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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » A Million Little Pieces » User review

Are We In The Real World or the Fantasy World?

  • Jun 9, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+4
Title: A Million Little Pieces
Author: James Frey
Genre: Memoir/Literature
Publisher: Anchor Books

James Frey's "A Million Little Pieces" is a controversial memoir.  Controversial in the sense that there are doubts on whether the facts are true or not.  Even Oprah, who for once selected a book that did not suck for her mediocre book club, fried the author on television in front of millions of people for his fabrications.  I was unaware of this when I started reading the book two days ago.  I finished it in one.  It was darn near impossible to put down.  While parts of the book were confusing due to the nature of the writing, it made you feel like you were the author, trapped by addiction and helpless to fear.  Stand out chapters include nightmares in the middle of the night, hallucinations, and a scene where the author has to go through two root canals without the help of novocaine.

But of course, the question remains whether any of this happened or not.  Frey claims that he changed small details so that no one could be identified, but his arrest record and rehab time has come under question.  After I read the book I Googled it and stumbled upon this big controversy that had somehow passed me by.  Despite the fact that I've always been an avid reader, I guess the situation passed me because I was never really all that impressed with Oprah's Book Club, which seemed to always pick books that could be summed up in one sentence: Poor pitiful female protagonist.  When I found this book at a thrift store I picked it up because it had an interesting cover.  If I didn't like it the book would have cost me a mere $0.50 cents.

Now that I've finished with the book and I've read some of the facts I've come to the conclusion that I don't care if it was fabricated.  Yeah, calling this a memoir is probably cheating to a great extent, but it makes for a fascinating read none-the-less.  Not to mention the book has inspired other drug addicts to get help, so I'm not sure if that makes this a bad thing.  My copy of the book does not contain the infamous "author's note" that has appeared in recent publishing of the book.  While I do not doubt Frey makes himself out to be tougher then he really is, the book is a great read and hard to put down.  So it's not real?  Well that's no reason not to recommend something that's so interesting.  Just don't take it at face value and you should be fine.

Grade: **** stars

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June 10, 2009
It is a great book cover. Oprah definitely read him the riot act, but so did so many other journalists and authors (specifically those who have written memoirs). Interesting controversy and nice review.
June 10, 2009
The funny thing is after the controversy subsided, people looked at the Oprah incident unfavorably. Like Oprah really didn't have anything better to do then crucify an author on television. Throughout the whole ordeal she maintained she wasn't a journalist, yet she decided to act like one anyway.
 
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More A Million Little Pieces reviews
review by . June 19, 2010
"My urges are gone. My heart is beating slow and steady. Everything I know and I am and I have seen felt done past present past now then before now seen felt done hurt felt focus into a something beyond words beyond beyond beyond and it speaks now and it says.   Stay.   Fight.   Live.   Take it.   Cry.   Cry.   Cry."     --A Million Little Pieces        Frey's words resonate …
review by . June 26, 2010
           This book made me think alot about how drug addicts are percieved as these people who are lost and just out of their minds. People look down on them because they are addicted. This book gave an indepth look at how someone's mind works when they are on drugs. It has become very clear that drugs make you think and do very strange things.        I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested …
review by . July 13, 2010
I was warned about this book.  I heard about Frey and Oprah.  I heard about the big controversy, the scandal, the coming-clean of Frey.  I picked it up anyway because it looked interesting.        Frey is a great writer.  Check out his Bright Shiny Morning as well.  His tone and style are remarkable.  Crystal clear, non-traditional, always engaging.  It is very difficult to put down a Frey book.  I know the term "page turner" …
Quick Tip by . June 26, 2010
The controversy around this book has unfortunately taken away many of the poignant realities in the authors words. I cringed and could barely read the dentist portions. I do think there are raw emotions that everyone with addiction issues has to confront apparent throughout the book.
review by . June 26, 2010
I first saw this book sitting on a counter at a little mom and pop deli down the street from my house. I had no intention of running out to buy it at the local book store, but I did just that. I sat down and started reading while I waited on my food to finish. I was instantly hooked. I could really relate with the style of writing (the repition, lack of punctuation, etc.). Simple, choppy, rough.. my favorite. I quickly grew to love and show concern for the characters. I was slightly disappointed …
Quick Tip by . June 26, 2010
love this book. what an inside view to what goes on inside your mind when you are on drugs. I can't imagine how that must feel... well now I can because i read this book . :)
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
Such a cool book. Ya'll should read it
Quick Tip by . June 23, 2010
Great, albeit fabricated, tale.
Quick Tip by . June 22, 2010
Not terrible, but not worth the hype it got on Oprah.
review by . June 22, 2010
I think I read this book when I was in seventh grade. I think, at the time, I remember liking it. It was harrowing, filled with those intangible dangers that fascinate seventh graders whose biggest challenge is sneaking in late after curfew. However, once I got a little older and switched from reading fiction to nonfiction, I was incredibly disappointed by this book. While I understand that truth is relative, and is more often than not bent by the writer, this book is almost entirely fictional. …
About the reviewer
Kevin T. Rodriguez ()
Ranked #120
Kevin T. Rodriguez is an aspiring film journalist. He's more comfortable typing a review then doing an on-camera appearance, but he loves doing the occasional rant. Whether it be on movies, eBay, or comics, … more
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About this book

Wiki

A Million Little Pieces is a controversial memoir by James Frey. It tells the story of a 23-year-old alcoholic and drug abuser and how he copes with rehabilitation in a Twelve Steps-oriented treatment center. 

The book was released widely on April 15, 2003 by Doubleday Books, a division of Random House, and received mixed feedback. While some critics, such as Pat Conroy praised the book, calling it "the War and Peace of addiction," others were not as impressed by the gruesome nature of the book and Frey's overall attitude that sets the tone for the book. For example, critic Julian Keeling, a recovering addict, stated that "Frey's stylistic tactics are irritating...none of this makes the reader feel well-disposed towards him". Also, author Heather King said that "A Million Little Pieces rings false".

In September of 2005, the book was picked as an Oprah's Book Club selection, and shortly thereafter became the number one paperback non-fiction book on Amazon.com, and topped the New York Times Best Seller list for fifteen straight weeks. By January 28, 2006, it had fallen to number four on the Amazon.com list with Winfrey's following selection, Night by Elie Wiesel, taking over the top position.

Beyond its status as a bestseller, the book garnered international attention in January 2006 after it was reported that it contained fabrications and was not, as originally represented by the author and publisher, a completely factual ...

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Details

ISBN-10: 0307276902 (pbk.)
ISBN-13: 9780307276902 (pbk.)
Author: James Frey
Genre: General, Careers & Business Life, Memoirs, Guides, Substance Abuse
Publisher: Anchor
Date Published: September 22, 2005
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