Who didn’t want to gobble up A Million Little Pieces by James Frey when it came out in 2004? It was given the Oprah stamp of approval and has cupcake sprinkles on the cover!
I should also let you know that Fray also holds the distinction of being the first author to be dropped like a hot potato from Oprah’s Book Club. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Of course, I didn’t buy it after… I bought it before when we all thought it was a true memoir of a tumultuous life.
When I originally read it, I found it difficult, choppy and awkward. I chalked it up to Frey’s having been in a very dark place for most of the writing. When I opened it just now, I felt my stomach drop, remembering. It was a quagmire of mucky, heavy, sludge that I had to dig myself out from… and to be honest, I couldn’t even finish the damn thing. It was *that* horrible.
So, you might think I felt vindicated, if not downright giddy when it was found that events in the book were at best, embellished and at worst, fabricated. Thanks, Smoking Gun. (Spoiler: They said “A Million Little Lies” before I did!)
Frey said, “I made a mistake.”
You know, like when you put too much salt in the stew. <<< Those aren’t his words, they’re mine.
In an article about the debacle, Frey said the book is “the essential truth of my life.” Gotta give it to the guy… he knew what “alternative facts” were before we did.
Some things pertinent to this discussion that tick me off:
- When people don’t take responsibility for their actions
- When people are not truthful about important things on purpose
- When people are purposeful scammers
- When people benefit from all of the above
- When people use the word “mistake” to denote any of the above.
- Oops, I stole $300 from you.
- Sorry, I accidentally cheated on you with your best friend.
- Oh man, I burned down your house down with gasoline.
- Can you believe it? I wrote a whole book full of lies and peddled it as having actually happened. My bad.
Is there anything redeemable about this book? Well, it *was* on Oprah’s Book Club for a reason. I guess?
Unfortunately, or fortunately (depending on how you look at it) you now KNOW the truth and you can’t UN-KNOW it. I’m sorry about that, in a way. I don’t like being unkind or dissing someone’s art.
Had this book been true, I might have overlooked the clunky writing and loved it. Who knows? But as it stands? Nope. Just nope.