"What if the Messiah were alive today? Living in New York. Sleeping with men. Impregnating young women. Euthanizing the dying, and healing the sick. Defying the government, and condemning the holy. If you met him, and he changed your life, would you believe?"
These are some of the questions James Frey wants to explore in his new book, The Final Testament of the Holy Bible, which Frey is describing as a theoretical third volume of the Bible. "There was the Old, there was the New, and this is the Final," Frey says.
If the name James Frey sounds familiar to you, perhaps you're remembering the public dressing-down he got from Oprah when it was revealed that his 2003 addiction memoir, A Million Little Pieces, contained a sprinkling of little white lies. Or maybe not so little: as an example, the book describes his harrowing three months in jail, while in reality he was only incarcerated for a few hours.
In The Final Testament of the Holy Bible, the second coming of Christ is happening in the Bronx projects. The Messiah isn't quite what you'd expect either—his name is Ben Jones, and he's a drunk who impregnates a prostitute, smokes pot, and enjoys making out with men.
Frey has chosen to self-publish this new book (it will be released on Good Friday), with only 11,000 copies being printed. He seems to reference the Pieces debacle with his explanation about choosing the self-publishing route: "I tried to write a radical book. I'm releasing it in a radical way. Never again will somebody release my work in a way that doesn't make me comfortable."
Interesting. I wonder what, exactly, could make him uncomfortable about releasing a book deliberately created to make people uncomfortable?
Since I am neither religious nor a big James Frey fan, there's not much that sounds appealing to me about The Final Testament of the Holy Bible. If it gets amazing reviews, that's one thing, but I'm not particularly intrigued by the controversy-for-the-sake-of-controversy angle.
Will you be reading this new James Frey book?
Image via James-Frey.com