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October 22, 2014

a million little pieces

James Frey Back on 'Oprah,' Says He Doesn't Respect Memoir Genre (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted May 16th 2011 9:30PM
James Frey on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show'In 2003, James Frey established his contempt for the literary memoir format by releasing 'A Million Little Pieces,' a supposed memoir that turned out to be full of lies.

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.

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James Frey settles lawsuit with readers -- UPDATE

by Anna Johns, posted Sep 8th 2006 1:10PM
james freyRemember James Frey? He's the author of A Million Little Pieces, which became a bestseller thanks to Oprah Winfrey. Earlier this year, The Smoking Gun uncovered that Frey's book, which he claimed was non-fiction, was at least partially fabricated. At first, Oprah defended him but then she came to her senses and beat him witless on her show. It was an ugly affair, wasn't it? Thousands of readers filed a class action lawsuit against Frey and his publisher, Random House, claiming they were defrauded. Now Frey and his publisher have agreed to give refunds to all the people involved in the lawsuit. It will take months before everyone's money is returned.

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South Park: A Million Little Fibers

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 20th 2006 9:48AM

towelie south park(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.

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The lawsuits fly against Frey

by Anna Johns, posted Jan 31st 2006 3:37PM
After Oprah tore James Frey apart on her show last week, I was left to wonder what would be next for the author.

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?

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Oprah's fans are really pissed off

by Anna Johns, posted Jan 27th 2006 7:07PM
While we've received dozens of comments about yesterday's Oprah-James Frey show, Oprah has received tens of thousands of comments. The message board on her website lists more than 12,000 comments for the Frey show. In comparison, other shows only garnered several hundred comments. The commenters go from bashing Oprah, to supporting Frey, to discussing the definition of a memoir. A lot of people on Oprah's site and on our site think that she was too harsh on Frey, that it doesn't matter if he lied because it's still a good book, and mostly that she crucified him on national television for personal gain.

Does anybody out there support what Oprah did? I mean, other than me and Joel and Maureen Dowd.

[Thanks for the tip, Debbie!]

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Oprah tears James Frey apart, or The Smoking Gun was right

by Anna Johns, posted Jan 26th 2006 1:13PM
Author James Frey isn't much of an alcoholic, a drug addict or a criminal. He's a pathological liar. And Oprah exposed him for what he is on her show today. Well, actually, The Smoking Gun exposed him for what he is back on January 8th. Oprah just forced him into admitting that he lied in his so-called memoir about addiction and crime, A Million Little Pieces. Oprah made that book number one on the best seller list when she included it in her book club. It sold 1.77 million copies.

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.

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James Frey returning to Oprah -- UPDATE

by Anna Johns, posted Jan 26th 2006 10:26AM
James Frey is going to stick up for himself, again, but this time he'll do it on Oprah. Frey is the author of A Million Little Pieces, a memoir about drug and alcohol addiction that was chosen for Oprah's Book Club. The truthiness of the book were brought into question by The Smoking Gun on January 8. Smoking Gun folks claimed that Frey embellished some of his experiences and flat-out made up other ones. Since the investigation became public, all sorts of reviewers have jumped on the attack bandwagon and some say his experiences sound too text-book.

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.

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Oprah's book club: a Holocaust memoir

by Anna Johns, posted Jan 17th 2006 10:07AM
It looks as though Oprah Winfrey has been browsing the nonfiction aisles of the bookstore. While the authenticity of her last Oprah's Book Club selection is still in question, she has moved on to assign her faithful readers another memoir: Night, by Elie Wiesel. You may recognize his name for the Nobel Peace Prize he won in 1986 for decades of writing against hatred and racism. Wiesel's first novel (he calls it a memoir) chronicles his family's experience in Auschwitz during the Holocaust. Oprah said the book "should be required reading for all of humanity." Next month, Oprah will also hold a high school essay contest about the book, in which 50 selected writers will be flown to Chicago to be part of the audience when Wiesel is a guest. She will also visit Auschwitz with Wiesel, which should make for one very powerful hour of television.

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All writers are liars

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 12th 2006 5:58PM
henry david thoreauThere's been a lot of talk lately about James Frey's book A Million Little Pieces, how factual it really is, whether Oprah should be defending the author, and whatever other assorted complaints there have been. While we may be spewing vitriol at Frey, it also makes sense to step back and remember that literary history is rife with scribes who weren't above the occasional embellishment, as explained in a very insightful essay from Jim over at Encyclopedia Hanasiana. Until today I had no idea Thoreau actually paid interns to live on Walden Pond and write about, nor did I realize Emily Dickenson was really a man. I would also add something Jim left out, which is that the original title of Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird was actually Tequila, Mockingbird and was not about racism in the Depression era, but instead described a really strange meal she had while traveling through southern Arkansas.

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Random House (doesn't) offer refund on Frey's book

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 12th 2006 3:13PM
If you purchased a copy of James Frey's book A Million Little Pieces and were devastated to find out he made a lot of it up, torn asunder by the audacity of this so-called author, bolting upright in the middle of the night in a cold sweat and punching the walls screaming, "Why, Jimmy, why?" over and over again while angrily gnawing at your own feet because the pain is the only way you know how to cope with what he's done... then you've overreacted just a tad. Still, there was a small glimmer of hope. Reuters and others reported that Random House was offering refunds to anyone who purchased the book through them, but that rumor was put to rest with this statement on Random House's Web site. If you want to return your book, you'll have to take it back to the bookstore like everyone else.

 

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Oprah defends James Frey on Larry King Live

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 11th 2006 10:31PM
James Frey's mug shot - from The
Smoking GunJust finished watching Larry King Live, who had the first interview with author James Frey since the controversy over the truthfulness (or "truthiness," as Colbert would say) of some of the facts in his memoir A Million Little Pieces. During the interview, Frey kept responding to Larry's queries over The Smoking Gun's exposé -- it revealed that some of the book's details about his criminal past were highly exaggerated --  by saying that it was a very small part of a huge book. People are not concentrating on the meat of the book, said Frey, which takes place in a rehab clinic. Frey went on to explain that memoirs generally have embellishments, composite characters, and time compressions, and that it's a subjective story about the author's life, so it's hard to judge it on the facts.

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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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