James Frey wakes up on a plane, with no memory of the preceding two weeks. His face is cut and his body is covered with bruises. He has no wallet and no idea of his destination. He has abused alcohol and every drug he can lay his hands on for a decade - and he is aged only twenty-three. What happens next is one of the most powerful and extreme, ...
James Frey wakes up on a plane, with no memory of the preceding two weeks. His face is cut and his body is covered with bruises. He has no wallet and no idea of his destination. He has abused alcohol and every drug he can lay his hands on for a decade - and he is aged only twenty-three. What happens next is one of the most powerful and extreme, and honest, stories ever told. His family takes him to a rehabilitation centre. And James Frey starts his perilous journey back to the world of the drug and alcohol-free living. His lack of self-pity gives him an unflinching, often searing honesty. "A Million Little Pieces" is an uncommonly genuine account of a life destroyed and a life reconstructed. It is also the introduction of a bold and talented literary voice.
Ok, so some of it was made up. It doesn't change the fact that this book still tells an incredible story. In Cold Blood is one of the greatest books ever written, and everyone knows that Truman Capote mixed fact with fiction to fill in gaps and make the story more interesting. I definitely recommend this book!
Jul 16, 2010
OMG what a waste of time - if didn't have to read this for school I would have used it for fire starter. thank goodness it was only .99.
Jan 26, 2009
A psychologist friend suggested I read this book as I was fighting some personal demons at the time. Upon receipt of the book, I literally devoured it at one long sitting. I found myself stunned and needed a couple of days to think. I then read the book again.
This is NOT a self help book but it is a book which may help you to sort out a lot of issues.
I admire James Frey so much for his refusal to accept codified solutions to complex issues be they from religious or therapeutic sources. He faces up to the fact that he is an addict and a criminal and that he is responsible for deciding to do something about this. He also explores the possibility that he does have a choice to do nothing and accept the consequences.
It is a tough read but worth it. Understanding that only you can change your own behaviour is vital. Understanding what to do next is something for each individual to explore.
However, it is important to stress that this book is a stand alone masterpiece and can be read at this level alone. It is tough, it is rough (particularly the language) but it is also at the very end, a great book of hope.
Apr 8, 2008
Interesting, Aggravating and Disturbing
I started to read this book, put it down then picked it back up and finished it. At times it was difficult to read because of the layout, you weren't sure if Mr. Frey was talking or someone else. Some of the events he encounters make you gringe your face like ugh, example: the whole dental episode, I know its something I could never do and at times, many times your frustrated with his attitude towards the whole addiction recovery procedure. He was annoying, at times I was like why bother and was frustrated with him. Whether these accounts are true or not, I'm sure many like myself though Mr. Frey would never make it long after he left the institution. I would recommend this as a read this if there is nothing else, its not highly recommended.
Publishers Weekly, 2003-07-07 For as long as he can remember, Frey has had within him something that he calls "the Fury," a bottomless source of anger and rage that he has kept at bay since he was 10 by obliterating his consciousness with alcohol and drugs. When this memoir begins, the author is 23 and is wanted in three states. He has a raw hole in his cheek big enough to stick a finger through, he's missing four teeth, he's covered with spit blood and vomit, and without ID or any idea where the airplane he finds himself on is heading. It turns out his parents have sent him to a drug rehab center in Minnesota. From the start, Frey refuses to surrender his problem to a 12-step program or to victimize himself by calling his addictions a disease. He demands to be held fully accountable for the person he is and the person he may become. If Frey is a victim, he comes to realize, it's due to nothing but his own bad decisions. Wyman's reading of Frey's terse, raw prose is ideal. His unforgettable performance of Frey's anesthesia-free dental visit will be recalled by listeners with every future dentist appointment. His lump-in-the-throat contained intensity, wherein he neither sobs nor howls with rage but appears a breath away from both, gives listeners a palpable glimpse of the power of addiction and the struggle for recovery. Simultaneous release with the Doubleday hardcover (Forecasts, Mar. 10). (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 2003-03-10 Frey is pretender to the throne of the aggressive, digressive, cocky Kings David: Eggers and Foster Wallace. Pre-pub comparisons to those writers spring not from Frey's writing but from his attitude: as a recent advance profile put it, the 33-year-old former drug dealer and screenwriter "wants to be the greatest literary writer of his generation." While the Davids have their faults, their work is unquestionably literary. Frey's work is more mirrored surface than depth, but this superficiality has its attractions. With a combination of upper-middle-class entitlement, street credibility garnered by astronomical drug intake and PowerPoint-like sentence fragments and clipped dialogue, Frey proffers a book that is deeply flawed, too long, a trial of even the most nave reader's credulousness-yet its posturings hit a nerve. This is not a new story: boy from a nice, if a little chilly, family gets into trouble early with alcohol and drugs and stays there. Pieces begins as Frey arrives at Hazelden, which claims to be the most successful treatment center in the world, though its success rate is a mere 17%. There are flashbacks to the binges that led to rehab and digressions into the history of other patients: a mobster, a boxer, a former college administrator, and Lilly, his forbidden love interest, a classic fallen princess, former prostitute and crack addict. What sets Pieces apart from other memoirs about 12-stepping is Frey's resistance to the concept of a higher power. The book is sure to draw criticism from the recovery community, which is, in a sense, Frey's great gimmick. He is someone whose problems seem to stem from being uncomfortable with authority, and who resists it to the end, surviving despite the odds against him. The prose is repetitive to the point of being exasperating, but the story, with its forays into the consciousness of an addict, is correspondingly difficult to put down. (Apr. 15) Forecast: Gus Van Sant, director of Drugstore Cowboy and Good Will Hunting, is negotiating to bring Pieces to the screen, so wise readers will not commit to 400 pages but wait for the 96-minute version, but booksellers should stock up as the chiseled Frey hits the interview circuit. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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