I work with a lot of people who read. It's not difficult in this world to find people who read. A lot of the world is comprised of literate people. The people I work with are also big fans of Oprah.
Now when it comes to the literary world it's really no surprise that the biggest, most powerful book club around is the Oprah Book Club. Oprah Winfrey has a seeming Midas touch when it comes to driving her favorite books to the top of the bestsellers lists. Why? Because Oprah is a powerful, powerful force to be reckoned with.
That being said, I'll admit that I bought James Frey's A Million Little Pieces and have been reading it because a large number of the people I work with have either read it or are in the midst of reading it. They all seem to be amazed by the book and Frey's tale of redemption. For those of you not in-the-know about A Million Little Pieces, it's a recount of Frey's six-week stay in rehab after years of drug abuse. It's an uplifting tale of going to the edge and managing to turn one's self around before it's ultimately too late. Mind you, I haven't finished reading it (I'm creeping up on page 120 or so).
I was very leary of buying any book with the Oprah Book Club sticker on it partly because she tend to choose very "safe" literature for her club and partly because I really don't want to contribute to Oprah's seemingly ever-ballooning ego. But now that I've had the book for a few weeks now timing is proving to sometimes be a funny thing.
As part of my regular internet rituals I was visiting fark.com and came across a link to a Smoking Gun article about A Million Little Pieces. The article, which is the link I provided with the "Click here" goes into detail about how Frey's book, while being touted as a brutally honest, gripping piece of nonfiction, is, in fact, fictionalized in a number of areas at the very least. Accounts of court cases and arrests that happened involved Frey could not be found by the people at The Smoking Gun. What they also found odd was how many of the real life characters who helped Frey on his road to recovery were either all dead or could not be found.
Which leads me to the whole dilemma of the matter.
Since it appears as though this could in fact be an elaborate ruse for money on Frey's part should I stop reading the book?
What's odd is that if the book had been marketed as a piece of fiction I would probably say that it's a pretty decent piece of fiction so far. It's writing is pretty gritty and he does some pretty cool things with the language like eliminating quotation marks and not breaking the dialogue up with too many "he said" or "she said" type insertions.
It's just unfortunate that the whole marketing ploy behind the book is that it's 100% real. It's all about its credibility, which would seem to be a veneer now that I've read the TSG piece on it.
There are other books I could start reading right now instead of A Million Little Pieces. The question is, should I?