Random House, Frey admit book embellished

In the latest embarrassing chapter in the James Frey mea culpa saga, the "A Million Little Pieces" author and his publisher on Wednesday said they would be adding notes to future versions of the book acknowledging Frey's embellishments to his nonfiction memoir.

According to the Associated Press, Frey's note, as well as Random House's note (Click here for PDF) are also now posted on the publisher's Web site.

"I didn't initially think of what I was writing as nonfiction or fiction, memoir or autobiography," Frey wrote in his note (Click here for PDF). "I wanted the stories in the book to ebb and flow, to have dramatic arcs, to have the tension that all great stories require. I altered events and details all the way through the book."

For its part, Random House noted that it "is not the policy or stance of this company that it doesn't matter whether a book sold as nonfiction is true. A nonfiction book should adhere to the facts as the author knows them...We have questioned (Frey) about the allegations and have sadly come to the realization that a number of facts have been altered and incidents embellished."

The controversy began on Jan. 8 when The Smoking Gun revealed that Frey had exaggerated some of the stories in the book. On on her show, accusing him of betraying her after she had promoted his book in her book club and then stood up for him as the charges mounted.

In any case, while Frey's nonfiction cred is taking a serious licking, there's little doubt that the kerfuffle is helping his bottom line. After all, said the Random House note, "Although demand for the book remains high, we are not currently reprinting or fulfilling orders until we make the above changes."

In other words, Random House is essentially saying, "We're going to keep on hauling in the cash 'cause you can't stop looking at the trainwreck. We just want you to know you're being hoodwinked when you hand over the greenbacks."

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