February 06, 2006

Intellectual Betters/Financial Inferiors

A couple of quotes from Stephen King's piece on James Frey in Entertainment Weekly:

At the beginning of the show, the best-selling memoirist was the deer-in-the-headlights Frey first glimpsed in the Larry King softball interview earlier in the month; call him L'il Jim Dorito. By the end, Frey had been reduced to a sullen, downcast nonentity, sitting silently with his chin tucked into the open collar of his shirt as his intellectual betters and financial inferiors, how weird is that sat around debating the eternal question what is truth. It's beauty, stupid, I can hear John Keats saying, over there in the corner by his Grecian urn, and there ain't none here. True. This ritual scourging may have been necessary, but it had all the charm of squeezing a pimple on your neck.
Go to one of those church-basement meetings where they drink coffee and talk about the Twelve Steps and you can hear similar stories on any night, and that's why the founders of this group emphasized complete honesty not just in ''420 of 432 pages,'' as James Frey claimed during his Larry King interview, but in all of it: what happened, what changed, what it's like now. Yeah, stewbums and stoners lie about the big stuff, like how much and how often, but they also lie about the small things. Mostly just to stay in practice. Ask an active alcoholic what time it is, and 9 times out of 10 he'll lie to you. And if his girlfriend killed herself by slashing her wrists (always assuming there was a girlfriend), he may say she hung herself, instead. Why? Basically, to stay in training.
(via Book Glutton.) Posted by Dr. Frank at February 6, 2006 08:36 PM | TrackBack

I really like Stephen King, but I object to his broad-sweeping generalization on substance abuser's lack of honesty. I was a potaholic for a long time, and sure I did my sahre of lying (mostly to myself) but I would certainly be honest about the way my girlfriend killed herself if she did. I might tell you I didn't spend my rent on an ounce of New York Diesel, but I'd tell you the right fucking time at least.

Posted by: chris riordan at February 7, 2006 02:31 AM


Here's anothr way of looking at it.

Posted by: Mark at February 7, 2006 02:01 PM

Is King really the one to be talking about anybody else's "intellectual betters and financial inferiors"? But do I share his skepticism that Lilly ever even existed.

Also, I want to read Cell, which is his first book in 10 years that's sounded worth picking up.

Posted by: Jim Treacher at February 9, 2006 08:14 AM

I have recently rediscovered Stephen King. I've only been reading only things lke "The Stand" and "The Gunslinger" but he is pretty fricking awesome. He is not Dean Koontz or Danielle Steele. He's got the stuff, he is a really good storyteller. Sometimes good writers get their just desserts before they stab themselves in the neck.

Posted by: chris riordan at February 9, 2006 12:11 PM

That Potahol is nasty stuff. Good thing you gave it up.

Posted by: Stigfink at February 10, 2006 05:07 PM