James Frey's comeback
James Frey was last seen in 2006 squirming on Oprah's couch after acknowledging that he had made up large parts of his memoir, A Million Little Pieces. Now, he's back with a work of fiction (quick learner, eh?) and is all over the media touting Bright Shiny Morning.
Reviews range from admiring to scathing. The New York Times said he "stepped up to the plate and hit one out of the park." In a profile, Vanity Fair called the book "satirical, tense, and surprisingly touching," but said it was at times scattered. The Los Angeles Times was blunt, calling it a "literary train wreck without even the good grace to be entertaining."
Whatever. Even if every critic in America loved the book, I wouldn't read it. I've seen too many journalists and newspapers devastated by fabrications (Jayson Blair and the New York Times, Janet Cooke and the Washington Post) to give Frey a pass so soon. Two years off the lecture circuit, followed by a book release -- that seems more like probation than punishment. Yes, the guy deserves a second chance, and yes, he seems to have the talent to do great things.
But others will have to tell me about them.