Author Topic: A Million Little . . . Lies?  (Read 2534 times)

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Offline RottingCorpse

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A Million Little . . . Lies?
« on: January 10, 2006, 02:00:11 AM »
So, Jody thought it was a bit weak, but now do we find out that James Frey's opus is a falsehood?

Well, it is usually found in the fiction section . . .

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0104061jamesfrey1.html
« Last Edit: January 10, 2006, 02:05:22 AM by RottingCorpse »

Offline nacho

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Re: A Million Little . . . Lies?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2006, 08:36:09 AM »
Hahaha!

Of course it is!


Offline jreale

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Re: A Million Little . . . Lies?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2006, 11:44:50 AM »
What a coincidence, I was just reading this last night.  The whole time I was like, "Uh, so?"  TSG sounds like a Frey's whiny little sister: Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!
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Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: A Million Little . . . Lies?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2006, 11:57:59 PM »
Oh ho! The plot thickens. Is someone out to get . . . someone?

* * *

Hoax charges levelled at best-selling writers

NEW YORK (AFP) - The gossip mill in US literary circles has gone into overdrive over alleged hoaxes by two best-selling cult authors -- one a former truck-stop prostitute, the other a recovered crack addict.

Both writers, JT LeRoy and James Frey, have been targetted by investigative journalists casting doubts on the former's real identity -- and gender -- and challenging the latter's autobiographical accuracy.

The hoax allegations have fuelled concerns that the reading public is being sold falsehoods to sate its apparently insatiable appetite for harrowing, confessional works that sometimes blur the line between fiction and non-fiction.

In LeRoy's case, various media probes have concluded that the author of several critically lauded works of fiction is not the 25-year-old ex rent boy he claims to be, but actually a 40-year-old middle-class woman.

LeRoy's true identity has long been a source of speculation.

Championed by an impeccably hip roster of celebrities, including the likes of Bono, Lou Reed and Courtney Love, LeRoy's rare public appearances always saw him disguised behind sunglasses and a woman's blonde wig. He identified himself as gay and desirous of a sex change.

His background was that of a child prostitute who became a drug addict and contracted the HIV virus before being rescued from the streets of San Francisco by a couple named Laura Albert, 40, and Geoffrey Knoop, 39.

Albert and Knoop were credited with allowing LeRoy to channel his harsh experiences into three works of semi-autobiographical fiction that swiftly garnered a substantial cult following and have been published in 20 countries.

LeRoy also wrote the original screenplay for Gus Van Sant's movie "Elephant" and is listed as the film's associate producer.

As his fame spread, his insistence on conducting interviews via fax, e-mail and, on rare occasions, the phone, aroused suspicions.

In October, a lengthy article in New York magazine suggested that Laura Albert was the real author of LeRoy's works and that the entire LeRoy persona was a fabrication.

On Monday, the New York Times weighed in with a report backing the Albert-as-writer theory and also unmasking the bewigged public face of LeRoy as Savannah Knoop, Geoffrey Knoop's half sister, who is in her mid-20s.

"As a transgendered human, subject to attacks, I use stand-ins to protect my identity," read an explanatory e-mail statement from LeRoy in response to the Times' revelation.

Albert and Knoop have so far declined to comment on the hoax allegations.

The other scandal involving James Frey is less complex but no less damaging in its charges of fabrication.

"A Million Little Pieces," Frey's memoir of violence, drug addiction and rehabilitation, became a runaway best seller after being selected by television talk show queen Oprah Winfrey for her book club.

The book sold two million copies in the United States in 2005, making it the highest selling non-fiction title of the year and second overall to "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."

On Sunday, the popular investigative website, TheSmokingGun.com, published an article titled "A Million Little Lies" that followed a six-week examination of police and court records, as well as interviews with law enforcement personnel.

The verdict of the website was that Frey had "wholly fabricated or wildly embellished" numerous details of his outlaw past, including a three-month spell behind bars and the death of a teenage girl.

Responding to the report, Random House, whose imprint Doubleday published Frey's book, issued a statement saying: "We stand in support of our author ... and his book which has touched the lives of millions of readers."

And Frey himself posted an angry retort on his website, saying the allegations were just one in a series of attempts to discredit his work.

"So let the haters hate, let the doubters doubt, I stand by my book, and my life, and I won't dignify this with any sort of further response," he said.

Offline jreale

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Re: A Million Little . . . Lies?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2006, 05:36:45 PM »
Whatever the truth is, I can't believe the press this guy's getting. I saw a recap of this last night on some ABC nightly news program. In other news, I just finished My Friend Leonard, which I liked a little more than Pieces. Overall, it was a better story with a more endearing narrator.  Go figure.
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Offline nacho

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Re: A Million Little . . . Lies?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2006, 05:39:21 PM »
I'm reading the ninth Repairman Jack novel!

http://www.repairmanjack.com/index2.html

Yeah!  Time for MAN'S work!

