Thursday, January 26, 2006

oprah is coming, and she is pissed

i watched the james frey [A Million Little Pieces] interview this morning before i left for work, but it got cut off by the bush speech on the palestinean election. so, i actually came home tonight to see the rest of the show, which they replay in chicago late at night.

i get everything, and i think i may have missed a crucial stage of this debate, but am i the only one that doesn't think it's as big of a deal as oprah does? she was duped i suppose, but a lot of this seems to be about hurt feelings. he admitted to lying and embellishing, for anyone who didn't see it. i don't like lies (ask me about Lent, 1989!), but i guess it just seems like a publishing problem more than the embellishment of story by this poor ex-addict. am i wrong? opinions? nevertheless, i hope he grows from it and moves on.

sidebar, i've heard the book is good. anyone read it?


Blogger Katherine said...

I read the book before Oprah ever recommended it, as well as his second one, "My Friend Leonard," which, interestingly enough, is shelved with the fiction.

I also watched the show today, and had a range of thoughts. Yes, truth is important. And yes, the publishing house should get a fact checker for heavens sake! Is his life story still valid? I think so.

I understand that the genre of memoir is written from the recollection and experience of the individual, which will always be subjective. As a reader, I accept the responsibility to critically read and evaluate what is written. Don't just jump on a bandwagon because you didn't think it out for yourself first.

12:24 AM  
Anonymous Montecore's Revenge said...

I have three comments to make. Serious, for once:

1. I don't like lying, either, and I think it's bush league to represent fabrication as a memoir. However, either you're a good writer or you're not, and Frey, by most accounts, is. Period. I'm with you on this. Anderson Cooper last night was all high and mighty with his "Well, I wouldn't buy anything this guy writes now." Larry King's response was basically a common-sense "But isn't he a good writer?" Cooper quickly stammered out a half-answer and then changed the subject.

2. I loathe Oprah Winfrey. The Oprah is troubling, but what makes her 10x moreso is the fact that the Oprah's flock (I mean that - they are sheep) will follow her every command. Disturbing stuff.

3. I want to make it clear that I am not kidding about this. This is not a joke: James Frey is in my fantasy baseball league. It's called the Gypsy Scholar League, and consists mostly of academics and writers (although I qualify as either in name only). It's a long story, and, to be honest, I had never heard of the guy when I was first brought into this league by my old undergrad politics professor. People on the league messageboard were congratulating him on "My Friend Leonard," and I was like, "Sorry to sound stupid, but who is this guy?"

I still haven't read either of his books, and I probably won't. But that has more to do with my disinterest in fiction writing (or even non-fiction that is kind of fiction) than a moral stance of any kind.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Lindberg said...

Apparently THERE IS NO MONEY IN FICTION!!! (less your Grisham, King, Clancy, etc..) The average income on fiction writers a year is 4k. (that's including Dan Brown's 78 million dollar year) So this book was shopped as fiction at first. Fiction doesn't sell as well as Non, so they changed it. His choice or his agents? The publishers? I don't know.

I'm with Monte, I hate Oprah, and to listen to that gaggle of nut jobs that were booing and cheering after everything Oprah said is revolting to me.

I heard a story about a guy who tried to get his wife to watch "crash." This guy's wife was like "I'm not gonna watch that!"

Next Oprah, Oprah says "this is a movie everyone should OWN." Next day this guy's wife made him go buy the movie. That=Scary.

9:44 AM  
Blogger christine said...

When I watch movies and read books that I know are true or "based on a true story" I really want to know that that is the case. It changes the way I feel about things as I am reading/watching it. This does now make me skeptical about my trust in the words "true story." but I heard it was a great book and want to read it!

5:57 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Finally, a kink in Oprah's Media Juggernaunt armor.

I was happy to watch her have to retract herself, even though I'm sure it probably cost several low level staffers their jobs.

Vive La Smoking Gun!

6:30 PM  
Blogger Rich Prouty said...

Oprah has never been wrong. She told me to do this.

11:37 AM  

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