Friday, January 13, 2006

A Million Little Sales

Have you been following the flack about James Frey and his book "A Million Little Pieces?" Evidently, the book is a "non-fiction" selection that Oprah featured in her book club. Frey went to school in St. Joseph, Michigan, in the mid 80's, and wrote about stuff that happened here -- including the deaths of two high school girls (Jane Hall and Melissa Sanders) in 1986.

Frey says he was involved. The police reports and others who remember the incident say otherwise. Even Miss O herself has gone public on Larry King and other places, defending Frey.

But he now admits that he embellished certain incidents. (In my book, "embellished" means "made up," which is the definition of "fiction.")

The book has been out since 2003 and sold well, as I understand it. But numbers are skyrocketing since this "scandal" erupted. This week, the AP covered the story and it made headlines (literally) in area newspapers from St. Joseph to South Bend, Indiana.

Frey's doing ok -- the book is being turned into a movie, scheduled for release later this year. Laurence Dunmore (who directed 2004's "The Libertine" with Johnny Depp, Samantha Morton, and John Malkovich, among others...) is attached to direct. No cast has been named yet, however.

The cynic in me (who, if she were a real person, would look exactly like Estelle, Joey Tribiani's chain-smoking agent from "Friends") wonders just how much of this furor was manufactured. The book's been out for 3 years without causing such a ruckus. But there's a movie coming. Gotta get name recognition any way we can. There is NO SUCH THING as bad publicity! And nothing sells like controversy.