In an interview with therumpus.net, writer James Frey – best known for getting bitched out by Oprah (and he also wrote A Million Little Pieces) – revealed that his next book would be about Jesus performing gay marriages and dating prostitutes.
Frey has only finished the outline for his followup to this year’s fictionaly look at Los Angeles, Bright Shiny Morning. “”It’s the third book of the Bible, called The Final Testament of the Holy Bible,” he told interviewer and fellow author Stephen Elliott. “My idea of what the Messiah would be like if he were walking the streets of New York today. What would he believe? What would he preach? How would he live? With who?”
According to the Guardian, “Frey’s latest choice of subject matter sees him following in the footsteps of Jeffrey Archer, who last year penned The Gospel According to Judas, which told the story of Jesus through the eyes of Judas. Earlier this year The Crimson Petal and the White author Michel Faber published The Fire Gospel, in which a scholar discovers a fifth gospel in a bombed Iraqi musuem which reveals that Jesus’s last words were “please, somebody, please finish me”.
If any controversy follows the publication of this book, it will be nothing new for the author who rocketed to fame in 2005 on the strength of his rehab memoir and the subsequent backlash when it was revealed to be partly fictionalized. Frey was practically outcasted because of Oprah and demonized in the literary world.
I didn’t think much of it because those types of things are often blown out of proportion. A Million Little Pieces was good, gripping even, but nowhere near as excellent as it’s reputation. And I understand how it’s power was derived from it being perceived as “true” rather than “fiction.”
Still, Frey won me over for good with his recent stint as a lowly Gawker intern, showing humility and humor. Because of that, his literary – or writing, if you will – career will be something worth following.
He told Gawker, when asked to elaborate on his still-not-written and without a book deal book, “I think most of the fundamental and evangelical Christians in this country would be revolted by him. He’d endorse gay marriage, a woman’s right to choose what they do with their bodies, a individual’s right to love any other individual, regardless of gender. I believe he’d dismiss much of the supernatural silliness in the Bible; the universe being created in a week, angels with wings flying around like superheroes, a bearded God with a thundering voice.” Huzzah!
Controversy aside, you’ve got to give it up for anyone who’s willing to piss off Oprah and Christians and lives by this philosophy: “If a book is cool, and entertaining, and moving, then get your middle finger ready and raise it often. Fuck’em all,” Frey said.
You can’t go around this world caring about what people think of you. It’s too short to care and not plow forward, aggressively into the dying night.