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October 31, 2014

Was Oprah conned by book club author?

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 9th 2006 4:19PM

A Million Little PiecesFirst Oprah had to apologize to birds. Now she might have to apologize to her many fans.

The Smoking Gun has just finished a six week invesigation into the background of James Frey, the author of A Million Little Pieces, which Oprah picked for her book club a few months ago. It's (supposedly) Frey's memoir, of how he had drug problems, went into rehab, went to jail several times, kicked the habit, etc, but TSG has found out that many of the events that Frey said happened either happened differently than he said, happened but he wasn't involved, or didn't happen at all. It's a long piece, much too long to summarize here, so take a look

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Joe

The books ("A Million Little Pieces" and "My Friend Leonard" were a small ray of hope for me. My son is a heroin addict, trying to beat his addiction. Anything that can help, and these books helped me, is welcome.

The one take away I have is that recovery is up to the addict. If these books can get one lost soul to understand that message, it's fine with me.

Why doesn't The Smoking Gun find out who Leonard was?

January 20 2006 at 9:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bebop

the thing that really strikes me about this article or "piece" is that the writer claims the 3 interviews he had with Frey were "off the record" and yet he's using quotes from said conversations left and right!

January 15 2006 at 12:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Yolanda

The Frey situation reminds me of that of Monty Roberts, the self-proclaimed "horse whisperer", motivational speaker and child-education authority, whose best-selling autobiography "The Man Who Whispers to Horses," is largely fiction, according to his brother, cousin, aunt, and other people who know him and the family. The family published a book of their own titled "Horse Whispers & Lies."

January 15 2006 at 11:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ashley

As a wife & daughter to recovering addicts when I read this book I was skeptical. I just thought he wasn't really sober for those consecutive years. It is interesting how anyone that could corroberate his side of the whole story is not accessible. Sure his family can back him up on some things, but this piece of fiction is dangerous for real addicts. Frey perpetuates the false belief that addiction is a moral disease - he's made a ton of money & possibly injured many lives.

January 15 2006 at 1:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Evadne

That's a great article. I wonder if--like the Jonathan Franzen debacle--this will put her off dealing with contemporary authors. It would be a shame. The classics book club always struck me as cowardly--authors whose books have more or less entered canon and, more importantly, authors who can't talk back.

I do wish TSG had learned that "Which" is no way to start a sentence.

January 09 2006 at 6:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rebecca M

I SO believe it's a bunch of hoo ha. So much of what this guy says sounds like it was written as fiction. I know a lot of alcoholics and addicts and trust me, his stuff reads like a bunch of crap. This guy probably went to a bunch of meetings and listened to everybody else's stories, then went home and written them up as his own. I can only hope the movie deal falls through, OR the movie ends up being the real TRUE story and shows how this guy wrote a bunch of BS and tried to pass it off as his true life story.

January 09 2006 at 6:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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