Theare has been a buzz on the social networks about the recent revelations about James Frey and his literary wheelings and dealings. In short,he is the new Edward Stratemeyer. If that name is not familiar, Stratemeyer formed a literary syndicate to write several different series books including Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys. He did this by hiring writers for a flat fee, giving them outlines, and having them write books that were all published under Pseudonyms. Hired authors signed secrecy pledges. Stratemeyer reaped the rewards. For years, this remained a secret. Theree have been other syndicates since then, of course. Has aany been as blatantly distasteful as that of Frey? Probably not. However,we are hardly talking about a poster boy for decency here. This is the guy who did not understand Oprah's outrage when she discovered that we were all duped by his somewhat invented memoir.
Will teens read these books? Sure, some will. The first, I A Number Four is action packed. Is it terrific? Well, not really, but there is an audience, an audience I hope I can persuade to try other books a try once they finish this one. Maybe David Gill's Black Hole Sun as a palate cleanser, as something that offers them more than action scenic after action scene just begging for a movie (and he has sold the movie rights) .
Is this a sleazy situation. Gosh yes. I felt like I needed a bath after reading the story. But, buyer beware. If you find it distasful, don't buy the books. Support folks who write their own books and do not have to resort to putting their names on the works of others.