Strong opinions, weakly held

Tom Socca on James Frey

I’ve been wanting to write more about lying memoirist James Frey, but I haven’t gotten around to it. In the meantime, some other people have written outstanding pieces on Frey, including the New York Observer’s Tom Socca, who says everything I would have said much more eloquently — and a lot of insightful things that didn’t occur to me as well. He even makes an interesting comparison of James Frey to George W Bush.

One thing I have noticed in this controversy is that opinions are divided very neatly along gender lines. Men seem to be much more outraged than the whole thing than women — I’m not sure exactly why. That’s not to say that women are excusing his lies, it’s just that they’re less likely to be worked up about it.


  1. Simple, men are true to their word and women are true to their feelings.

  2. Simple, men are true to their word and women are true to their feelings.

    I hope that’s a joke.

    I haven’t been following much of the controversy at all, because basically I feel indifferent to it. I suppose that puts me in the class of women not very “worked up.” But, at a time when the highest officials in government lie with impunity, when the media repeats and extends lies and distortions, when facts are routinely ignored or denigrated in favor of ideology, when science and critical thinking are disdained – why is anyone surprised that memoirists might fabricate the stories of their lives?

    My controversial theory: women have internalized much more deeply the necessary cynicism of this age; men are still a bit naive and oblivious. (As, indeed, they can afford to be, at least for awhile… ) [/cheek]

  3. I don’t think it’s what Jake suggests. My wife, for example, doesn’t approve of the memoir or Frey’s lies, she just doesn’t find the story to be significant (like Medley).

    Even though in the greater scheme of things, a memoirist who makes up his story is not a big deal, this story has still gotten under my skin like few others. I haven’t exactly put my finger on why, but I hope to get there eventually.

  4. I’ve heard about it but haven’t figured out why I should care; the only time I heard about the book at all was in the context of it being made-up, so I had no trust of this guy to lose.

    I guess I’m with the women on this.

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