How this book is classified is obviously erroneous. There is an emotional veracity that makes it well worth spending the time absorbing its examination rather than flipping through it looking for names. If this is a diary, it is one written with a complicated command of perspective and that the narrator began as a child and managed to keep before he has even gone off to school, as the first forty-four pages dealing almost exclusively with the terrain of early childhood, roughly an entire third of the page count, attest.
Ridiculous as it may seem, the narrator goes to Athens for the same reason a number of people go to Athens, the difference here being that the book's narrator is successful. This "cycle" of the book spins slowly out the narrator's control, placing both characters' continued identities at stake. Whether or not the story actually ever existed in the past (the narrator claims for the only evidence two pictures, one of which each of the ex-partners hold), by casting his journey through a first person subjectivity struggling to be as objective as possible in overwhelming circumstances, the narrator has little to laugh about, as well as few people to turn to, as in this sort of dynamic it is the powerful who will always be represented as right. I would wager some liberties have been taken to make certain points.
Indeed structured as an Outline, the narrator constantly belies an awareness of being educated by men, the shortcomings of such teachers, and of setting up a story. I'd point out a parallel/shortsightedness on the narrator's, but not the author's, part between his lover and his father's alcoholism (outlined in the first section) as a projection onto the disappointing lover.
As for manipulation, Martin does indeed imaginatively make some of guessed rock star's favorite imagery underlying motifs of the narrator's im(pen)ding fate. Here you have just the beginning, and the developing of the concerns Martin first began expressing several years ago in books then classified as poetry.