But I can't buy it. The only reason I can see for Oprah's 180 on James Frey - after defending him on Larry King - is that she felt the backlash swelling among her fans. Link: Freakonomics Blog.
This whole controversy could mean tough times for the memoir industry. Memoirists have been making shit up for years since the demise of fiction's primacy under the rubric of "emotional truth". Frey got a little too greedy in his exaggerations, now publishers appear to be expected to vet books the way journalism is vetted.* (Sometimes vetted anyway. Hunter S. Thompson made up stuff up too.) All because some readers were foolish enough to expect that books labeled as nonfiction should contain no fiction. Foolish foolish public spoiling the fun. But sarcasm aside, the inability to sell one's fiction for the higher advances memoirs offer seems to me too poor an excuse to represent fiction as fact.
ACCORDING TO his opponent, Canadian Conservative Party Leader Stephen Harper exposed "an agenda really drawn from the extreme right in the United States." He favored the Iraq war, opposed the Kyoto treaty on global warming, and is a social conservative to boot.
Picked this up from my local supermarket which offered it at a deep discount. Enjoyed it immensely, as I have done with the two most recent King's before it, The Colorado Kid, and the final volume of The Dark Tower. I suspect that those who will be disappointed with the way those ended will be disappointed with this one as well, but for me, they represent a sophistication in King's evolving story-telling technique that I find enjoyable and welcome.
Jim Emerson, the (very good) news reporter at rogerebert.com writes:
This is one of those "you couldn't make it up" items. As Roger Ebert reported from Sundance, director Kirby Dick ("Sick: The Life & Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist") premiered his new documentary "This Film Has Not Been Rated," about the secretive inner workings of the MPAA ratings board. Dick finds that their standards (sex vs. violence, studios vs. independents) are slippery, and that the people on the board itself are not who they've always been said to be: Some are parents, but none have underage children, and parental guidance for those 18 or younger was the whole idea behind the ratings in the first place.
But it gets better. Turns out, John Horn of the LA Times reports, that the anti-piracy campaigners at the MPAA actually made an illicit copy of Dick's movie for their own purposes when it was submitted for a rating.
“The Whited Child” by Michael Canfield is a short, atmospheric dark fantasy in which the White Mountains mete out healing of a mysterious plague one victim at a time, at terrible cost. The medium is a human named Bad Pete who deals with the villagers in these transactions through a child called the idiot boy. They don’t like one another, but times are bad, getting worse; they are both hungry, and there has to be compromise. A grim tale, competently told, which will please those who like their fantasies dark.
The dark magic of the mountains holds a poor village hostage in "The Whited Child." Michael Canfield paints a vivid picture of life on the outskirts of poverty in this tale of an outcast and the high price he extracts to save the sickened children of the townsfolk he despises. But, sometimes the mountains demand their own price...
You can order an issue from Project Pulp.
From Tim Pratt's The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl:
Jonathan lay awake in the Pigeonhole, where the day's old heat went to die, listening to the whispering in the corners of the room.
And from Tom Piccirilli's Grave Men:
Priest snapped awake in his seat, reaching for his knife. He had a mouthful of blood from biting his tongue, and the taste only reminded him of murder.
And Loren Estleman's The Master Executioner:
On the last day of May 1866, a trooper named Ervine,walking punishment detail at Fort Riley with a log over one shoulder for reporting to duty drunk, threw his log at a guard, crushing the man's skull, stole a horse, and rode forty miles to a stagecoach stop in Washington County, where he raped a backward serving girl and stole a fresh mount.