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

Gritty and dark, yet in someplaces quite beautiful

  • Dec 28, 2005
  • by
Rating:
+1
I recommend this book to anyone. I am definitely glad that I read it. However, before reading it I suggest you step out of the mindset that it is fiction or non-fiction. I really don't care and I am not angry at the author or the publishing company. Read this book without any preconcieved notions. Have an open mind and take it for what it is - whether that is fiction, non-fiction, or fantasy to you.

As the title of my review suggests, it is gritty and dark, sometimes disturbing. However, there are moments that are truly beautiful. Many of the stories told by the addicts and from the life of the author are very wild and dark. At times, it is similar to a car wreck that everyone wants to watch as they drive by. I think that some people will gain a lot of perspective by reading about some of the horrors that some people live with. The stories are wild and crazy and interesting. However, I do believe that some readers will be disturbed by some of the text.

My problem with this book is the style in which it is written. As others have mentioned it is very repetitive and the flow of the conversations is near impossible to follow in some dialogues. I thought it was a creative way to compose what is essentially a "stream of thought" narrative but after a while I really missed those quotation marks. I also understand the need for the repetition and redundancy of the feelings in James' head and the emotions that he experiences over the course of his stay in rehab.

The greatest part of this book is the beauty that unfolds in the relationships between the addicts in rehab (mind you, again, I do not care if these relationships existed or are true). I could really care less about the process of rehab, the hatred and fear, the fury and the rest except for that all these things help emphasize the importance of the relationships that are developed in rehab. There are some very emotional interactions between the male addicts in the rehab facility and it is very powerful to see these men from all over the spectrum and how they rely on and help each other. For those few glimmering and beautiful moments in the book, it is worth reading the repetitive parts in their entirety.

To sum up, I do not praise this book as much as many of my reviewing peers, but I still recommend it to anybody. As to the debates and discussions as to whether this is a work of fiction in its entirety or not, I really could care less. Even if this was a complete work of fiction I wouldn't care. I know the stories told within have happened before and will happen again, whether they happened to James Frey or not.

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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. …
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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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