Saturday, November 7, 2009
I just, just finished up James Frey's Bright Shiny Morning, which I picked up awhile back after reading Irvine Welsh's near-ridiculously laudative review. 'The literary comeback of the decade,' he called it. (Well geez, I said to myself, if Welsh says so...)
Sure enough, he was right.
Looking at Morning apart from the ever-famous, ever-loathed Million Little Pieces, you learn a few things about this loved/hated guy, James Frey. 1. He can write. His zingy, McCarthyesque, lack of punctuation is, at best, a revelation and, at worst, a little annoying; either way, it adds to the character of his novels positively. 2. He knows people. Maybe he lied, maybe his publishers screwed him, maybe Oprah made him look like a bum -- no matter -- he's got a startlingly clear eye for reading (and drawing) people. 3. He's ambitious as all hell. Bright Shiny Morning is as big a book as an author has written in years -- (and if you haven't heard, it's about everybody's favorite city to hate, Los Angeles) . Brawny, sweeping, holistic -- you name it -- it's really got it all. The gangs. The homeless. Venice. The babes at Venice. Moviestar dreams. Moviestar duds. Hidden lives. Rich lives. Megastars. Meth. Megamegastars. Machinations big and small, everything, truly everything. And it's fun. And it's sad. And it's great.
To sum it all up, ll I can say is: buy it, read it, and love it, even if you still think of Frey as being another poor excuse for Oprah's toilet paper. Welsh was right. Bright Shiny Morning really is the biggest literary comeback of the decade, (you just have to read it and let it be!).
(And PS: Try Beeroking this one with Natural Ice. Both are cold and mean and metallic but true, true, oh so true....)