One last post on James Frey

Yesterday Frey “admitted” that his girlfriend Lily did not hang herself in Chicago as he had written, but rather, slit her wrists.

There is no record in the mortality detail files of any young women committing suicide by slitting their wrists in Chicago around this time period that even remotely fits his description.

Maybe it was just a paper cut.

La Shawn Barber’s Corner » Oprah Eats Crow

[...] Steve Levitt over at the Freakonomics blog has the answer. I’m patiently waiting for someone to discover that “Lilly” didn’t exist at all. She’s just a figment, like many things in the book, of Frey’s active imagination. Posted by La Shawn @ 1:29 pm Filed under: Lunacy , Pop Culture     32 Comments » [...]


I had never even heard of this dude until I saw him on TV while at the gym.

Pretty audacious liar... almost like a politician.

Nay... exactly like politicians!

kathleen mccracken

i wonder if he really wanted to be a laker girl


Penxv: stop making the politicians look bad :p


They make themselves look bad.


Oprah's finding out that authors are very much like life: sometimes messy and unpredictable. First Jonathan Franzen, declining to come on the show when she chose "The Corrections", now Frey when he chose to test the limits of how far to stretch the medium of the memoir. Kudos to her for admitting she was wrong.


The main message for me was that James Frey kicked addiction in his own way--without the buffer of AA as a new addiction. I assumed he had taken poetic license with much of the actual story. That he wasn't truly a real "criminal" isn't important. There are many, many addicts who have ruined their own lives and other peoples' without becoming serious villains. Isn't the main issue whether or not James Frey truly beat addiction? Was he an addict, and is he still clean?



Given that Frey's publisher offered a full refund, I think the publisher and those who returned the books would be inclined to assume that it was a bit more than poetic license that Frey used. Dubner has already espoused that there's a world of difference between fiction and non-fiction, and I doubt Frey would have enjoyed any level of success if his work was fiction. Besides, his advice for kicking the habit without AA, I'm sure, is already sitting in the self-help section.

Also, does this mean when President Bush is lying, it's okay because he's no longer addicted to drugs or alcohol? That may be an isolated case, but that case would be supported by your rhetoric.

Lying to thousands or millions with the intent to gain profit, fame, or power should be discouraged by every individual. The consequences are destructive, costly, and end up hurting the liar in the end anyway. For a more thorough discussion, you can read the introduction to Eric Alterman's "When Presidents Lie."



Did Oprah really admit that she was wrong? Or did she merely attempt a public relations spin when defending James Frey caused her negative fall out? I think she was very surprised that her defense of of Frey didn't help either of them. Her influence wasn't as great as she had thought that it was. This is more about Oprah changing tactics and protecting her brand than admitting a mistake or holding an author accountable


Having a tech work lie to me is much more irritating than having an autobiography lie to me. I expect people to lie in their autobiography.
My listing of "more likely to lie to less likely to lie is...
So Willy Ley's "Engineer's Dreams" was very irritating to me because it contained lies about engineering, things that I discovered were not true when I read source material.
Churchill's history of World War Two did not mention the fact that we had broken the enigma codes, and that meant that we really were sandbagging in opening a second front, and that meant that Russia liberated Eastern Europe before we did. Politically the news that the conservatives lost Eastern Europe was a very hot potato indeed, which explains why they hid the enigma secret till all those responsible were dead (1975). But Churchill lied. He should have had his awards for that book retracted. He won the Pullitzer prize or something?
If I had read Frey's book it would not even have occurred to me to believe it was all or even mostly true. I would have assumed that he lied.



It has been my experience that you can expect/demand honesty when dealing with capitalists because of the economic principle of substitution...

That is why people should get their money back. Because he is a fraud.

The public sector is a whole other monster.


Beating addiction is an accomplishment like learning to swim after being thrown in a pool...

A monkey could do it... and monkeys can do it.


Oprah Winfrey publicly backed Frey during her telephone conversation with Larry King. I have to assume it is her because it sounded a lot like Oprah Winfrey. Then she did an 180 degree about turn in her 'own' show. Simply Brilliant. Somehow in the period between those two events, Oprah manages to find out the hard based facts about Frey's story.


i know that this comment is very late, but i just came upon this now. I admire James Frey very much for actually telling his story and if you didn't think that he was going to alter the truth you're pretty stupid yourself. I am dissapointed in his lies about Lily however i liked them together..


I'm not sure if this book is complete fiction or memoir. However, you have to admit that the author is a very good writer. I found both books (AMLP & MFL) to be very entertaining, enjoyable and powerful.


I would be interested to know exactly how many of the people that are quick to jump to conclusions about 'everything' in this book being ficticious are actually drug addicts or recovering drug addicts??

I know from personal experience the feelings and thoughts and this 'Fury' discribed in the book are somewhat haunting to me personally because i have experienced these things, the way he discribes them are amazingly true.

Maybe im being coy but is anyone going to give him the benefit of the doubt?? So what, he embelished some details in these books, so what?? Is there not enough human nature, human trust in this world to give him some credit?? I think its a fantastic book and it has opened up doors to drug addicts like myself and my partner that explained there is a way out, people can get better. I think people who want to make rash comments about whether or not due to a few embelishments this book is completely ficticous you should speak to someone who has had a serious crack addiction and find out whether these feelings and thoughts ring true, because i can tell you only an addict would know how to discribe them so eloquently.

Thanks for reading xx



Even though he may have lied, he wrote the best book i have ever read. So what if he lied? the book is still amazing


The interesting concept about the possibility of gambling online is that it reunites players from all the countries on every continent.


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Loved his 2 books. Looking forward to more. But James I hope you trust in Jesus for your salvation.