A Million Little Pieces Book Review

 “A Million Little Pieces” by James Frey was published in 2003 and faced controversy after the initial praise. 

 

The autobiography follows Frey and his life at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. He’s a 23-year-old substance abuser and alcoholic. His parents pay for it and make him go, it’s really his and their last hope for him to get clean. He doesn’t want to be there, he does as much as he can to resist treatment and help. He slowly accepts help and makes friends, even meeting a girl he considers his girlfriend, though the interaction between men and women at the treatment center is against the rules. The emotions and ups and downs he experiences are authentic and realistic to someone battling addiction. The book has a very serious tone and very descriptive writing. Frey doesn’t follow traditional grammar rules, skipping out on quotation marks, and run-on sentences. This format may be hard to follow at first, as you read you get more used to it and it becomes normal. 

 

 Frey was invited to Oprah’s Book Club two years after the book was published and she loved his book, she promoted it and it was quickly a bestseller. A year later the site Smoking Gun published evidence that parts of the “factual memoir” had been fabricated. He had lied about how much time in jail he served, some of the relationships he had in rehab, and how his girlfriend died. Oprah had him back on her show and essentially interrogated him where he admitted that he had lied about parts, but he had never denied making it up. 

 

Although the book isn’t completely fake, knowing that parts have been made up definitely discredits the book to a certain extent. I feel like the story is an accurate representation of addiction, the things it can make you do, and what it can lead to. Addiction is a very sensitive topic and an awful thing to lie about, even if it’s not completely a lie. 

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