Janet Maslin loved Bright Shiny Morning. The teaser text on the New York Times books portal is "James Frey stepped up to the plate and hit one out of the park with his new book." Ms. Maslin’s review, published today, is not only an unequivocal rave, but a tribute to Mr. Frey’s choppy trademark style: "His publisher called it a dazzling tour de force. (Look, somebody had to, if only to create a comeback drama.) But that wasn’t so far off the mark…. even the stray facts had their artistry…. Even the one-sentence page had its use here."
It’s a funny, college-y little gimmick, reminiscent of the time Michiko Kakutani wrote about Benjamin Kunkel’s Indecision in the voice of Holden Caulfield. Mr. Frey’s editor at HarperCollins, Tim Duggan, called the Maslin review "pretty extraordinary."
"That was huge for James," Mr. Duggan wrote in an e-mail, "and it was certainly hard-earned and well-deserved."