre, January 27, 2006 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How can you people defend and justify this man and these sleazy lies of his? The book sold because people thought it was a true account of his life. This man went on national television and said that EVERY WORD of his story WAS TRUE! If he wasn’t sure of certain things and knew he had significantly changed key parts the story and characters for whatever reasons…then he had ample opportunity to voice that. He didn’t…which makes him a liar and also makes him very stupid. Stupid because if he didn’t see that someone would eventually try and verify some of these wild tales of his then he is a stupid man who was completely blinded by his own success and believed his own lies. Until they were exposed. These were KEY facts to the story that he fabricated. Remove these and the story changes so drastically that only a very ignorant person could look the other way and not question the ENTIRE content.
 

The book is also horribly written and is just seething with serious grammar and punctuation issues. The only reason those serious literary trainwrecks passed the scutiny of intelligent readers and critics alike was because he claimed that he just plugged his memory in and that’s what came out on paper….100% truth and honesty…right from the depths of his honest and true soul…stripped bare for all to see…complete with grammar mistakes that would have your 6th grade teacher keeping you after class with the other “special” kids.

But that’s what makes it so real he claims. “My publisher and I didn’t even bother to correct the mistakes. This was as honest as I could be as a writer…so we decided to deliver it as such…warts and all.” What would your grade-school teacher have done if you consistently wrote sentences like this:

“...I see that I’m late and I see People look up and stare at me and I ignore them and I get a bowl of gray mushy oatmeal and I dump a large pile of sugar on it and I find a place at an empty table and I sit down.”

He / she would have failed you…that’s what. And probably given you blocks to play with.  That is a truely horrible sentence and is only one example out of many in that book. How can you praise this kind of retarded writing as revolutionary? Elementary would be a better description of his style. It’s nothing but crappy sensationalist writing. This guy seems to think a conjunction can be inserted into a sentence anywhere at anytime. And why not randomly capitalize words while he’s at it? If you’re going to make a mockery of literature, why not take it all the way?

This man was so transparent on Oprah that it was nauseating. After watching him carefully, I’m now quite sure at least 80% of his story is crap. What about the girl who dies in the train wreck? How everybody blamed him for it and further fueled “the fury” inside of him that made him such a badass? HE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT!! He stole someone elses pain and sufferings and made himself a key victim of this tragedy. He lied and capitalized (no pun intended) on someone else’s “Truth”, (which I firmly believe he does throughout the whole of the book, btw. stolen from his fellow patients at hazelden) That’s just a plain SLEAZY thing to do do and it’s WRONG. And you people who can’t plainly see that it’s wrong are blinding yourseves to the truth and are part of the reason our society is losing all intergrity with regards to truth. 

Come on…his lies begin on the first page and continue to the last. That’s the only truth to this book.

James Frey insulted our collective intelligence. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice…Supporting him makes you a fool.

Truth matters.

Report this

By Pete ZaHutt, January 27, 2006 at 11:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am chairing the Tuesday night Edgelake AA group in Cleveland, Ohio. I would like James Frey to be one of my ‘leads’ this month.

Report this

By Scott, January 27, 2006 at 7:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The thing that made Frey’s book compelling to so many people is that they believed it to be TRUE.  Had it been presented as a novel and had they read it as a work of fiction, it would have been just another story conjured from someone’s vivid imagination.  No one would have been interested.  Just like any scary campfire tale told through the years, Frey knew he had to add “Oh, and this is a TRUE STORY!” to make it excitiing. 

The best thing he can do now to redeem himself is to stand up like a man and clearly state exactly what happened. What he made up and what really happened, without an interviewer pulling it out of him and apologize to everyone to whom he lied.. Otherwise he’ll forever be known as the lying writer.

Report this

By Mary Frankenthal, January 27, 2006 at 6:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am a staunch defender of James Frey….he is a fabulous writer as well as a survivor of one of the most deadly diseases….addiction.  There isn’t any medical treatment that can keep you from that horrible black shadow that follows you every minute of your life!  James’ book helped me understand what my brother-in-law felt and experienced being an alcoholic and drug addict that attended Hazeldon, Palm Beach 4 years ago…unfortunately, he didn’t make it, he couldn’t hold on like so many can’t…he was found dead in his apartment 2 days before “A Million Little Peices” came out.  I saw James on the Today Show on May 4 and got the book immediately….James’ depiction of what goes on in rehab was very accurate according to my brother-in-laws reports while he was still alive and in rehab.  I thank James for helping me get through the painful death of Tony!....Thank you James, I admire you tremendously and enjoy your writing….please keep going….My Friend Leonard was fabulous!....Mary Frankenthal

Report this

By Nattydread, January 27, 2006 at 4:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is our culture gonna lynch a guy who exagerated the time he spent in jail and changed the method of a suicide from wrist slitting to hanging?

