Julia's Bookshelf

I am a reader. I love books. I want to share this love.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Time Flies/James Frey

Hello! Well, it's been a week since I wrote oh so briefly. I have been getting used to my full time job -- it's amazing after 6 years you forget how tiring it is to be at an office all day. Even though I certainly worked hard when working at home, there is a completely relaxed nature about it. There are cats to snuggle, mail to read when it comes, tv to watch at lunch, etc etc. I'm getting used to it. I am still reading "oh the glory of it all." I'm finding it a bit of a slog, though I'm not sure if this is because I'm so tired at night (and getting up early) or because I don't feel compelled to keep turning pages. I'm definitely going to finish it and I'm looking forward to it, but it's slow going. I keep looking at the other books in my office, all neatly stacked, waiting to get read. I haven't even purchased any new ones! So much to read. Now, regarding James Frey and his book of exaggerations. When the story first broke, I didn't think much about it. It sounded like one incident that he blew up to make him look more like a cranky dude than he really was. It didn't feel like it permeated the rest of the book. But now after more and more comes out that he seriously changed or made up, I'm really bummed. I didn't watch the Oprah where she cut him to ribbons. I couldn't do it, I was too uncomfortable. I will give him a couple of points for showing up. I understand when you are writing memoir that you have to make up actual conversation, but the gist of it and most of the words need to be true. I also understand changing people's names and perhaps a few locations to protect identity, but not inventing new things altogether. I was moved and amazed by the book when I read it years ago. (Way before Oprah ever got a hold of it....hee hee) I am sorry to know that much of it could not be true. Would it have moved me less if I read it as fiction? Probably not. It's not such a unique story that the fact that it is *real* makes it better. Angela's Ashes really took me somewhere. I don't know if I could have read it as fiction -- it's so depressing that I was more invested in knowing that little Frankie finally got out and was able to write the book and be successful. Will I stop reading memoirs? Heck no. Will I still write one? Probably.


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