Would I Read This Book? Would YOU Read This Book?
Having read news accounts of Oprah Winfrey's interview with James Frey about his best-selling "A Million Little Pieces" and the subsequent revelation that the book contained some "embellishments", I've come to the conclusion that this "memoir" will not be read by me.
A memoir is supposed to be an authentic representation of the author's life. The fictional details contained therein should have been reserved for fiction, not for a non-fiction work such as this. The worst part of the tale for Oprah is, despite the earlier criticism leveled at the book by certain news agencies, she went on record to support the book and even went so far as to say that the criticisms were "much ado about nothing."
When she interviewed Frey on her show, he admitted that he made up many of the details. Her shock-and anger at having been "duped", as she put it-must have been palpable to everyone in the audience that day; it certainly was to me. What a punch in the stomach for her! Certainly, she'd never been placed in a position like this before, and having now been forced to rethink her position is something that she never counted on.
However, her opinion is not the reason I would not read it. I am selective about what I read anyway-especially where it concerns autobiographies, memoirs, whatever you call 'em. If I get the feeling that the author is not telling the truth, you can better believe that the book will not get read by me.