Who may have actually taken novacaine during oral surgery?

Who has written an otherwise brilliant take on addiction?

At least HIS lies didn’t lead to the death and injury of tens of thousands of men and women.

How ‘bout having the President on your show next week, Oprah?

Let’s choose our moral battles a little more carefully, eh?

Report this

By Godfrey, January 27, 2006 at 4:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

who isn’t try to make a lil paper. We all are let the man be we all aint that perfect you know! Sympantise dont agonise

Report this

By carol, January 27, 2006 at 1:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I thought the book was a good read.  As an RN, I sometimes deal with the addicted.  This book gave me new insight into some of the problems they face, and how they come to be addicts. It keeps us all grounded, helping us to bear in mind that the disease affects all races, rich, poor, young and old. It also helps us realize that misery loves company, and those afflicted sometimes must lean on each other to make it through the toughest of times.  True, there may be fiction in the book, but it still has a purpose.

Report this

By Cindy, January 26, 2006 at 11:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I just watched Oprah and i have to say it was very difficult to watch Oprah and her staff try to destroy a man just to make Oprah feel better. Her ego is out of control and this was an example of it. It was a book for Gods sake. Not murder or living in sin with your boyfriend if your going to be so self righteous. Hang in there James Fry. Learn and move on!

Report this

By Chinaa, January 26, 2006 at 11:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I loved the book- I am saddened that it turned out to be bogus and I’m glad that when I was reading it I thought it was a memoir- it made it a better read.  The story is still powerful and an amazing work of fiction- who cares?  Everybody has lied before and at the end of the day, it’s entertainment.

Report this

By Jerry, January 26, 2006 at 9:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m a 22 year sober member of AA, and am truly greatful to the founders of our program who realized the necessity for our 12 Traditions.  I’m also greatful that we can’t be expelled from AA for embellishing our stories from the podium. I’d have been kicked out long ago.
Mr. Frey could also enjoy the benefits of his new found honesty by donating the proceeds from his book to the treatment industry.

Report this

By Nikki, January 26, 2006 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Did James Frey fabricated Leonard??  Was he a real person that he embelished or was he totally made up??

Report this

By Vicki, January 26, 2006 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I loved the book.  I’m not a literary critic but I read a lot and the book stayed with me.  I read that Frey first tried to sell the book as fiction but later changed it to a memoir in order to sell it.  I don’t blame him; it’s hard to sell a book when you’re a new author.  I have always liked Oprah but I got tired of hearing her say how embarrassed she was on her show today.  It’s not always about her.  People are treating Frey as if he were a terrorist or something.  I hope this doesn’t stop him from writing other books because I think he’s a very interesting writer.

Report this

By Belinda, January 26, 2006 at 7:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

From the beginning I had doubts regarding some of the details in the book . . . starting with the condition in which Frey boarded the plane.  Unfortunately the breaking news came out just as I was coming to the end of the book, yet it still was not enough to get me put it down.  In defense of Frey, and everyone that read the book and (or) passed judgement of the book, “Get A Grip.”  First and foremost, everyone of us has LIED to someone about something at one time or another.  Many of those lies have costed people far more than $14.99.  The President lies, government lies, parents lie, doctors lie, priest lie and we all lie.  Sometimes we get caught.  Sometimes we slide by.  Face it folks, we are not angry about Frey’s lies.  We are angry at ourself for believing his lies.  Hummmm. . . I guess that makes us “Mental Midgets!”

