This is from Jacket Copy, the Los Angeles Times
The first fruit of James Frey's fiction factory
January 3, 2011 | 8:13 am
James Frey achieved a strange fame with his bestselling memoir that proved not entirely true, "A Million Little Pieces." After going on "Oprah" to promote his book, he was brought back to face her displeasure about its exaggerations.
He moved to New York and wrote a big book set in Los Angeles. "Bright Shiny Morning" came out in 2008; David L. Ulin, who was then L.A. Times books editor, wrote it was "a terrible book. One of the worst I've ever read."
But a little literary criticism wasn't going to slow Frey down. As New York magazine reported in November, Frey has created Full Fathom Five, a company that recruits young MFA students to co-write novels with him -- for as little as $500, $250 or even nothing -- in hopes of sharing in the profits of their eventual blockbuster sale. The writing duties fell almost completely to the young writers: Frey would provide story ideas, writing guidance or polishing, and the connections to get the work published and in the right hands.
-- Carolyn Kellogg
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I'm reminded of Alexandre Dumas, who had a fiction factory of his own. He and his numerous collaborators produced a lot of wildly popular literature and plays, including The three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo. The critics scorned his work, but he got rich and squandered it all on wine and women.
Bright Shiny Morning, while it experimented with the form of the novel, was nonetheless fascinating. One of my favorites. And it may be true that there comes some point in one's memoirs that crosses the line, and that Frey crossed it in A Million Little Pieces. Let's just move it to fiction and forget it.
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