Friday, January 13, 2006

Small Frey

(That's my attempt at headline punnery- I promise it won't be a habit. And of course, if the guy's name is pronounced "Fray" and not "Fry" even my lame attempt at wit has failed).

Of course, I'm talking about bad boy James Frey and his book A Million Little Pieces. I wasn't going to write about these goings-on at first because I had no intention of ever reading (or reviewing) the book and it's been blogged about sufficiently elsewhere. But maybe an online book discussion forum should at the very least weigh in.

I have but two points on the matter. First off, no one should be shocked anymore. About anything. Jane's Addiction wasn't shocked by anything in 1988, why the heck should I be shocked by anything in 2006? Someone (may have) lied? That's hardly astounding. And in case you think this is some sort of precedent, the CBC has set us straight on that one. Does that make this sort of thing okay? Of course not, but let's not make it a bigger deal than it is.

Secondly, I don't care. As I said above, I was never planning on reading this book. I hardly ever read the type of book I perceive this to be (self-help thinly disguised as a memoir) and in the rare ones that I have read, I haven't been emotionally invested. Would I be crushed to find out that Morrie was really a money-grubbing sleazebag? Or that Dave Pelzer really had a wonderful childhood? No. I don't mean to downplay the effect this Smoking Gun story may have had on those who had felt saved by this memoir. I'll leave the downplaying to Oprah. But really, will I lose sleep over this scandal? No. I'll rest easy knowing that except for wasting ten minutes blogging about it, I am not impacted in the least.


Rebecca said...

I'm somewhat amused by Oprah's response to this controversy. Obviously, she can't come out and say that she was taken in by Frey's "accounts" like everyone else, so she says, "Okay, maybe he *did* make some of this up, but... but... rehab is good!" How is this going to affect how people respond to her book recommendations, especially of the non-fiction variety?

John Mutford said...

I'm guessing she'll avoid books of the nonfiction variety and go further down the Tolstoy path she seemed to be headed in. Maybe Dostoevsky will be a safer choice than anything written in the past ten years.

John Mutford said...

Oprah has finally acknowledged that the truth DOES matter and that she was embarrassed over the whole thing.

John Mutford said...

Also, Frey is pronounced "Fray" not "Fry". And Oprah has picked another memoir despite my prediction that she'd steer clear of those. All hail the Queen.