|JOHN MURRAY PUBLISHERS|
the observer Sun 22 March 2009
After public disgrace and the fearsome opprobrium of Oprah, many expected James Frey would never publish again. In fact, international criticism seems to have acted as a shot of adrenaline; Frey has produced a novel that is defiant in both its grammatical rebellion and its fierce pace. The epitaph "nothing in this book should be considered accurate" can be read as a sarcastic jibe to his detractors. Against the imposing backdrop of LA, Frey brings together a film star, a bum, a teenage couple and a Mexican maid, whose stories play out in a flurry of text unslowed by speech marks. But the cast plays second fiddle to the city itself and the constant interpolation of LA facts and vignettes prevent them from ever really finding form.