If a best-selling memoir isn’t actually a memoir, but rather, a work of fiction, does it make it any less worthy a read? That’s the question some folks may be asking about A Million Little Pieces, the Oprah-endorsed book by James Frey (left) that was the No. 2 best-seller in the U.S. in 2005, now that a bombshell article on The Smoking Gun web site claims many of Frey’s tales of bad behavior were fabricated or embellished.

Smoking Gun editor William Bastone tells Reuters that one anecdote in which Frey writes about assaulting a police officer was, in actuality, “as vanilla an incident as you will ever see.” What’s even more eyebrow-raising to me, though, is Bastone’s comment that “in off-the-record interviews with us, Frey admitted embellishing facts in the book for dramatic impact.” Um, dude, if the interviews were off-the-record, how come you’re blabbing about ’em?

Anyhow, whose account do you think is more believable: Frey’s or the Smoking Gun’s? And, in the end, does it make a difference if Frey’s story is something less than the whole truth? Weigh in now!