Idol Chatter

brightshinymorningbookcover.jpgJust about everyone knows about James Frey’s fall from grace and off the best-seller list with his faux memoir “A Million Little Pieces.” A public reprimand on Oprah’s couch will do that to an author. (Or anyone for that matter.)
But according to Janet Maslin’s book review, “Little Pieces of Los Angeles, Done His Way,” in the New York Times, Frey’s new novel (yes, novel: this time Frey made the smart decision of going with fiction), “Bright Shiny Morning,” set in Los Angeles, sounds pretty darn fantastic:
“His publisher called [the new novel] a dazzling tour de force. (Look, somebody had to, if only to create a comeback drama.) But that wasn’t so far off the mark…even the stray facts had their artistry. They helped turn this book into the captivating urban kaleidoscope that, most recently, Charles Bock’s “Beautiful Children” was supposed to be. Bright Shiny Morning was mobile and alert to layout, tempo, different voices, how words looked on the page. Different visual styles suited different characters. Some got long litanies of brisk, sharp dialogue. Others got dense, descriptive prose. Even the one-sentence page had its use here.”

Maslin’s review is close to an ode, and she finishes with the highest note that Frey could hope for: claiming that by writing “Bright Shiny Morning,” that this is “how James Frey saved himself.”

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