REVIEW: A Million Little Pieces by James Frey *SPOILER ALERT*

Title: A Million Little Pieces
Author: James Frey
Year of Publication: 2005
Genre: Memior
Format: Audio Book
Length: 10 hours
First Line: “I wake to the drone of an airplane engine and the feeling of something warm dripping down my chin.”

Summary: By the time James Frey enters a drug and alcohol treatment facility, he has so thoroughly ravaged his body that the doctors are shocked he is still alive. Inside the clinic, he is surrounded by patients as troubled as he: a judge, a mobster, a former world-champion boxer, and a fragile former prostitute. To James, their friendship and advice seem stronger and truer than the clinic’s droning dogma of How to Recover.

James refuses to consider himself a victim of anything but his own bad decisions. He insists on accepting sole accountability for the person he has been and the person he may become, which he feels runs counter to his counselor’s recipes for recovery. He must fight to survive on his own terms, for reasons close to his own heart. And he must battle the ever-tempting chemical trip to oblivion.

An uncommonly genuine account of a life destroyed and reconstructed, and a provocative alternative understanding of the nature of addiction and the meaning of recovery, A Million Little Pieces marks the debut of a bold and talented literary voice.

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As everyone knows, Frey made a good deal of this memoir up. So when I read this, I decided to look at it not as a memoir but a fictional piece of work. And it works a lot better if you look at it that way. If you look at this book as a memoir, fact, it really does not fit. You can tell that he over exaggerated things and stuff like this (no, I don’t mean him being an alcoholic and going to rehab) doesn’t happen to someone. Like being tough as nails (Frey admitted that he was not actually like this during his rehab) and somehow still getting all the workers at the rehab to love him even though he was a pain. And love how the girlfriend magically dies on the day on his release. Oh convenient! If that was his life it was (and well we know) bullshit. But as fiction, it’s okay. It can work because it is fiction.

But I will also say that I can see why people were so angry. Because of Frey’s writing style it seems more like a stream of consciousness of someone going through all this crap and therefore seemed real to people. But you will also get annoyed very fast by Frey’s writing style. He constantly repeats himself and curses quite a bit. A Visual Bookshelf user on Facebook put it quite brilliantly: “also, the style:
i am james frey.
i can use short sentences.
i really like to say fuck.
i really like to say fuck.
*i really like to say fuck.*”

Yes, that is really kind of like this book and the style Frey uses.

I’d say give this book a try because why not? You can see what all the controversy was about and it will definitely amuse you.

Worst part: The repetition of sentences.

Best part: I loved Leonard and the other cast of characters at the rehab. Like I loved Leonard so much I might read the book ‘My Friend, Leonard’.

Grade: D

Recommend For: If you are super curious about that Oprah hyped up that was written by that guy who totally lied.

Other Books by This Author: My Friend Leonard and Bright Shiny Morning.


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