A Million Little Lies


I just finished reading “A Million Little Lies: The Man Who Conned Oprah” on the Smoking Gun Web site. The article is a lengthy and detailed expose on James Frey’s book, A Million Little Pieces. The book that Oprah has blessed with her “Oprah Book Club” seal, thus sending it zooming to bestseller status in a matter of months, with 3.5 million copies sold. The book marketed as a memoir of an addicted, alcoholic criminal’s fall and rise. The book that’s full of lies.

Don’t fall for the bullshit. Read this article before you buy or read the book. The fact that this guy is cashing in on lies about real events and becoming a role model for addicts and alcholics trying to kick their nasty habits without real help is an offense. The fact that Oprah fell for his line of bullshit and got so many people to buy into it is an outrage.

But what gets me is this: Frey attempted to sell his book as a novel and was turned down by 17 publishers. It was the 18th who bought it as a memoir. Makes me wonder who’s in charge of the lying here.

It also makes me wonder how many other “true stories” are really true in this age of alternate realities.

3 thoughts on “A Million Little Lies

  1. AMLP is a wonderful book, fact or fiction it doesn’t matter, I read the book and will re-read it one day and I still expect to be moved to tears.

    Bridget Jones’ Diary is well known to be based in massive chunks if not just in parts on Helen Fieldings’ own life. Fictionalised fact or factualised fiction doesn’t take away from the power of the message in AMLP – so the guy made some money and said it was *all* true when some of it may have been exaggerrated.

    If you know it’s fiction, read it as fiction – it is a beautifully crafted piece of art, if it *is* fiction then even more praise should be heaped upon Frey for such an original and inspired story.

  2. Whether it’s a “beautifully crafted piece of art” (which I doubt, having read excerpts) is not the question here. It’s whether this book is marketed as fact — which it is — when it is full of not just exaggerations, but full-blown lies. People who are suffering from addictions are turning to Frey as a hero role model they can follow instead of turning to traditional treatments for help. Is that a good thing?

    I wouldn’t have any problem with the book if it were fiction marketed as fiction. But fiction marketed as fact — and then endorsed by someone as powerful as Oprah as something that can “change their lives” — is one step short of a crime.

    Ironically, probably the worst of the crimes this author claims to have committed.

What do you think?