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: A Million Little . . . Lies?
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2006, 03:06:21 PM »
You know, is this really that big a deal? I think the very act of writing shit down fictionalizes it. Plus, I mean, it WAS a novel before it was "a Memior." The guy's friggin' agent told him to change it when his initial sales were in the shitter.

I read the book. I liked the book. I don't feel "duped."

Quote from: Reuters
Frey admits fictions, Oprah apologizes

By Michael Conlon

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Author James Frey confessed to Oprah Winfrey on Thursday that he made up details about every character in his memoir "A Million Little Pieces" and the talk show host apologized to her viewers, saying she felt "duped."

In 19 years in television "I've never been in this position before," said Winfrey, whose praise for Frey's book in September helped make it the top-selling book on nonfiction lists in the United States last year.

"I really feel duped," Winfrey told Frey on her television show. She said he had betrayed millions of viewers.

Winfrey began by apologizing to viewers for a telephone call she made to CNN's "Larry King Live" show on January 11, while King was interviewing Frey about the controversy. In the call Winfrey said that even though the facts were being questioned, the book "still resonates with me" and called the controversy "much ado about nothing."

"I regret that phone call," she told her viewers on Thursday. "I made a mistake and I left the impression that the truth does not matter and I am deeply sorry about that. That is not what I believe."

Sitting with Frey in side-by-side easy chairs, Winfrey quizzed the author point-by-point about his book that described his drug-and-alcohol addiction and the people hurt by it.

"All the way through the book I altered details about every one of the characters," Frey said "Every one of the characters was altered," including himself.

He spent two hours in jail, not 87 days, and the account of his breaking up with a woman who later committed suicide happened in a much shorter period of time, with their separation occurring while he was taking care of personal business in North Carolina, not while he was in jail, he said.

She committed suicide by slashing her wrists, he said, not by hanging herself.

Asked if The Smoking Gun Web site which first questioned the book had accurately characterized the discrepancies, Frey said "I think most of what they wrote was pretty accurate," adding they did "a good job."

The Smoking Gun said it could find no evidence of his having spent that much time in jail and that an auto accident he wrote about consisted of running his car up on a curb.

Frey said he had developed an image of himself for the book as "being tougher than I was, badder than I was" as a "coping mechanism."

Winfrey asked if that was to make a better book or to make him a better person.

"Probably both," he answered.

"To everyone who has challenged me on this issue of truth, you are absolutely right," she said, adding that the inspiration the book brought to so many people had clouded her judgment.

Frey's book had been chosen by Winfrey for her reading club -- an honor which often turns books into best sellers. Published by Random House's Doubleday division, the book sold more than 1.77 million copies last year after being chosen by Winfrey.

On January 17 Winfrey chose Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel's "Night" as her latest selection, sending the book, first published in the United States in 1960, to the top of best-seller lists.

Random House is a unit of German media conglomerate Bertelsman AG.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2006, 03:14:23 PM by RottingCorpse »

Offline nacho

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Re: A Million Little . . . Lies?
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2006, 03:11:47 PM »


Now, larger questions:  If his agent told him to do it, why's he taking the fall?  I keep hearing that it wasn't him, he's a good guy, he was forced to do this by The Nameless Machine.  He had nothing but purity of heart until The Nameless Machine whispered Evil Ideas in his ear and, because he was but a poor, starving artist, he obeyed.

Just because I killed a cat they call me a cat killer!

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: A Million Little . . . Lies?
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2006, 03:28:28 PM »
Easy. He wanted more money. HE was the one who probably said to his agent, "My sales are shitty. What can I do?" When it comes to money, an agent is about as ethical as Jack the Ripper. The agent probaly said, "If YOU want to, we can call it a 'memior' intead of a 'novel'." All the onus was put on Frey. Frey made the decision, therefore he takes the fall when it blows up.

Offline nacho

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Re: A Million Little . . . Lies?
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2006, 03:38:30 PM »
I think he should have pulled a Mark Leyner and insisted that everything was true.

Offline jreale

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Re: A Million Little . . . Lies?
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2006, 03:57:40 PM »
You know, is this really that big a deal?

Of course it isn't; it's evidence of how new people are to literature.  I know that if I had to worry about whether a work of nonfiction was really all true before reading it, I'd probably never read again.  A "lie" can change a person's life just as much as the "truth" can. Just ask that grocery store delivery boy I made up last week.

This whole thing is stupid. That said, you can't pay for this kind of publicity. This guy has got to be thanking his lucky fucking stars.
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Offline nacho

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Re: A Million Little . . . Lies?
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2006, 04:00:29 PM »
Made up?  You mean you aren't lying in a pool of vomit right now watching Netflix?

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: A Million Little . . . Lies?
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2006, 04:37:24 PM »
Of course she isn't! And "Soph" is a friggin' pillow she crocheted.