Friday, September 23, 2005

How to Get Published and Be on Oprah

Well . . . you no longer have to be a dead writer to have your book become part of the Oprah Book Club. But it helps if you've been addicted, in rehab and then write about it.

I'm not saying that James Frey's story is not worthy of a book - I'm sure it is. Redemption is always a good theme - even when it's true. Especially when it's true. I'm sure it's an inspiring story.

But what bothers me is the first part of Frey's story - the drug and alcohol addiction. Is that what makes it a good read? Is it the hell he went through to kick his habit? Will this help others find themselves and get them to rehab? I doubt it - people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol rarely spend time reading.

So, tell me . . .why would I want to read this book? Just because Oprah says so?
No. I think I'll pass. I can see the results of drug and alcohol abuse any day I want - in any of the nursing homes I go to.

I want to read something different. Give me a story about women who overcome obstacles - not ones of their own making (as Frey's were), but the ones society has thrown in their paths. Give me a story about a couple over 60 who have found love --- and even (gasp!) sex. Give me a story that makes me laugh and makes me feel good.

For the drug and alcohol addiction stories . . . well, I have the news. I have the burned out nursing home residents with dementia in their fifties. I even have Kate Moss.

Sorry, Oprah - not spending my money on a book about a drug addict gone straight. Seems to me almost like someone who commits a crime and then benefits from it.

I would rather read about someone who didn't even START doing drugs. Give me those stories - they're out there.


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