The Blurb of Death: The collected blurbs of James Frey and JT Leroy

February 13, 2006 | 12 books mentioned 2 min read

The New York Times has a little piece about books that have been blurbed by recently discredited authors. Taking the cake is Nic Kelman’s Girls which was blurbed by both JT Leroy and James Frey.

Just for fun, here are some more blurbs from each.


  • “[This] should join Catch-22 and The Things They Carried as this generation’s defining literary expression of men at war.” for The Last True Story I’ll Ever Tell by John Crawford (Note how he cites two works of fiction in blurbing a memoir.)
  • “Charlie Huston is a bad-ass writer, Six Bad Things is a bad-ass book. I loved it, absolutely loved it, as I did his first book. Can’t wait for whatever else comes from him.” for Six Bad Things by Charlie Huston
  • Blue Blood is real, authentic, true. Beautiful and inspiring, terrifying and heartbreaking. It is a great book.” for Blue Blood by Edward Conlon
  • “Perverse and somewhat depraved, Rod Liddle’s fiction is a sexy but not too beautiful montage of what happens when people succumb to their urges and fantasies without considering the consequences.” for Too Beautiful for You by Rod Liddle
  • “I have read many translations of this ancient text but Mitchell’s is by far the best.” for Tao Te Ching translated by Stephen Mitchell
  • And finally there’s an “ exclusive” where Frey reviews Jay McInerney’s new novel, The Good Life (review available here until Amazon realizes it and gets rid of it): “It’s also a deeply personal book, McInerney’s most personal since Bright Lights, and it feels to me like I’m reading about variations of McInerney’s own life. He, like Fitzgerald, is at his best when he’s putting his own experiences into the lives of his characters, and I’ve never felt more of McInerney, or felt more vulnerability, which to me is a sign of strength in a writer, Unfortunately, Fitzgerald’s life was unsustainable. He died drunk, penniless, alone, forgotten. McInernery could have followed his path, and it sometimes seemed like he would. Thankfully he didn’t. People wondered what kind of writer Fitzgerald might have been had he lived. McInerney, his closest succesor, is starting to show us.”

And two more from Leroy:

  • “Corgan steps to the plate at the first scent of menace, prepared, as one who is born into the language of battle. His hands might be balled tight, but his soul absorbs what his fists cannot truly deflect. Never just the spectator, Corgan transforms his world into the palpable, lyrical beauty of the heartbreak of one who cannot turn away, allowing us to get as close as we dare without blinking.” for Blinking with Fists: Poems by Billy Corgan
  • “Really, really great…close-to-the-nerve honesty, severe suffering, intertwined with that leavening cynical humor.” for Important Things That Don’t Matter by David Amsden

created The Millions and is its publisher. He and his family live in New Jersey.

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