Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Et tu Frey?

Is this a boom age for liars? In addition to JT Leroy and the various plagairists and falsifiers we've endured over the past few years, we also get James Frey, whose memoir A Million Little Pieces has been featured in Oprah's Book Club, and also largely discredited by The Smoking Gun. The book generally follows the same redemption story arc once favored by Christian writers from Augustine on. (1) Initial innocence, (2) graphic fall into sin, followed by a (3) conversion experience and (4) redemption. Sin has come a long way, admittedly, since Augustine stole an apple. Also, the Priest has been replaced by the Therapist, and Spiritual Redemption by Good Mental Health. But, now as then, the most enjoyable parts of the reading are those that involve the graphic fall into sin. In Frey's case, the sin was supposedly years as an Addict, Alcoholic and Criminal, all of which are apparently quite profittable professions these days. But, what if the Alcoholic-criminal-drug addict's experiences actually boiled down to a night in the drunk tank as a frat boy? Apparently, quite an uproar. Color me underwhelmed. The overpriviledged-diva-pretending-to-be-more-fucked-up-and-damaged-than-she-really-is was a regular party feature at my University. It gets old.

No comments: