Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Five fake memoirs still worth reading

Jeff Somers is the author of Lifers, the Avery Cates series from Orbit Books, Chum from Tyrus Books, and the Ustari Cycle from Pocket/Gallery, including We Are Not Good People. At the B&N Reads blog he tagged five hoax memoirs still worth reading, including:
A Million Little Pieces, by James Frey

The most famous hoax memoir of recent history, Frey’s hugely successful book started off life as a novel he couldn’t sell. The story of Frey’s supposed battles with addiction, time spent in rehab and jail, and his relationship with a girlfriend who eventually killed herself—it’s all fodder for a powerful story. Frey clearly had serious problems, and although he’s admitted to changing and exaggerating huge portions of the book (journalists have tried repeatedly to find any evidence for some of the most outlandish sections without success), the parts that illustrates the way addiction takes over and then destroys lives ring powerfully true. Frey didn’t suffer overmuch for his crimes; aside from a bit of public humiliation and a legendary Oprah shaming, his book still sells, and he still writes and runs his own publishing company.
Read about another entry on the list.

A Million Little Pieces is among Lauren Passell's seven books that seemed too good to be true...and were, and Benjamin Radford's top five faked memoirs.

--Marshal Zeringue