A Million Little Pieces

a-million-little-pieces-james-frey-abridged-cassettesMindy recommended this book to me back when I asked what your favorite books were. A Million Little Pieces by James Frey was pretty amazing. I finished it in just a couple of days – I could not put it down. I was taken in by the rawness of the emotion and how real it all felt. It revealed to me how ignorant I am of drugs and the world and people that are involved in that lifestyle.

I know there was controversy over this book regarding the fact that James Frey claimed this book as autobiographical, when in reality, it wasn’t completely true – there were parts that he fabricated. I can look past that because it was a fascinatingly insightful book that delved into the world of addictions in ways I would have never been able to comprehend otherwise. Frey’s writing style reminded me of The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, similar in the way it doesn’t use quotation marks and repeats key words. Again, this lack of quotation marks gives the reader a feel for the depth of the situation, the emptiness and the harsh reality of the situations at hand – surviving without the addiction. His stream of consciousness writing style also helps communicate the jumbled nature of existing in a rehab facility.

In my opinion, the most facinating thing about the main character, James, is that he refuses to give in to the notion that he is a victim of the drugs. He maintains that all he has done has been his own decisions and he takes full responsibility for them but because of this view, he refuses to buy into the Twelve Steps of rehabilitation, deciding instead to do it in his own power, with influence from the Tao. Of course, there is an element of a love story woven through the darkness of the events, giving readers an element of hope and positiveness that Lilly and James can beat their addictions and find redemption through love.  Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It is rough. It is raw. And sometimes it is painful to read but if you would like to better understand the world of drug addiction and it’s effect on people, I recommend this book. 8/10

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3 Comments

  1. Posted December 8, 2008 at 7:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I read this a while ago. I agree that it was sometimes hard to read, but I liked it too!

  2. Posted December 8, 2008 at 10:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Tthe fact that parts were fabricated was hard for me to swallow too. A close friend (and recovering addict) recommended the book to me, to help me understand what his world was like (I’m with you – I couldn’t understand at all and I often had a hard time relating to his struggle when he talked about it). In his words, the emotions of the book were completely authentic, regardless of the fact that some of the story was not authentic.

    If you’d like to try another James Frey, I have his next book, “My Friend Leonard”. You’re more than welcome to borrow it anytime you’d like!

  3. Kelli
    Posted December 8, 2008 at 11:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I really wanted to read this book – as it came highly recommended. Plus I was interested to see what all the hype was about. But when I got it and started reading….I just couldn’t get past the language and writing style. It was just too much.

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