Never mind the whole “Why give a liar a big fat contract? Because he’s famous!” thing. If this review is anything like Frey’s actual prose (and, to be fair, Carrie says it’s not), then someone ought to be giving a contract to J. Peterman. Compare:

Maslin, channelling Frey:

“James Frey loved Jack Kerouac and Charles Bukowski and maybe even John Fante but he didn’t sound like them, he didn’t sound beat or cool. He sounded hopeful. He sounded unguarded, tender. He quit posturing. He stopped romanticizing squalor. He found new energy. He sounded more like Carl Sandburg in love hate thrall with great maddening Chicago than like the usual tough gritty moody chronicler of California’s broken dreams.

He wrote about people who were drawn to Los Angeles and who they were, why they came, what they wanted, whether they got it, if they didn’t get that, then what they got instead. He looked into their hearts. But he didn’t get sloppy, not maudlin. He just made up characters and wrote as if he cared about them desperately. Bright Shiny Morning. A new chance, real or illusory, that’s what they all wanted. Bright Shiny Morning. So he made that the name of the book.”

Peterman, channeling Peterman:

“Gatsby was amazing. He even managed to see to it that the book about him was regarded as a novel, fiction, as though he didn’t exist.

Even Fitzgerald, by the time he was through writing it, believed he’d made the whole thing up.

There were those who knew the truth all along, of course; knew everything except where all that money came from. (Even by today’s standards, when millions mean nothing, only billions matter, Gatsby was incomprehensibly rich.)

Gatsby walked into rooms wearing a shirt with no collar. Even a little thing like that made people talk. And probably will still make them talk.

The Gatsby shirt, of course, has no collar. Only a simple collar band. The placket is simpler also: narrower. (Gatsby had them made in France, originally.)

The cotton we have used in our uncompromising replica of Gatsby’s shirt is so luminous, in and of itself, that even a person who notices nothing will notice something.

Gatsby, of course, could afford stacks of these shirts; rooms of them. Never mind. All that matters is that you have one, just one. A piece of how things were.”

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