A Million Little Pieces; A Fictionalized Memoir Of The Day

I know this book has been reviewed, dissected, panned and praised since its release about a decade ago.  Here's the thing, I found the book at a yard sale a year or two ago and added it to my hundreds of must-read books I collect.  I finally had the opportunity to read the book and thought I add a thing or two to the overwhelming plethora of reviews.  You're welcome:)

The book was an Oprah's Club book of must reads.  One thing I've learned throughout the years and that is Oprah has excellent taste in books.  This is a known fact.  That's why Oprah's Book Club books are plentiful at yard sales, every one is reading them.  I've learned never hesitate to purchase a book with the Oprah Club seal.  I've never once been disappointed.

Now if you're one of the few folks that are not familiar with A Million Little Pieces by James Frey then let me quick fill ya in on the controversy surrounded this "memoir".

Frey is an "addict" that found himself shattered, bleeding and completely messed up on an airplane with absolutely no recollection of how he came to be in that situation.  A very good friend put him on the airplane that was headed to a highly reputable treatment facility for addicts.  His mind and body were completely wasted and deteriorating from both drug and alcohol abuse.

The book is an account of his recovery while he is in this facility.

The controversy:  It appears that Frey may have exaggerated just a bit.  Certainly enough to cause an uproar.  When this came to light many people felt duped, including Oprah.  Winfrey has people that check facts on these matters.  Unfortunately they let her down.

 I read the book knowing the controversy and I approached it as a fiction with some insights into the world of addiction.

 A wise thirteen year old once told me that all men lie or exaggerate to appear more appealing.  I got the impression Frey did that quite a bit.  Frey also doctored up the surroundings.   Frey basically hollywooded his memoir.  That is, take a situation and doctor it up for interest.   The term "loosely based" is often used in the entertainment industry.  How many gripping and compelling movies do you enjoy watching in spite of the fact that they are loosely based?  Having that full disclosure makes the difference.  Thus, this book should have been presented as a loosely based account or fiction.   

The book provides insights into the world of addiction

Regardless of the controversy, the book is a page turner.  Though the book has been praised, some critics have panned Frey's writing style as simple or amateurish.  I personally feel Frey succeeds at conveying emotion and at times you can feel his anguish or should I say the character's anguish.   Some moments are even a little intense.   I'm not an addict, but I have dealt with bouts of depression and I found many moments when  Frey's writing resonated.

If you approach this book as a fiction or a loosely based account you will most likely find it to be a great read.  I'm looking forward to reading Frey's best selling second novel.  I believe his fourth novel has just been released.  Yes, I'm a bit behind.

Can't wait to find this little treasure at a yard sale? then  Find it on Amazon

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Elisebet F said...

This looks very interesting! And thanks for letting me know about the controversy. If I get a chance to read it, I'll definitely approach it like it's fiction.

jheylo said...

this must be a great book then since Oprah reads it. thanks for sharing

Linda said...

I do remember all the flack that this book got and not being able to understand why really. I mean what memoir isn't hollywooded up a bit?
I've not read the book as it's not really my genre, but I hope it had a happier ending. :)

Debra Gray-Elliott said...

I've read the book and actually like it!

Lauren Ivy Chiong said...

I have always wondered about this book. You review is really intriguing, and I'm tempted to check it out. Very nice review--thank you for sharing!


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