Can someone explain to me how Ben Mezrich's imaginatively enhanced nonfiction is different/more okay than what James Frey did?
With the amount of scandal that faux-memoirists and creative non-fiction liars have caused in the past few months, I find it odd that more people aren't upset about this author's free-wheeling take on the genre.
I seem to be the only person in publishing who wasn't totally outraged by the whole James Frey thing, and the last thing I want to do is run Ben Mezrich up on a rail here, especially since I haven't yet read his NYT bestseller Bringing Down the House. I also think that people tend to be too naive about print media, assuming that because something is inked on newsprint in the Globe or the Times or printed in a book, it's a real, honest to God fact. I tend to view media with a more suspicious eye, largely because so many of my cohorts in my Sarah Lawrence days were borderline conspiracy theorists. In the end, everything we write & say is filtered through our bias, thus whatever version of "the truth" a person tells is actually more like a fact-opinion-bias-based cocktail; we can only hope that it's well balanced.
But yeah, this article makes Ben Mezrich sound like Pinocchio. I'm just saying...