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Donald Gavron
Tuesday, 6 May 2008
The Wounded Muse
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: Art and Culture
The recent article in Vanity Fair magazine about James Frey has my blood boiling. Here's a kid from a wealthy family who got his foot in the door of the publishing industry and thought he could get away with writing a fictionalized memoir. He lied about his so-called exploits. Let me say this again: He lied. And they weren't little lies. They were big ones. He lied about being in jail while his girlfriend committed suicide. He ws not in jail when this happened. He turned his back on someone who needed help.

He tried to model himself after macho writer Norman Mailer, Jack Kerouac and others, and he failed. Mailer and other writers have written fictionalized memoirs in the past, but they acknowledged that they were fiction. 

Frey claims he was led astray by agents and publishers who wanted to release the book as a "memoir" when he claimed all along it was a "novel." The people he dealt with disagree. Frey is just another bored rich kid who had nothing else to do but get high and write a "meaningful" account of recovery.

There is nothing he says that we can believe. And, oh yes, he doesn't practice the rules of grammar because he doesn't know the rules. He's not James Joyce. Joyce knew the rules and broke them.

Frey can't write, but he gets published, and now he's wallowing in all the controversy because he has a new book coming out about low-lifes in L.A. Don't patronize this hack. Whatever muse is speaking to this fraud is a corrupt one.

Buy "Tree of Smoke" by Denis Johnson instead. This guy can write. Life is short, read well.

Posted by dgavron at 9:55 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 6 May 2008 3:09 PM EDT
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