The Smoking Gun & James Frey

I’m not sure what to think about this one.  I hold James Frey up there pretty high; the guy started out doing pretty much what we do (and have done) here, and then took it to the next level, becoming a best selling author not once, but twice.  This guy is definitely a motivating factor as to why Junkylife is even around, he and Lonny Shavelson (just to give some credit.)

Frey’s website can be found here, at Big Jim Industries.  Not that I need to direct any more traffic that way, it looks like they’re reverting some of it to a Lao Tzu book at Amazon for the time being.  I can’t see the site right now, but I’m certain that Frey keeps a weblog similar to those kept here.

A Million Little Pieces

So a few weeks after Frey appears on Oprah to promote his book, the Smoking Gun comes out with some rather serious information concerning falsities in Frey’s first book, A Million Little Pieces, one of which apparently can be verified (and has been by USA Today.)  A detail or two, such as Frey’s claim to have, at one time, punched a cop during an arrest.  Interviewed, the arresting officer says Frey was taken in without incident, quietly, and quickly posted bond.  While one has to ask, who trusts a cop, it appears that the Smoking Gun has uncovered legal documentation that backs up some of these allegations and not in Frey’s favor. 

What surprises me is how hard these organizations are working to discredit Frey.  Falsities or not (and certainly not to down-play Frey), but up until his recent success, his story is not all that uncommon.  What is it about this guy that makes TSG want to go after him in the first place?  Is it the success of an addict that some folks find repulsize, or is it simply the addict himself?

My Friend Leonard

Either way, too bad.  Despite James’ views on what causes addiction, I loved both of these books and will always think highly of them, even if the whole thing were to be proven untrue.  After reading his first, I sent an email to James and was surprised to get a response.  Frey and I exchanged emails every now and then over the course of a couple of years and was always friendly and insightful.  We both went to the same rehab and in fact were in the same unit so certain details of the book meant a little more to me then maybe the average reader. I personally hope Frey is able to supply the necessary detail in order to confirm his writings and move forward with his success.  I’ll certainly be looking out for new works and look forward to catching the book-based film in the works.

3 thoughts on “The Smoking Gun & James Frey

  1. Having just read the first book and being eager to read the second, I can’t fault the guy on his ability to tell a riveting tale. As for whether or not it’s true? Well, I can’t help feeling a tad ripped off…

    It also opens up some interesting ethical questions for me, personally. Knowing as I do someone who plans to publish her own story, and knowing as I do that that story has been embellished in the extreme… well, I’ve been asking myself, would I “spill the beans” and call bullshit? Still not sure, there.

    I guess there’s an obligation for authors to tell us just how much of the truth they’re writing… that’s my opinion, anyway.


  2. I cannot believe what Oprah put James through. I read his book when it first came out and loved it. I still love it. I am a mother of an recovering alcoholic/drug user and my heart went out to James. He looked absolutely crushed. I pray that all these people who want to “out” others lives are so perfect that they will never make mistakes. As someone said…Bill Clinton got off a lot easier than James. James…you have my support and I will continue to read your books. You are a brilliant writer. Oprah made sure that she looked good and she did this at the expense of James.


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