A Million Little Pieces

by James frey | Biographies & Memoirs |
ISBN: 0719567009 Global Overview for this book
Registered by kylieoz of Medowie, New South Wales Australia on 10/20/2005
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5 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by kylieoz from Medowie, New South Wales Australia on Thursday, October 20, 2005
Amazon.com
The electrifying opening of James Frey's debut memoir, A Million Little Pieces, smash-cuts to the then 23-year-old author on a Chicago-bound plane "covered with a colorful mixture of spit, snot, urine, vomit and blood." Wanted by authorities in three states, without ID or any money, his face mangled and missing four front teeth, Frey is on a steep descent from a dark marathon of drug abuse. His stunned family checks him into a famed Minnesota drug treatment center where a doctor promises "he will be dead within a few days" if he starts to use again, and where Frey spends two agonizing months of detox confronting "The Fury" head on:

I want a drink. I want fifty drinks. I want a bottle of the purest, strongest, most destructive, most poisonous alcohol on Earth. I want fifty bottles of it. I want crack, dirty and yellow and filled with formaldehyde. I want a pile of powder meth, five hundred hits of acid, a garbage bag filled with mushrooms, a tube of glue bigger than a truck, a pool of gas large enough to drown in. I want something anything whatever however as much as I can.

Journal Entry 2 by kylieoz from Medowie, New South Wales Australia on Thursday, November 24, 2005
Wow this book was so different to anything i have read, it was blunt and too the point at all times, I found myself caring for James and his friends.


18/3/2006 *A lot of controversy about this book http://www.randomhouse.com/nanatalese/millionlittlepieces/

Journal Entry 3 by kylieoz from Medowie, New South Wales Australia on Friday, March 17, 2006
BookRing Instructions:
1. When you receive the book, please make a journal entry so everyone knows it has safely arrived.
2. When you finish the book, please make another journal entry to share some of your thoughts - enjoyed the book, or hated it?
3. Continue the BookRing by checking this journal entry for the latest list, and sending a PM to the person after you on the list requesting their postal address.
4. Please try to send on the book as soon as you can, preferably within a month. If you need more time, that's not a problem at all. Either send me a PM to let me know or write a journal entry that the book is safe with you. Thanks! :)

Participants:

alice2623663-Wollongong
-Bodhi- - Sydney
Littlemave -Sydney
KiwiWonder - New Zealand
leeny37 - Melbourne (last by request)

Journal Entry 4 by kylieoz at Controlled Release in Medowie, New South Wales Australia on Sunday, March 26, 2006

Released 13 yrs ago (3/26/2006 UTC) at Controlled Release in Medowie, New South Wales Australia

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Sent to the first participant of bookring :) Enjoy!

Journal Entry 5 by alice2623663 from Wollongong, New South Wales Australia on Monday, March 27, 2006
Yay! The parcel delivery guy just dropped this off (very funny story involving being still in pyjamas...anyway), it looks really good. I'm halfway through another book at the moment so as soon as I finish that one I'll start. Should only be a day or two. Thanks so much for sending it!

Journal Entry 6 by alice2623663 from Wollongong, New South Wales Australia on Sunday, April 09, 2006
I just finished the book. Wow, I really got into it. I had absolutely nothing in common with James but I was just drawn into his world, it was amazing.

I've sent a pm to Littlemave. Will send asap.

Scratch that, the order has changed. I've sent a pm to Bodhi.

12/04/06 - I'm going to hand deliver this one on Thursday since I'm going up to Sydney anyway.

Journal Entry 7 by alice2623663 from Wollongong, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, April 12, 2006
I'm going to drop this book off to bodhi on the way up to Sydney today (hopefully I won't get too lost). I hope that you enjoy the book.

Journal Entry 8 by wing-Bodhi-wing from Jannali, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Thanks Kylie for offering this up and thank you so much Alice for the delivery service! I really appreciate you hand delivering the book to me :) Luckily I was not in my pajamas - that sight would have been a bit much methinks ;) Hope to see you again sometime at the Bookcrossing meetups.

I am really looking forward to reading this one. The controversy makes it all the more interesting to me.

Journal Entry 9 by wing-Bodhi-wing from Jannali, New South Wales Australia on Friday, April 21, 2006
I loved this book. I really liked Frey's style and I understood his approach to addiction. I enjoyed his careful and repetitive use of certain words and phrases, I thought it was highly appropriate and served to reinforce our understanding of the emotions that he was finally allowing himself to feel. I started out not caring for him at all but after he took responsibility for his addictions and subsequent behaviour I began to like him - a lot.

