An educator bloogging about graphic design.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Reality Fiction

Last night while surfing the net, I ran across the Smoking Gun story on James Frey’s book A Million Little Pieces. In it William Bastone claims that Frey exaggerated his own life in creating the book. Today I caught the tail end of an interview with him on All Things Considered.

Speaking as a reader of the book, I could care less whether the book is fact or fiction. The only detail in which I think that is important really is the fact that the book makes a case against the twelve step program. It’s a time-tested program that should not be dismissed by addicts the way it is by the character in the book.

But having said that, I rush to point out that I love this book. It speaks to me in a way that no other addiction or recovery book, or any recent novel for that matter, has. The tight structure of the book, the bluntly stylized writing (no quotation marks or clear paragraph breaks, and an idiosyncratic set of capitalization rules) and the beat-down-but-not-beaten protagonist make this a great book. I picked it up because I know an addict, but I’m writing now because it’s a great book.

Anyone reading Smoking Gun’s slam should check out the book for themselves. It will shatter Bastone’s critique into a million little pieces. Click here to here the author talk about his book and read from it.


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