Well, time to get over it, people. He was a scapegoat. The truth is, plenty of writers, before and after Frey, did exactly the same thing. A few were found out; most, I suspect, weren't, and contend to this day everything in their memoirs really happened.
If you haven't figured this out yet, I'm a BIG fan of Frey. BIG. In Oprah's last full week of shows in late May, Frey appeared on two of them. The most controversial interviewee ever to appear on "Oprah" confessed he got caught up in the excitement of his first book getting published, and he admits to making grave mistakes in presenting pieces of it as fact when they were fiction. Case closed. From the beginning, I thought there was nothing to forgive. A Million Little Pieces is an exceptional book, and Frey is an exceptional writer. Let's move on.
Frey's latest novel, The Final Testament of the Holy Bible, was released recently, and it's a doozie. Many will stand up and take note of it--if not become immediately offended--from its title alone. I just finished reading it this morning, and I was impressed. Very impressed. VERY IMPRESSED.
The style of Frey's writing is different from his other books, although he's still done away with most conventions, like quotation marks, dashes, etc. I like that about Frey. He makes language work for him. He controls language; language doesn't control him. I know his style angers purists, who find his use of English arrogant. But the whole point of language is to communicate, and, believe me, quotation marks or not, Frey communicates. His writing is pared down and eminently understandable. I suspect a fifth or sixth grader would understand Testament.
Why do I want you to read this book? Well, first, because my blog is about working to lift the experience of being gay, and you will be lifted when you read Frey describe throughout the novel how badly gay and lesbian people are treated in our modern society at the hands of Christian conservatives, and how they should be treated instead. Frey gets it in ways few others do. We get it. Frey gets it. He's a supporter, believe me. You will respect him for his views on gay people.
Second, because I wanted to write a post about how Testament made me feel, but I'd rather you read the book and decide for yourself how you feel afterward.
In closing, I say this. Be prepared. Frey turns the concept of organized religion on its head. Not God, organized religion. And I believe organized religion needs to be turned on its head, because of how many of us were raised to accept it from day one, without the chance to ask our own questions and make up our own minds about what we believe and what we don't believe. And because of what's been done in the name of God for centuries.
Be warned, this book will be blasphemous for many readers. It could make you very uncomfortable. It could make you nod in acknowledgement. It could upset the apple cart of what you've believed to be true for perhaps your entire life. It will force you to think about your own relationship to religion and to God. And, I believe, it will teach you something.
I challenge you to read James Frey's The Final Testament of the Holy Bible. I ask that you be open to what he has to say. I promise, you will come away changed, one way or the other.
(By the way, the hardcover edition of Frey's self-published, limited edition book is expensive--$50 U.S. or Canadian. Perhaps that's because only 10,000 copies were made. I bought the ebook version for a fifth of that price. Worth every penny.)