A Million Little Pieces (Oprah's Book Club)

by James frey | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0307276902 Global Overview for this book
Registered by HoserLauren of Burlington, Ontario Canada on 12/30/2005
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Friday, December 30, 2005
I received this as an Xmas present. It's also on the Oprah book club so it will go towards my reading list!

from Amazon:
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 na‹ve 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.

Journal Entry 2 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Monday, September 24, 2007
Practically everyone knows about the controversy that this book caused after Oprah placed it on her book list then found out that parts of it were fictionalized. Frey has apparently only been a minor player to the FBI, and that dentist scene probably isn't real. But Frey is an addict, an alcoholic, and a criminal - which he often repeats throughout the book. When his parents bring him to this clinic, he has a hole in his cheek and just doesn't care about anything. He soon learns that if he does anymore drugs or drinks anymore he will most likely wind up dead.

Frey in no way makes thing easy in his recovery. He doesn't believe in the 12 steps of AA or any higher beings, which the treatment centre people say is the only thing that could possibly cure you. Instead, Frey believes it's just a matter of personal choice.

Despite the fact that you have to read this book with a grain of salt, it is quite something. It really gets down into the nitty gritty of drug and alcohol addiction and shows how Frey tries to climb out of his hole. The relationships he creates with the other people in the centre is fascinating. I really liked reading about Leonard, the mobster, and I'm interested in reading Frey's other book; "My Friend Leonard".

The writing is scattered. Frey doesn't believe in proper sentence structure, but once you get used to it, you hardly notice it. I was glad to see that Frey included a little "where are they now" section at the end. This book really puts a personal face on drug and alcohol addiction in attempts to get readers to understand what is going on behind all the negatives.

Journal Entry 3 by wingAceofHeartswing from Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Wednesday, October 03, 2007
This book is with me now:)

Journal Entry 4 by wingAceofHeartswing from Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Monday, October 15, 2007
There is a lot of controversy about A Million Little Pieces. Even Frey's stay in the treatment centre could evidently be a lie. Taking all that into consideration, this book is still worthy of attention.

Frey brings you down to the addict's level. There are very graphic descriptions of bodily functions or lack thereof; vomiting, bloody shit,etc.

Frey is adamantly against the 12 step program and one wonders if part of the reason for writing this book is too laud himself for 'beating' the drugs without the program.

There is a sickening description of a dental procedure done without novocaine. Why would any reputable dentist agree to do such a procedure?

Frey's writing style can be a little annoying to start with as he tends to write very short sentences and absolutely no paragraphs. It also gets a tad confusing as quotation marks are non-existent.

I found the book to be an interesting insight into an addict's recovery and treatment

Journal Entry 5 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Thursday, March 06, 2008
Sent off today to Sodokugirl from the VBB!

Journal Entry 6 by sudokugirl from Sarajevo, Sarajevo Bosnia-Herzegovina on Friday, April 25, 2008
Arrived safely this morning. Thank you, HoserLauren :)

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