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LA Times: James Frey Rises From The Ashes

from the Los Angeles Times

James Frey rises from the ashes

James Frey

Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Author James Frey is promoting the release of his latest novel “Bright, Shiny Morning,” a book about life in Los Angeles.

He’s trying to step clear of ‘A Million Little Pieces’ as he publicizes his novel.

By Scott Timberg, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
May 20, 2008


JAMES FREY was back in his old neighborhood, strolling happily along the Venice boardwalk, enjoying a sunny day in a T-shirt and aviator shades as he passed tattoo shops and a man who was selling what he claimed to be “philosophy.” It doesn’t get any better than this, Frey’s body language seemed to say.

“This,” Frey, 38, said. “This doesn’t exist in New York. This weather — it’s like this in Venice all year. Never that hot here because of the ocean. I mean, dude, every day — all year.”

That’s when he bumped into an old neighbor, who still lives across from the house where Frey wrote the 2003 book, “A Million Little Pieces.”

“Jesus! I thought you won the Nobel Prize for literature!” shouted Marvin Klotz, a retired English professor, hanging out on a bench with some friends. He’d seen all the recent press. “Newsweek! Time! Vanity Fair!”

“Washington Post, I got a good one,” said Frey, who talks through his nose with a bored-guy flatness.

Frey could have been just another local boy made good. Then Klotz, a dead ringer for Jerry Garcia and Albert Einstein, introduced the writer to another friend as “the disgraced James Frey!”

“The most notorious author in America,” Frey offered, smiling his crooked smile.

They all cracked up, laughing in the seaside sun.

There was a time, not too long ago, when Frey’s travails were no laughing matter. “A Million Little Pieces” became a critical hit and a huge bestseller. Bret Easton Ellis called it “a heartbreaking memoir defined by its youthful tone and poetic honesty”; Pat Conroy dubbed it “The ‘War and Peace’ of addiction.”

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Posted on May 20, 2008 by Editor

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