Wednesday, June 18, 2008


James Frey has a new book and an interview on Powell’s site:

I have a lot of mixed feelings about the guy without having read beyond the first few agonizing pages of his notorious book, A Million Little Pieces. And really the subject of that book and its authenticity has been talked about enough (if you believed it was all true you really need to get a better bullshit detector installed), though I reiterate my feelings that he is a manipulative jackass for addressing rehab patients and pretending he ever went through their struggle.

Moving on:

Frey says a few interesting things, such as:

“I've said before, if I'm the one who ends up bringing down the big, dumb American memoir, cool.”

And I like this sentiment, only I wish it didn’t come from Frey. But still, I do hope that the Frey incident did indeed topple the current obsession with all things allegedly factual posing as literary.

More annoying is this comment:

“There are books where cities are central characters — Paris or Rome or New York or Chicago — but no one ever made L. A. the central focus of a book, in all its glory and its horror.”
Reading this quote, I can’t help but think that Frey is terribly under-read and that the person who could be responsible for bringing down the big, dumb American memoir has done it accidentally and without the forethought a more well-read, well-spoken, talented individual would have employed, which is just perfect. What better end to the dubious trend then a ass-backwards implosion spearheaded by the mouth and pen of a two-bit hack?