“Today’s piece in the Observer is essentially about how agent Eric Simonoff tried to make it seem like publishers were clamoring to buy the James Frey novel — while really they were just vaguely curious to see whether it was any good. It closes with a quote from the man who got an exclusive on the project and bought it for a still-undisclosed but apparently large amount of money: Harper publisher Jonathan Burnham. ‘The point is he’s written a great novel, and by summer of 2008 people will be able to approach [fraudster “novelist”] James Frey with a clearer mind. Time will have passed.’ Well, of course he’d like to think so. Does anyone else?
“‘I don’t like the tone of that,’ said one editor at a commercial house. ‘It suggests that it is the “people” who have the problem, i.e. they need a “clearer mind” in order to see the true value of James Frey’s writing. The man is a liar and a fake. He may be a good writer — it’s not like you have a be a good person to be a good writer. Actually, most writers are horrible people. At the same time, I would have felt icky about paying someone that shady 7 figures. Does morality have any place in a bottom-line business? I’m not sure anymore.'”