The book was brilliant, it spoke to hundreds of thousands of people and has been the catalyst for many addicts to get sober. It has allowed people who have never done any illicit chemicals in their lives a window view into the world of addiction, and given them a better sense of compassion for the struggle of the addict. It has empowered people with adicted loved ones with a wholly different approach to seeking help towards attaining sobriety. WHO THE FUCK CARES that he didn't really spend the three months in jail that he wrote he had? Does that REALLY change the good that has come from this book? NO! Did he write it as a design for living in some kind of Biblically prophetic self help guide sort of way? NO! Is James Frey a government official that bold face lies or embellishes upon the truth consistently hand over fucking fist where people's lives and or livelihoods are at stake? NO! I could go on and on and on, but I'll cease with the comparisons and state again that the majority of the people who are bitching the loudest about Frey's embellishments in AMLP have most likely never even been in the same room when a joint was lit or a *gasp* alcoholic drink consumed, these same uptight fuckers who live in a whitewashed and sanitized version of somepleace insane in and of itself. I'm getting to the point where I am not sure that I really trust anyone who's never been either blindingly drunk at least twice in their lives before or at the very least smoked weed a few times being a fair judge on substance 'abuse' - let alone crucifying an author who simply wrote a story, bottom line, over something as ridiculously asinine as how much time he actually served in jail for the purpose of authenticating the entirety of a story based on true events.
Jerry Stahl wrote an even more harrowing addiction/recovery memoir called Permanent Midnight, which was in part the catalyst for my own sobriety and still serves as an affirmation for it all these years later - and I knew the first time I read it in the 90's that parts of it were full of shit - but I still revere it as one of my favorite books ever and I reccommend it to anyone who wants to know what heroin addiction is REALLY like. Between it and Linda Yablonsky's The Story Of Junk, and possibly Jim Carroll's The Basketball Diaries, no one better chronicles what life as a smackhead is truly like. The point is that the book resonated with me profoundly and helped give me immeasurably valuable perspective, and AMLP did pretty much the same. THAT is it's value.
If we're going to take apart a story based on embellishments, lies, inconsistencies, contradictions, and statements of alleged fact in direct objection to base level logic, then I will personally host natiowide bible burnings and public humiliations of preachers the world over. THAT book as been responsible for more death, war, intolerance, strife, rape, murder, pilliaging, and general atrocity than any other force known to man. Get off your goddamned sanctimonious soapbox, Oprah. I'm a big fan of yours, but you really fucking pissed me off yesterday with your bullshit.
If you read this book and somehow feel betrayed now as a result of any of these revelations, please maim yourself, or at the very least fuck off. On a completely superficial closing note, I also think he's fucking hot as hell and I'd love to shag him senseless. No lie. Well, maybe. But not really.