False Memories

   By drodriguez  Sep 14, 2008

Many of us remember the controversy stirred up last year by an up and coming writer named James Frey. The best-selling author came under fire when he was accused of fabricating many details in his so-called memoir “A Million Little Pieces”.

One of many tall tales the author told was that he spent 87 days behind bars for an altercation he had with a police officer while high on crack and intoxicated. A popular media website released evidence that this account was entirely false and James Frey spent a few hours at a police station after a minor traffic accident.

Perhaps the most damaging and memorable blows to James Frey’s memoir was the interview he gave Oprah Winfrey after allegations were brought up against the book’s credibility. Winfrey voiced the anger and betrayal she felt toward Frey after including “A Million Little Pieces” in her television book club as a must read.

Though many thought Frey would never be published again after such a shameful media frenzy played out around him last year, this theory has recently been proven wrong. Harper Collins has struck a deal with James Frey to publish his new book, “Bright Shiny Morning” to be released in the summer of 2008.

The deal Harper Collins struck is probably not as much of a gamble as one may think. Frey’s book agent is quoted in a New York Times article as saying, “quite literally every house in New York City called and asked to see it.”

What do you think of the events that took place last year surrounding James Frey’s falsified memoir?

Do you think you will read James Frey’s new book knowing what you know of his past?

Make a Comment

sciencecondom by sciencecondom | uniondale, NY
May 30, 2009

im first gonna read my bible before i read his book, cause i want to see what the lord says about things like this. then i will read his book.

AYoung by AYoung | APO AP, OU
Feb 25, 2009

The reason behind most of the outrage at Frey was that he presented "pieces" as truth. People bought it based on that fact and believed the entire book to be true. His credibility as a non-fiction writer is destroyed. However, if the book is fiction, a novel, then that is another matter entirely. If I know the story is made up before, there is no 'betrayal' when I hear news outlets (or Oprah) reporting such. I'll give the book a go if its listed as fiction.

oatw13 by oatw13 | Parker, CO
Feb 20, 2009

I read the book and I was not surprised to find out that parts of it were fabricated. It is still a decent depiction of a person living with addiction. If you are interested in what a person in the midst of addiction goes through then I would recommend it. Most people don't tend to like books that get into the nitty gritty. I do. I will read the next book, too. It's a shame he felt he had to publish the book as nonfiction. It is just as powerful as a work of fiction, loosely based on his life.

kyhomebody by kyhomebody | garfield, KY
Nov 19, 2008

i can't stand people who must have fame at any cost. iwon't read his books unles he wants towrite one called"oprah busted me on national tv" memoirs of a shameless lying loser.

rmc677 by rmc677 | Ocala, FL
Aug 06, 2008

I definitely can't say I will read it---

But just the hype behind the first book and the falsehoods...People will buy it an read it just to see what 'Lies' he put into this book.

It's just like a gorry accident....you don't want to see it, can't believe it really happened, but you have to look to know for yourself....

mamah by mamah | Athens, GA
Jul 11, 2008

I will read James Frey's new book. A Million Little Pieces was very well written, and while there were falsehoods, I believe his overall experiences and impressions sounded pretty accurate. As an alumni of a treatment facility, I realize now after being sober for a while that a lot of my memories are not really grounded in reality. The mind is a tricky thing when clouded with stress and coming off a or many mind-altering substances. What I got from the book was hope.

jhill0420 by jhill0420 | ALBANY, NY
May 24, 2008

I enjoyed the style in which James Frey wrote A Million Little Pieces. I will probably give the second book a chance. But, I am certainly not looking forward to it as much now due to the problems with the first book.

domesticgoddess_1 by domesticgoddess_1 | Antigo, WI
Mar 15, 2008

I don't care if a book is fiction or non-fiction as I will read both. But don't insult my intelligence by pushing this book off as true life, as something I can identify with, and then blow the whole door of lies wide open. That was an awful and disrespectful thing the author did.

katydid444 by katydid444 | Erie, PA
Feb 25, 2008

I would be interested to read it. He may have exaggerated the truth or completely fabricated parts of A Million Little Pieces, in which case it should have been labeled as "faction," however, that doesn't change the fact that it's brilliantly written, engrossing and very deeply touches on the subject of alcohol abuse and drug addiction. Whether you choose to believe that Frey fabricated the entire book, told his story in the best way he knew how, or did something in between, it's a powerful book. I happen to believe that in every work of fiction one can find truths, and in every work of non-fiction, there's the author's story, everyone else's story and, of course, the truth.

monkey7 by monkey7 | NEW YORK, NY
Jan 19, 2008

I read his first book and could not put it down - not sure why people are outraged. James was on drugs no one disputes that when did a junkie ever get credit for being super honest and telling the truth (doesn't this build a case for what we tell our children - drugs play games with your mind). You are missing out on a good read it does no matter if it is truth or fiction.

twinmamma by twinmamma | Downingtown, PA
Nov 12, 2007

I read the first book before the negative publicity came out. Like someone stated above, it was a good read. Gave me some empathy for my dad who is a recovering alchoholic. Wether the book was fiction on non it was still a good read. Was I disappointed that he overly embelished his life story and considered it a memoir, yes I was.

sweetfox by sweetfox | Orem, UT
Nov 07, 2007

I did not read the first book and I doubt I would read the second book. He exaggerated events during his so called addiction and got lots of money while doing it. It's unfair that he claimed his book was about true life events when it was not, the reason so many bought into it was his despair at hitting rock bottom (or so I've heard since I have not actually read the book myself). I bet many of us are guilty of exaggerating past events. Where it really seems to cross the line for many of us is when it is then published as true life events when it is not. He could have just as easily said his book was BASED on true life events but still partly fictional. I mean really!

bethanyb07 by bethanyb07 | Lynchburg, VA
Oct 28, 2007

I don't think I'd read it. Sounds like he's trying to feed off of the publicity stunt his first book created.


dpackup by dpackup | Antigo, WI
Oct 24, 2007

I had actually already read the book before any of the stuff came out on Oprah. The only thing that bothered me was like Roxana said above about being in recovery herself. I have a history of recovery many many years ago but in this type of thing we almost feel betrayed ...it is hard to describe really. I guess when you read or relate to someone along the recover lines we let our guard down and feel a bond of sorts. To find out it was all for nothing is quite a bad feeling.

Unless his book is about something I am interested in I won't read it but that is no different than any other book with me.

loobelle1977 by loobelle1977 | waterford, NJ
Oct 16, 2007

i'll absolutely read his next book. it's a book - doesn't really matter if it's real event or not. just entertainment. and pretty good entertainment at that!