A Million Little Pieces
Oprah Winfrey helped make 'Pieces' into a bestseller in 2005 when she made it a selection of Oprah's Book Club and interviewed Frey on her show. In 2006, Frey went on the show again to admit that he had made up parts of the book.
On Monday's 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' (weekdays, syndicated), Winfrey interview Frey again, and he reaffirmed his feelings about memoirs.
"I don't have a whole lot of respect for the genre. I think most writers of memoirs, and this is a very unpopular statement, do what I did."
Frey said he thinks most people who write memoirs manipulate and fabricate things and play with the truth, to tell the best story they can. But, you know, he might be exaggerating that just a little bit.
(S10E05) You can probably add Trey Parker and Matt Stone to the list of people who will never be invited on Oprah.
One of my favorite side characters, Towelie, returned for this episode. Broke and in desperate need for money, he decides to write a memoir. Unfortunately, he has trouble selling it because most of the book is about Dorito Corn Chips, and also, he's a towel. Using his special "getting high" powers, he decides to disguise himself as a person in order to get people interested in his book. Oprah makes it a book club selection, but instantly turns on Towelie when she finds out he's been lying.
I should've known.
A Manhattan social worker was the first to file a lawsuit against Random House, the publisher of Frey's fictitious memoir about overcoming drug and alcohol addiction. The plaintiff, Jennifer Cohn, said she recommended Frey's book to a number of clients who were struggling with the same addiction. Another New York reader filed a class action lawsuit, asking for her $14.95 back. There are also lawsuits in state and federal courts in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Seattle.
So...what's worse? Ripping apart the author on nationwide television or suing an author because his memoir is packed with lies?
Does anybody out there support what Oprah did? I mean, other than me and Joel and Maureen Dowd.
[Thanks for the tip, Debbie!]
Oprah opened her show by apologizing to viewers for trusting Frey so blindly that she called up Larry King when he was defending his lies book and voiced her support for him. To Frey's face, she said, "I really feel duped." Then, she proceeded to take him down. Inch by inch. God, I love this woman.
Frey is on Oprah today, along with his publisher, Nan Talese. Oprah is a terrific interviewer so I hope she throws him some tough questions, instead of blindly defending him.
First 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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