I wanted to know what all the controversy was about so I went to the source and found this written in his own words:

http://www.randomhouse.com/trade/publicity/pdfs/AMLP020106.pdf

I thought the ending was a bit abrupt though and thought he could have written a bit more about what happened afterwards (the brief two page summary at the end wasnt enough for me after becoming involved in the characters).

I have messaged the next person on the list and will pass it on ASAP :)

Journal Entry 10 by wing-Bodhi-wing from Jannali, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Posted off to Littlemave yesterday morning. Enjoy :)

Journal Entry 11 by Littlemave from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, May 02, 2006
I read about this book while reading "So many books, so little time" by Sara Nelson, also the dispute about the fact that it is not completely autobiographical! That does not bother me about a book - if it is a story then fine, and if it is true, then good! I do not see that a book is all of a sudden no good if it changes from fact --> fiction!
I look forward to reading it, but I am reading one bookring already, then there is another bookring ahead of it, but will get to it in 2-3 weeks.
Thanks kylieoz.

Journal Entry 12 by Littlemave from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Thursday, June 01, 2006
I have started it now, but I am really not sure what I think. The narrative is weird to say the least, almost as blunt as the subject matter. This guy is in a bad way, but I am intrigued as to what will happen!

Journal Entry 13 by Littlemave from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Monday, July 10, 2006
Wow! What a ride. To start with I was not comfortable at all with this, but it was compulsive. The narrative changed as he was getting better, but all the sickness, the addiction, the fury, the rage - unbelievable. The fact that he was anti-12 steps did not help his attitude, but it made him a stronger person, I think.
I do not agree with the person who said this was a fake. Yes, there were discrepancies found, but I did find a statement by the author here dated January 2006 with some of his reasons for changes.
It was a very powerful book and I would recommend it - however probably not for the easily repulsed!

I finished this over a week ago and have been trying to contact KiwiWonder - I know she is about to pop out a Wonderette any time soon, so she may be too busy to reply. I will be patient and at some point I'm sure will get an answer.

Thanks kylieoz.

Journal Entry 14 by Littlemave from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Thursday, July 13, 2006
KiwiWonder has asked to be skipped on this ring as she isnt sure how much reading/computer time she will get over the next couple of months {good luck KW!} so this is off to leeny37 tomorrow.

Journal Entry 15 by leeny37 from Melbourne CBD, Victoria Australia on Monday, July 17, 2006
I received this today, thank you! :) Also, as I will be moving house over the coming weekend, things will probably be hectic for me for a while, so please bear with me as I won't be able to get to the book that soon. Thanks for understanding!

Journal Entry 16 by leeny37 from Melbourne CBD, Victoria Australia on Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Yikes, I have held this book for exactly 6 months! Apologies for taking forever with this book, no excuses really - hectic schedule, poor time management and being too greedy with bookrings! *grin* Don't worry, I have that under control now!

As for the book, like others, I don't deny that it is a powerful book. I was affected emotionally by it and was brought to tears at several sections, especially during the interactions between James and his parents. Reading about his dental surgery and his recovery from his injuries sustained at the beginning of the book made me cringe and wince from the imagined pain. The message about the challenges and difficulty in beating addiction rings true and I don't doubt the recovery process that the author went through.

I read the Smoking Gun article and also went through the follow-up interview on Oprah's website. I guess, for me personally, knowing that some incidents that he stated in the book may be wildly exaggerated (including the dentist bits) and that he puffed up the tough guy persona portrayed in the book didn't affect me that much. As mentioned earlier, I think it's a powerful book and covers the tremendous downs and struggles with addiction very well.

However, I don't think it was right to class it as a memoir and a tagline 'Based on a true story' or a disclaimer of sorts may have been more appropriate (although I wouldn't class it as fiction either). For the many recovering addicts out there who read this and hung on to the author's experience as a glimmer of hope, I think that was deceitful. While the book may have "saved" several addicts, it may have also caused several others to fall into despair. The guy sure can write though and drives home many hard-hitting points.

Overall, I am glad to have read this book, and kudos to James Frey for beating his addiction and staying clean. I think the publisher is just as reponsible for the controversy and I hope there will be clarifications for future editions.

This book is finally ready to head home to kylieoz and once I get a mailing address confirmation, it will be on its way! Thanks for sharing and your patience! :)

Released 12 yrs ago (1/17/2007 UTC) at Post office: Mailed to another bookcrosser in Australia, Bookring -- Controlled Releases

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Mailing this back to kylieoz, hopefully it gets there before the end of the week! :)

Journal Entry 18 by kylieoz from Medowie, New South Wales Australia on Monday, February 12, 2007
Now arrived home, Thanks everyone :-)

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