Thursday, April 10, 2008

Food for Thought

As you may well know, the author James Frey was in the news recently. His book, A Million Little Pieces was exposed as a work of fiction. When it came out a few years ago it was released as a true story. Apparently, he was going to submit it as a novel but didn't think anyone would buy it that way and decided to sell it as a memoir. I found a copy of the book at the D.I. for a buck and bought it. I have wanted to read it since it came out and was now intrigued because of all of the uproar about it. I just finished reading it this week. It is a gut wrenching, incredible book. It was one of those books that you read wide eyed and can't stop reading even though you may be uncomfortable or whatever. Here is the question then: Is it a more impressive feat to be able to write about these awful, unbelievable things without having gone through them first? Whether I liked the book or not is irrelevant. Does it truly matter that he didn't actually go through everything in the book? I can't quite decide what I think. Maybe if James Frey would trade me bank account balances for awhile I could clear my head and figure it out.


KrystaLyn said...

If it really is irrelevant, then why lie about it and say it was a memoir? Cause now, all anyone ever thinks when they see him or that book is, "Man, what a liar." So whether it is good or not is irrelevant, because the controversy overshadows it.

-S. said...

I see your point. But shouldn't he get some points for being able to write about something so convincingly? Isn't it harder to write about what you don't know? So-maybe the book shouldn't just be dismissed out of hand.