Thursday, January 12, 2006
I swear, I'm a crackhead!
Despite Oprah's protestations to the contrary, it's clear that "A Million Little Pieces" author James Frey is a fraud.
The Smoking Gun reveals that Frey "wholly fabricated or wildly embellished details of his purported criminal career, jail terms, and status as an outlaw 'wanted in three states.'" They conducted an exhaustive investigation into Frey's lies, but just glancing over some of the stories told in his Oprah-hyped paean to addiction, I'm wondering what took so long.
Too much doesn't add up. He details a brutal root-canal surgery without the aid of anesthesia (who could resist inserting Laurence Olivier's dentist from "Marathon Man" into your narrative)and an airplane trip during which an incapacitated Frey is bleeding, has a hole in his cheek, and is wearing clothes covered with "a colorful mixture of spit, snot, urine, vomit and blood" (I guess airport security was taking a break).
And then there's the time in Paris (he supposedly fled to Europe after jumping bail in Ohio) when, on his way to commit suicide by throwing himself into the Seine, Frey stops into a church for a quick moral inventory. There, a "priest," while pretending to listen to Frey's description of his wrecked life, makes a lunge for Frey's crotch. "You must not resist God's will, my Son," says the priest. A vicious beatdown ensues, with Frey possibly killing the grasping cleric, whom the author kicked in the balls 15 times. Hey, why not throw a randy priest into the mix? Talk about your stock character.
Frey says "the essential truth" remains. Truth is a nuanced thing, after all.
Just ask Jayson Blair. And Stephen Glass. Don't worry, Jimmy Frey: infamy has become a career path. We anxiously await your next book about defrauding the public, and getting away with it by blaming "critics" who don't want you to succeed.