Report this

By J.D., January 26, 2006 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am so disgusted with this Author not the story but the fact is this man passed it off as his memoirs. How the hell can you sit on Oprahs stage not once but twice and bullshit the story and the facts. I don’t ever want to read another book of this jackass author who can’t truthfully write a a single word if his life depended on it. The publishers offering people their money back is in my mind is ludicrious We have already read the book the story stuck in our mind. sighned TOATALY PISSED OFF

Report this

By Kira, January 26, 2006 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think “Oprah’s” ego and pride hurt more than her embarrassment of James Frey’s book.  Big Deal !! Waaa, waaa, get over it!!
I am a recovering addict and I am 67 yrs. old.  I have seen a lot in my lifetime and I don’t care if the book is a “Memoir or fiction”.  I couldn’t put it down once I started. Everybody has their own ideas about how “bad” their addiction is or was. As an addict, I am sure I embelished my truths many times, some true some not.  Its unfortunate that James has to go thru this, I wonder if AA loves this because he refused their “Big Book. One of AA’s mottos they preach is “Take what you need and leave the rest”. So James do just that!  is it worse because an addict wrote some lies in his book?—or if our past President Clinton lied about his sexual conquests??
James, hang in there, and don’t stop writing, you are a great writer, be it fiction or nonfiction.  I will be waiting for you next book.

Report this

By frank, January 26, 2006 at 6:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Jame frey is still the epitome of an active drug addict and alcoholic. My name is Frank and I am a drug addict and alcoholic and I’ve been in recovery since’88. As another reader said,. Frey’s book was bull sh-t to me from the first pages, I hated his character immediately and my opinion did not change as the book went on,  knew right off he was a liar, and i resent him for that.  I’ve been through hell, and jail, and rehab , and crack houses, I lost my family , my possessions,  my self respect, my everything. His ” hold on” philosophy is a crock of shit. If you want to get better Let go and let God, but you have to work it too, God helps those who help themselves. I hate to say it but I hope James Frey picks up tomorrow….scum bag….  then call out to God..whom he doesn’t claim to know

Report this

By Shirley Lewis, January 26, 2006 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I was watching Oprah this afternoon and I think she taken things to far. I think Oprah was just down right rude today. You know God sit high and look low, and He watches over all of us. The one with the power and the one without power. I am no kind of abuser, but I really did enjoy the book. He admitted before when he was on Oprah small parts in the book was not all true. I think the book is great, and I would buy it all over again. I have encouraged others to buy it. I would like to say to James keep your head up high, thers a brighter day ahead.

Report this

By dana from florida, January 26, 2006 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

i believe that james is a recovering addict, in recovery you often forget lots of things, things are cloudy, the truth is, he was a severe addict who got help and is living to tell his story for others to read, i find the book to be very interseting and an inspiration for me, although i am not a drug addict or alcoholic, i too am going through my own recovery, im glad for james frey and this wonderful book that i will continue to read!

Report this

By Amanda Greig, January 26, 2006 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Stop this witch hunt! The book is marvellous. Even if he embellished parts of it, it is still wonderfully written and I enjoyed it very, very much. It is still one of my favourite books. Shame on you people and Oprah who are out to get him. Oprah is not God and her thoughts were only changed because of the backlash from her fans.

Report this

By JB, January 26, 2006 at 5:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am in the middle of reading the book now because one of my best friends was just recently in the same drug facility in Minnesota. Reguardless of it’s exact truth down to names and such it has helped me understand a lot about what addiction is and how to look at it from the other perspective. I think it has helped me understand him better then I ever could have prior to reading this book.

Report this

By Tanya, January 26, 2006 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think that people are really jumping to conclusions without looking at the whole picture.  So the man made a mistake.  I don’t think that makes him a bad person or a liar.  How many of us have told a story, the way we remember it, only to have another person tell the story of the same situation a little differently.  He has admitted to stretching the truth.  And honestly as I read the book, I assumed he did.  I think everyone lies to some extent, the only difference is, he got caught.  Get over it!  He changed peoples lives, he recovered from a horrible situation and I applaud him for that.  And as for those of you bashing him because he is rich: grow up.  It only goes to show that people from ALL walks of life can make bad decisions.  And being rich does not make a person deserving of being “stuffed in the dumpster and pissed on”.  I can only think of very few people who would deserve that:  Rapists, killers, and child abusers.  You aught to be ashamed of yourself for even thinking that way.  He never bragged about his wealth or expected people to feel sorry for him.  He just wanted people to understand what addiction can do to a person.  And as for that, I think his goal was met.

