With all the hoopla surrounding Oprah’s slam of author James Frey for making up parts of his “non-fiction” autobiographical book, I must say that Frey and the publishers are getting rich on “A Million Little Pieces.” I, along with thousands of others, went out and purchased the book within the last two weeks because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
I found the book captivating but in a Michael Crichton thriller sort of way. Finding the “hero in the victim” is probably what makes it read like fiction (minus the strange formatting, sentence fragments, etc.). Wait…is it fiction? I remember quite clearly the fiction vs. nonfiction debate in a SF University High School class entitled, “The Art of Nonfiction” with teacher Jesse Berrett. Is it the job of the author to write the essence of truth in a non-fiction work or is it to portray exactly what happened? When writing several nonfiction pieces of my own for the class, I often took the liberty to adjust parts of a story to create a distilled “truth.” I don’t think I made up anything but then again I didn’t publish any of my work and sell it to millions of people.
Personally, I do not care that he made one fact or a million facts up. I enjoyed reading it as a good story, nothing more, nothing less.