sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

.....Things go from bad to worse for James Frey. Will this guy ever publish another book? I also have a sneaking suspicion that any pending movie deals have been called off.

For me, here's the key: Frey thought about publishing "A Million Little Pieces" as an autobiographical novel. He should of held out.

Frey's agent:

"Early in the submission process, James raised the issue of whether he could publish it as an autobiographical novel, only, he said, to spare his family undue embarrassment, not because it wasn't true. I told him I would bring it up with a few publishers, which I did, and the response was unanimous: if the book was true, it should be published as a memoir."

How about this: Publishers didn't think the book would sell as many copies as a novel. But why? Can intelligent readers not assume that novels told in the first person are reflecting real-life experience, depending on the time setting?

Like this passage from The Kite Runner, where Amir describes his father's U.S. politics following their flight from Soviet Afghanistan:

"He loathed Jimmy Carter, whom he called a 'big-toothed cretin.' In 1980, when we were still in Kabul, the U.S. announced it would be boycotting the Olympic Games in Moscow. 'Wah wah!' Baba exclaimed with disgust. "Brezhnev is massacring Afghans and all that peanut eater can say is I won't come swim in your pool.' Baba believed Carter had unwittingly done more for communism than Leonid Brezhnev......

"What America and the world needed was a hard man. A man to be reckoned with, someone who took action instead of wringing his hands. That someone came in the form of Ronald Reagan. And when Reagan went on TV and called the Shorawi 'the Evil Empire,' Baba went out and bought a picture of the grinning president giving a thumbs up. He framed the picture and hung it in our hallway, nailing it right next to the old black-and-white of himself in his thin necktie shaking hands with King Zahir Shah."

Real, or made up? We don't know for sure, but it's still a compelling point of view.


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