Book Review: A Million Little Pieces by James Frey

Apparently, I'm years behind the rest of the world. I purchased the book A Million Little Pieces  at the Goodwill, or a yard sale, sever...

Apparently, I'm years behind the rest of the world. I purchased the book A Million Little Pieces at the Goodwill, or a yard sale, several years ago, because the cover was interesting. Then it sat on the shelf for however long. I finally picked it up last week, and read through it so quickly. As soon as I started reading the book, I. Could. Not. Put. It. Down. It was so intriguing and immediately pulled me in, deep.


The book is a (somewhat fabricated) memoir about 23 year-old James Frey, who wakes up from a raging black out missing teeth and a piece of his cheek. He is an alcoholic and addict who is out of control. He goes to one of the most successful rehabilitation clinics in the world to fight his addiction. The book takes place over the amount of time that he is in the clinic.
Normally, I don't enjoy books written in stream of consciousness (William Faulkner, barf.). They're so difficult to read, and I just do not enjoy them - in short, it becomes a struggle. This book, however, I think the fact that it's largely written in stream of consciousness really adds to the experience of reading the book. This man is broken and destroyed and angry. The way the book is written, with the stream of consciousness, the lack of quotation marks, and the randomly capitalized words - while this would normally drive me insane, it somehow adds to the book. It makes you feel what James feels.
Throughout the book, I found myself with eyes full of tears. I have never had a drug problem. I mean, I've never even smoked cigarettes. I may drink an entire bottle of moscato from time to time, but I haven't been affected by serious addictions in my life, but reading this book, I felt connected to all of the different people that James meets throughout his time at the clinic.
I don't want to share too much of what happens within the story. I was shocked when I added the book on Goodreads that so many people were complaining about controversy surrounding the truthfulness of the book. I guess since I didn't go in expecting a memoir, it didn't bother me so much, but the book was first marketed as a memoir. Fabricated or not, the story is entrancing. It is intriguing and heart-wrenching, and honestly, one of the best books I've ever read.
There's also a sequel to the book called My Friend Leonard that I am excited to read.

Have you read A Million Little Pieces? What about My Friend Leonard? What are your thoughts?



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