Report this

By Sarah, January 26, 2006 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I actaully read this book right after James Frey first came on the Oprah show. I was blown away. I loved it ... I hung around with a lot of people who did drugs in my teens and I saw a lot of nasty things that I wish to never see again. When I was reading it I felt certain things within me that I only had felt when I was in the presence of these people true to me doing drugs. However,  I was always weary of how much he used at one time…A person would be hospitalized on a daily basis…I wish I read the book then shut myself off from all media. After watching Oprah today. Im pissed off that I even enjoyed that book. I was reading it as a true experience. So now, I feel like that feeling you get after reading a really good book is ruined! Before this whole “coming out” I purchased My Friend Leanord, also by James Frey and I am debating on if I should even read it…but this whole controversy is going to boost his sales…society thrives on darkness and wonder…

Report this

By Sharon Wynn, January 26, 2006 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think the only reason why he went on Oprah was to save his butt.  If the book was fiction from the very beginning why didn’t he admit it on Oprah, when he was on the first time.  I think its awful that even though he has come forward and admitted to it being a lie, he still made a lot of money doing it.  Isn’t Ironic that is the way our society is.

Report this

By Lee, January 26, 2006 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

James Frey was a rich, over-indulged frat boy who smoked some dope and went to too many keggers. Like a lot of rich kids, he was placed in rehab. HIs parents would have done him a favor by cutting off his allowance and giving him the figurative kick in the ass he deserved. Funny how he paints a picture of himself as the hardest hardass that ever lived. No one can beat him in a fight. Everyone fears him. Have you seen this guy? Have you heard him? My arthritic mother could put the fear of God in that poseur with just a harsh look. What’s more, he’s a really bad writer.

Report this

By Reader, January 26, 2006 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

the book is great…my opinion doesn’t change about the story, but it’s disappointing to find out that James never really endured these six months of rehab, at least like it was told. And Comment #13 by Allyn is extremely true.

Report this

By lulubelle, January 26, 2006 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree that this is getting so blown out of proportion.  Why is it a matter of fact or fiction? I have read the book and I think it’s amazing and if thats what I get out of it, then good.  If you don’t like it, oh well… so you spent a little time relaxing and enhancing your mind by reading, GOD FORBID!

Report this

By Kim Goodwin, January 26, 2006 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I read both of Frey’s books about addiction and recovery.  I have to say I am on his side. True or not true,  these book grabbed me.  Showed me things and helped me to understand things I have struggled to understand. Who cares if things weren’t word for word how they actually happened. These books, both of them in my opinion, are works of art. Very helpful, very interesting and very well written.  As far as the 12 step program… What if you don’t believe in god?  How can the program work.  There is nothing wrong with the advice to “hold on”.  You people are far to quick to judge and criticize.  If you don’t like the guy don’t read his book.  I for one will continue to support and defend James and his work.

Report this

By Kelly, January 26, 2006 at 10:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oh, how I wanted him to be the real thing.
The man I admired in both books for his strength and honesty has made me feel childish and foolish.

Report this

By Sandi Bachom, January 25, 2006 at 11:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is truly a cautionary tale of where addiction will take you.  My book is actually mentioned in Mr Frey’s book which called it to my attention.  I find it ironic Mr Frey aschewed the 12 step path. Seeing as how this path is about rigorous honesty, it’s not surprising Mr Frey has wound up in this tragic mess.  I say tragic because so many struggling addicts and alcoholics are looking for any excuse for an easier way.  Look where Frey’s way took him, all for ego.  If any good comes out of this, perhaps it’s shining the light on this devastating disease and how cunning and baffling it truly is.  It is said the difference between a drunk and an alcoholic is, the drunk will steal your wallet. the alcoholic will still your wallet and help you look for it.

Report this

By allyn, January 25, 2006 at 10:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Frey has done for the stigma surrounding addiction what Tom Cruise did for mental health.

Report this

By James Greco, January 25, 2006 at 8:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

James Frey’s book is a ego bloated lie of an over privelaged rich kid.His style is a rip of Miller and Bukowski without the balls and his attitude towards recovery, his own or program is way out. It makes me sad to think this guy represents my generation of cultural signifigance.
Whatever with this punk!

Report this

By jen, January 25, 2006 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Seriously everyone get a life. The book is good and written extremely intersting. My own cousin who has never taken interest in any books picked it up about 10 minutes ago and is actually interested. Who the hell cares if its nonfictional or fictional. It seems pretty real to me and thats all I effing care about. You overreacting fools.

Report this

By Boris Glommenhoff, January 25, 2006 at 5:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Frey was the kid at school who got stuffed in the dumpster and pissed on but who never understood that he actually deserved it. His parents could afford to entertain his self-pity, send him to a halfway house for the overindulged and maintain his life-style while he dabbled in script writing and flogged his pity-party memoir. Any one this weak in character born poor is either dead, on welfare or serving hard time by the time by the age of age of 30. It’s a mark of a deeply disturbed, narcissistic clown to pull his mother into the affair, literally, prodding her to appear next to him on a TV interview show. Anyone with any respect for his parents (after doing what he did) would have changed his last name and never contacted them again.

