I enjoyed this story. It formed question in my mind about the main character as I read, and made me think about the way peoples minds work.
The question that was formed in my mind while reading was, "Is this boy (James), reaching out for attention, showing his emotional stress through the way he acts out and the stories he tells, or just a crazy person?" I kind-of figured that James was just the "runt of the litter", because he is the youngest and has had problems with "lying" about his mother and her condition and etc. Later on in the story, his mother defines a word that Dr. Murphy, James' Doctor who tried to cure James of lying, had mentioned while visiting, solipist; "A solipist is someone who thinks he creates everything around him." I believe that James is a Solipist and he does believe he creates what is around him.
At the near-end of the story, James and his mother have a talk and he thinks to himself how his mothers imagination is stronger than his own; "She could imagine things coming together, not falling apart." I think that that was a strong realization of James and is true. Because of the things James would make up and lie about, it shows how he felt his world was falling apart.
In the end of the story, James then goes on a trip to Los Angeles. He realizes that he had gotten on the wrong bus, but he is not phased. He makes friends with a large woman over chicken and gets to be somewhat talkative with the other passengers. He then tells a story about himself that is false, but familiar to him. He tells a story about his life that is somewhat similar to the lady who expressed her griefs to his mother after mass, Frances. He says that he works with Tibetan refugees in San Francisco, he was born and raised in Tibet and that his parents were missionaries over there, but they were killed when the communists took over. He also lies and says that he can speak Tibetan and everybody believes him and listen to him sing the cow jumped over the moon in what they think to be an "ancient holy tounge", but in reality is just jibber-jab.
I believe that James is a solipist by choice. He makes up stories on his own. I believe he lets the pain in his heart take over his mind and create his reality. I do not think his parents are'nt important to him or not loved by him, but I think he tells people they were killed because he doesn't want to focus on the reality of his life. He would rather make up an exciting life/past that he wants people to believe shaped him as a person. Or, he just feels like his parents are both dead, of coarse his dad is, but he may feel like he is leaving his mother behind him.
That is my evaluation of The Liar and the main character, James.