Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Some 'Pieces' buyers offered refund

Shame on you Oprah for standing by a fraud and a liar, what does that say for all the honest writers out there?? I listened to your call to Larry King, in your support of this animal. Shame on you. He lied, he embellished, his "story" is tainted and should not be trusted to help another addict/alcoholic get clean and sober, because James Frey is DISHONEST!

Would you trust a dishonest soul with your life?

Hell NO!!! Shame on you Oprah!

The message is about redemption? Bullshit, not when that redemption was gained through lies and deceit.

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NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Random House is offering refunds to readers who bought James Frey's drug and alcohol memoir "A Million Little Pieces" directly from the publisher, following accusations the author exaggerated his story.

Readers calling Random House's customer service line to complain Wednesday were told that if the book was bought directly from the publisher it could be returned for a full refund. Those who bought the book at a bookstore were told to try and return it to the store where it was bought.

"If the book was bought directly from us we will refund the purchase price in full," one Random House customer service told Reuters, adding that readers would have to return the book with the original invoice. "If you bought it at a bookstore, we ask that you return the book to the bookstore."

Only a small portion of consumers buy books directly from publishers. However, the agent said Random House normally sells books to consumers as nonrefundable but is offering refunds on Frey's book "because of the controversy surrounding it."

Random House subsequently issued a statement saying it was standard procedure to offer refunds. Bookseller Barnes & Noble Inc. also said it is standard practice to offer refunds for returned books.

Frey's memoir of alcohol and drug-induced mayhem sold 1.77 million copies last year after being chosen by Oprah Winfrey's book club in September, making it the best-selling nonfiction book in 2005. Only Harry Potter sold more copies.

But investigative Web site The Smoking Gun Sunday reported the book, published by Random House's Doubleday division, was full of exaggeration and inaccuracies.

Frey, who will appear on CNN's "Larry King Live" to discuss the controversy for the first time, has called the accusations "the latest attempt to discredit me."

"I stand by my book, and my life, and I won't dignify this bull---- with any sort of further response," Frey wrote this week on his personal Web site, bigjimindustries.com.

Publishers Weekly Senior Editor Charlotte Abbott called the Random House refunds unprecedented, and said neither she nor her colleagues "had ever heard of something like this before."

Doubleday suggested on Tuesday it was unconcerned about the book's accuracy. "Memoir is a personal history," the publisher said in a statement. "By definition, it is highly personal.

"He represented to us that his version of events was true to his recollections," Doubleday said.

Central to Frey's book, published in 2003, is his assertion that he was charged with assaulting an Ohio police officer with his car, with inciting a riot, with possession of crack cocaine and felony drunk driving -- charges that he wrote resulted in a three-month prison term.

The Smoking Gun, owned by Court TV, reported that most of those claims were not borne out by police records or by interviews with police and court officials. The Web site published the police officer's report of the key 1992 incident which shows Frey was found drunk in his car without a driver's license but did not, as he wrote, serve time for the incident or behave in the outrageous manner portrayed in his book.

Smoking Gun Editor William Bastone told Reuters, "In off-the-record interviews with us, Frey admitted embellishing facts in the book for dramatic impact."

Frey has since threatened to sue The Smoking Gun.

Frey's book was published in hardcover in 2003 and then in trade paperback with the coveted Oprah's Book Club endorsement in late September. Winfrey has not commented on the controversy surrounding the book.

Frey's October appearance on Winfrey's talk show made him an overnight literary sensation. Since the controversy, "A Million Little Pieces" has remained the No. 1 selling book on Amazon.com.

The flap is also having repercussions in Hollywood.

The Hollywood Reporter said that a planned film of Frey's memoir could now need a rehab of its own. The controversy could keep Hollywood "A" list talent away from the project so as not to taint their careers, the paper said. (Read story.)

Warner Bros. is developing the project with a production company owned by actor Brad Pitt and "ER" producer John Wells.

Random House is owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann AG.

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