Chicago Sun-Times 05-16-2007 (A Million Little Pieces)

Chicago Sun-Times 05-16-2007 (A Million Little Pieces)

Picking up the ‘Pieces’

Book of Lies – Readers can get money back – but they might get just pennies each

By Abdon M. Pallasch
Legal Affairs Reporter

Readers of James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces who felt cheated when they learned he made up much of his hard-life story of drug addiction and imprisonment can get their money back – maybe.

A federal judge in New York has approved a $2.35 million fund to be set up by Doubleday and Random House to pay $23.95 to people who purchased the hardcover and $14.95 to those who purchased the paperback – unless all 3 million or so people who bought the book before it was revealed as a fraud in 2006 write in, leaving less than a dollar per reader.

The dozen or so law firms who filed suits can fight over what’s left in the fund after readers collect their refund. Some of those leftovers are also supposed to go to a yet-undisclosed charity.

Book sales soared when Oprah Winfrey endorsed it. Then she learned the truth and criticized Frey.

No need to hunt for receipts. Paperback purchasers can send in the front page. Hardcover purchasers can send in page 163.
“Since the book is full of fabrications, class members wouldn’t want to read page 163 anyway,” said Thomas A. Zimmerman, an attorney for the book buyers.

Contributing: Eric Herman

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