Monday, December 29, 2008

A Million Little Pieces of Bread Over the Fence

They just keep coming. First there was James Frey. You remember little Jimmy, don'tcha? Yeah, he was the one with the made-up book about his drug and alcohol experiences. You know, bloody and vomiting his guts out on an airplane. Frey always did have a line of b.s., but never could quite get it together as a novelist. For that matter, his b.s. wasn't all that close to the mark, either; anyone who's done hard time could tell he was lying by looking at him--or reading his books.

Besides all of which, his book was so poorly written that I could produce a better book by teaching a non-writer how to write. But he fooled the publisher, fooled Oprah, damaged the credibility of addiction recovery programs, and still has the money.

This month it's the Rosenblatts, with their fabricated tales of a Polish girl tossing bread and other goodies over a World War II concentration camp fence to a teenage boy ... the beginning of the perfect romance which goes on to have them meet by chance in New York years later and fall into predestined love. In addition to fooling the same publisher and Oprah once again, this one also damages the credibility of the Holocaust, according to the media.

Both books were exposed--but not before fooling Oprah and getting movie deals. Now I understand why Oprah decided there would be no more Oprah's Book Club. Between those and other recent fakes--among them the fabricated story of a white kid growing up in south-central Los Angeles and a fairy tale about a little girl rescued by wolves (a unified, transsexual Romulus and Remus?)--how can you believe anything you read?

Jimmy, Herm, Roma, Marg, Misha--where're your consciences? Just how many pounds did your respective editors and or ghosts sweat off in laboring to make your manuscripts presentable? And which of you pulled the old trick of getting shills to buy enough copies at bookstores around the country to force your title onto the bestseller lists?

What a bunch of useless clowns! Your trash sucked up money and attention that might have gone to authors of far more interesting--and true--memoirs.

Funny ... in all the uproar, nobody has brought up young Jayson, the New York Times reporter who faked sources and interviews. I imagine he's working on his life story; that should be a whopper!

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