Wow. After I left work yesterday, emily gould posted a scathing response to the news that James Frey was back in the book biz with a 7-figure deal to Harper. On one hand, she's totally right. It's crazy that this dude could deceive millions of people, make Oprah look like an idiot, and still manage to come out on top. Plus, I totally had the hots for the bad boy image he created, and after seeing him reduced to a pathetic shell, I totally lost my hard-on (or lady equivalent of) for him. Hmm, although, thinking about it now, it was a pretty badass move to play O. Lying to Oprah - that takes balls.
On the other hand, I fucking loved A Million Little Pieces and My Friend Leonard. And I'm totally curious to see what Jimmy-boy can come up when writing actual fiction, rather than a fictionalized account of his own life. So, yeah, I'm guilty of the "oooo, it's a train wreck. I must watch" effect that makes so many unworthy people famous. But the difference between Frey and say, Miss Teen South Carolina, is this - Frey became famous for writing something that people loved. Sure, his fall from grace made him even more so, but at least he's coming back into the spotlight with a piece of work that could be a shot at redemption. As opposed to hitting up Fashion Week and smiling for the cameras.
So for now, I'll reserve judgement until I can get someone at Harper to send me a free copy of the book. Because, after all, Frey was the man that once said "I don't give a fuck what they think of me. I'm going to try to write the best book of my generation and I'm going to try to be the best writer." Maybe this is his chance...