Monday, February 27, 2017

Week 7 Prompt

Well, no one likes being lied to...

I particularly can't stand being lied to when it involves a book. When you start reading a book, in reality you're starting a relationship. At least for me, books take time. Books take more effort. It's not as easy as sitting in front of a television and having a movie or TV series show you exactly what they want you to see. There's no suspenseful music to let you know that the bad guy is coming from around the corner, or romantic swells before two characters kiss. All of this is crafted by the writer's words and your imagination. It's what makes a book such a magical object. It can be seen a million different ways by a million different people based on what's meaningful to them.

And that's why situations like embellishing and flat out lying in a personal memoir like A Million Little Pieces feels like a violation. If this is the story that Frey wanted to tell, then that's fine - but label it as "inspired by real life events". To lie and dupe millions of readers (even our beloved Oprah!), seems like a risky gamble and one that ultimately didn't pay off for Frey. Duping people seems to be in Frey's blood. He's since gone on to create a YA publishing company that lures MFA students into signing a contract where he will own their work and may or may not give them credit for it based on the contract posted on the New York Magazine website. 

It shouldn't really come as a complete shock that Frey would like and make things up for personal gain. Addicts manipulate. He even says so himself in the memoir -- "Lying became a part of my life. I lied if I needed to lie to get something or get out of something." At least we can all take comfort in knowing that it is possible for James Frey to tell the truth about something.


"Read the Brutal Contract from James Frey's Fiction Factory – Daily Intel". New York. Retrieved June 18, 2011.

Mozes, Suzanne (November 12, 2010). "Inside Full Fathom Five, James Frey's Young-Adult-Novel Assembly Line". New York. Retrieved June 18, 2011.

Smoking Gun. (2006). A Million Little Lies: Exposing James Frey’s fiction addiction.

1 comment:

  1. Great annotation and thoughts, there is a minor deduction though for lateness. Also, good references :)