Gilbert Cruz
September 15, 2006 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Embattled faux memoirist James Frey and publisher Random House have reached a tentative settlement for lawsuits filed by outraged readers. The quick fix: Any person who bought Frey’s hardcover before Jan. 26 will be reimbursed $23.95 after mailing in the randomly chosen page 163-164 as proof of purchase. EW reviews exactly what you’d be missing if you part with it: ”Why are you trying to kill me?” writes Frey — a line he no doubt whispers in the dark to an oversize poster of Oprah above his bed. Then the melancholy takes an unexpected turn into ire, spewing forth what should’ve been the catchphrase of 2003: ”I’ll kill you to death till you’re dead and die, you Sons of Whores.” Between that and such Hemingwayesque musings as ”I pour a cup of the coffee and I take a sip and it’s hot and it’s bitter and it’s good,” it reads like a Frey parody. Sadly, it’s not. DGilbert Cruz

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