Bookworm Wednesday: James Frey

Who? James Frey

What? two brilliant pieces of literature about rehab, being ‘A million Little Pieces’ and ‘My Friend Leonard’

I’ve read quite a lot in my short existence, but this afternoon, while thinking about which book/author I could say something useful, I couldn’t come up with anyone. Off course, I can always tell you about my great literary heroes (Salinger, Vonnegut, Murakami, in no particular order), but I’m trying to keep those for when I’m really desparate.

Right now, I’m “copywriting” a diary from some guy who wants to get published. Some friends of him are my friends and he wanted an honest opinion. Not that I’m gonna share that opinion here, but his writing style kind of reminds me of that of James Frey’s in his two “Memoirs” ‘A million little pieces’ and ‘My Friend Leonard’.

James Frey was a heavy drug addict during his younger years and these two books tell about his experiences in rehab (that’s a million little pieces) and his time after rehab (my friend leonard). With no real writing experience, Frey just creates his own style, which is brutally honest. With short sentences, a lot of them starting with “I”, he grabs your attention, not letting go after you finished it completely.

“Kill The Fuckin’ Bastard”

Frey’s novel was once in Oprah’s bookclub, this horrible institution of American Middle class women dominating the entire book market in the US. Winfrey was haunted by the book, and liked it “because it was all based on true events”. And then some blog found out that Frey had lied in his novels. The Horror! An angry mob of Desperate housewives organized a book burning and symbolically tied up a straw version of Frey.

Maybe I live in a too fictionalized world to get the problem. Although it’s a memoir, It still is a personal reflection of his period. So what if he made up a thing or two??! anyway, there was a trial and stuff like that…

Anyway, if you all want to read some really honest document about the horror of getting clean, and that written in an extremely minimalist form of literature, you all should go read Frey.

PS: Frey has published a new novel this year, which is not about himself but about hollywood… If you’ve read it, let me know in the comments what you thought of it. I myself am not really eager to get disappointed.

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