February 1st, 2006

Jin Shei Cover from sgreer

The Frey fuss

Here's an article, one of many, on the new developments:


One thing particularly stands out for me:

"James Frey officially fesses up in a promised new author's note that will appear in future editions of A Million LittlePieces, his not-entirely-true memoir of drug addiction and alcoholism.'

I stand in awe of the marketing juggernaut. "Future editions"? If someone put out a line of beef sausages and then admitted that they were horsemeat, how fast do you think the product would have been pulled off the market? "Producers warning: this beef sausage actually contains horsemeat instead. Enjoy your meal." But apparently the book is still selling like hot cakes, and indeed, from the article, "...New printings of hardcover and paperback editions containing Frey's note, as well as one from the publisher, 'will take place immediately,' says Alison Rich of publisher Doubleday, a division of Random House. 'The reprint process is currently underway, and we expect these editions to appear in stores sometime later this month.' " New printings. OOOkay. Just goes to prove that no publicity is bad publicity, and I am sure that Frey continues to sell - especially with those Oprah stickers still on the cover of this book. Despite Oprah herself having distanced herself from it perosnally, she never (as far as I know) rescinded the accolade and anyway she is no longer able to do so - the two have already been linked in the public mind.

(by the way, here's the note itself: http://www.randomhouse.com/trade/publicity/pdfs/AMLP020106.pdf)

Now, this can spark off many debates - that of genre (when is genre a stumbling block rather than a marketing help? Would it have helped this book to have simply been PUBLISHED and then teh public allowed to make up their own minds without prejudice?) and that of simple truth vs fiction, by default, and while one acknowledges that every book of fiction is in fact a pack of lies where does one draw the line at insisting that one is telling the truth. Feel free to start those, or any others, in comments if you've a mind. I'm still trying to wrap my head around a few simple facts. Frey lied. He got caught out. His agent dropped him because she can no longer trust him. And there is a new edition of the contentious book in question coming out with the apparent message of "Yes, I lied - but buy it anyway."

Enjoy the horsemeat, as it were.