James Frey, “True Confessions!”

Oprah feels duped. James Frey of A Million Little Pieces says Lilly, the girl he was in love with, didn’t hang herself, but committed suicide by slashing her wrists. Frey can’t recall if the dentist really gave him two root canals without novocaine. Yet he calls the book a memoir.

“All the way through the book I altered details about every one of the characters,” Frey said, to disguise true identities.[…]

Frey said he had developed an image of himself for the book as “being tougher than I was, badder than I was” as a “coping mechanism.”

In my review of the book I said

It’s the story of a young man and the horror he went through before arriving at an alcohol and drug treatment center. It’s the story of getting sober. It’s the story of his parents facing the truth about their son and the son taking responsibility for his actions. The writing is honest and comes from the heart. The story may make you scream at a society that loses so many to drugs and alcohol.

Presidents have written their memoirs after leaving office and I know they write their stories to place themselves in the best historical light. They selectively choose, adding and subtracting. Is Frey any different?

Recently NM Gov. Richardson came clean about his baseball career. His bio listed him as a top baseball draft choice. Didn’t happen! We all carry around stories of our exploits that are bigger than life and we bury those things that are better left unexamined.

I have heard stories worse than Frey’s. I have heard men and women talk about living in card board boxes, about driving drunk and killing a child, about selling their bodies or their child’s body for a fix. I have heard stories of drinking at a young age and immediately getting addicted and I have heard stories about massive quantities of alcohol injested. I have heard drunk-a-logs from a recovering alcoholic that have grown over time to gain status among “the real alkies”. Who cares! Frey was a drunk and a drug addict and he recovered. He doesn’t believe in the 12-steps, so he was a “dry drunk” just holding on! Now he can get on with his eduacation:

10 Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11 Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12 Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

They say it’s the secrets we carry that will drive us back to the bottle. He should thank God or his higher power that this secret is out.

It still was a damn good book, that I shed tears over and says to us all “there but for the Grace of God”.

James Frey Oprah Mover Mike

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