Report this

By Ron, January 25, 2006 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

D Travers Scott > well said!

Report this

By D. L. Hill, January 25, 2006 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

James Frey is a rich, lying fraud.

Report this

By Rafe, January 25, 2006 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The book’s editor says that the book was never pitched to her as a novel.  At this point, I don’t think any sane person would be believe James Frey over her or anyone else.

Report this

By T.B.Jones, January 25, 2006 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Nan Talese (Frey’s publisher)has come foward to say that the book was published just as he had submitted it….as his true memoir of his “criminal” past. People are not following the story of how this mix-up occurred because no mix up occurred. Frey has, on the record, stated MANY times that this story was 100% true. I know many people who have read the book and they all say the same thing…that they would never have been interested in another “fictional account” of crime and drug addiction because there is already enough out there to fill even the enormous holes in Mr.Frey’s story. Oprah herself said that she had to keep looking at his photo on the back of the book to make sure he was still alive after reading about the horrors he went through. Since there were no actual horrors ( other than, perhaps, his parents housekeeper putting too much bleach in the wash and ruining his Chinos) he had no horrors to overcome. He is not some fearless survivor. He is your average, run of the mill hustler taking advantages of people’s naivety. In retrospect…he IS a criminal. He fooled alot of people into respecting him for something he never did and got very rich in the process. Also…think of the doomed addict who listens to his ridiculous advice (hold on) and doesn’t seek help because of it. They can’t hold on forever..not with a REAL problem…they would pay a nasty price for listening to con-man hawk his goods, wouldn’t they? James frey has a very well payed lawyer, he doesn’t need anyone else to defend him.

Report this

By D. Travers Scott, January 25, 2006 at 11:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

While I agree with Mo Johnson’s comment that it would be informative to know who at Doubleday decided to market the book as fiction, I would be careful to avoid Oprah’s technique on Larry King of trying to shift all blame onto the big, bad publishing industry.

Someone at Doubleday may have suggested Frey change it to memoir—but he agreed to this suggestion. And he continued to promote it as such.

Although some argue the book nevertheless tells “larger truths,” one has to ask what faustian bargains were involved, and who needs to take responsibility for those. After all, isn’t personal responsibility one of the book’s “larger truths”?

Report this

By Chris Welzenbach, January 25, 2006 at 11:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mo Johnson is an idiot.  Fiction or no, if the excerpts cited in thesmokinggun’s article are accurate reflections of Mr. Frey’s abilities as a writer, Mo Johnson proves himself a candidate for remedial English.

Report this

By Anonymous, January 25, 2006 at 11:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I find it very odd that Frey penned Miles Davis as his judge-roommate, because Miles Davis is indeed a federal district court magistrate.  If I were he, I’d be pissed.

Report this

By Jeffff, January 25, 2006 at 10:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

James Frey’s name will always be synonymous with dishonesty, both personally and in publishing. As a recovering addict, I knew the book was bogus from start to finish.

Look: the kid drinks and drugs too much at Dennison (
Dennison, for God’s sake). By the time he’s 23, he’s in rehab and he never drinks again. Is this the great American story of degradation and redemption? Please!

The real damage that AMLP does is two fold: 1) it purports to be a recovery story. It is not. It’s the story of a “dry drunk.” 2) it purports to show an inside view of treatment. Instead, it steals from Cukoos Nest and dumps in other idiotic ideas (Note: there are no men in white coats with syringes full of sedatives at modern drug treatment centers. None).

I hope the discussion about Frey, Talese and Oprah continues.

Report this

By Mo Johnson, January 25, 2006 at 5:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am reading the book now as a work of fiction based on the author’s life.  I find it to be a great read and the writing to be excellent.  Mr. Frey stated on the Larry King show that the book was originally submitted as a work of fiction, but it was rejected.  This means that it was originally written as a work of fiction. We all know why it was promoted as non-fiction, but no one seems to be following up on the actual process of how this decision was made and who made it.

Report this
 
Monsters of Our Own Creation? Get tickets for this Truthdig discussion of America's role in the Middle East.
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Zuade Kaufman, Publisher   Robert Scheer, Editor-in-Chief
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.

Like Truthdig on Facebook