My Friend Leonard Hardcover – Jun 16 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Frey achieves another stylistic coup as he develops a narrative thread begun in 2003's A Million Little Pieces. He chronicles his journey out of the terrifying darkness of addiction, and the friend he meets along the way, Leonard. A gangster, raconteur and mentor, Leonard was introduced in Pieces as one of Frey's new rehab friends. Here, he pushes Frey out into the world, pampering him one moment, giving him tough love the next. As in Pieces, Frey's style throughout is loose, untraditional yet perfectly crafted: "[Leonard] offered me his hand and said good, I'm fucked up too, and I like fucked-up people, let's sit and eat and see if we can be friends. I took his hand and I shook it and we sat down and we ate together and we became friends." There's something mesmerizing about the endless tumble of words, the nonstop spilling out of Frey's troubles and triumphs. In the hands of a less capable writer, all of this cool, tight narration might numb the reader and distance the experience. Instead, this book packs a full-body emotional wallop. Frey's eye is keen for detail: the inside of a county lockup; the flat, gray Chicago winter; an out-of-control Super Bowl party in Los Angeles; the grind of living day to day—all come alive in his sparse, powerful prose. At its core, this is an examination of a friendship. Frey's extraordinary relationship with Leonard is alive, a flesh-and-blood bond forged in the agony of rehab and sustained through honesty and trust. Agent, Kassie Evashevski at Brillstein/Grey Entertainment. (June)
*Starred Review* Frey's first memoir, A Million Little Pieces (2003), chronicled his stint in rehab at age 23 after years of drug and alcohol addiction. That struggle continues in his follow-up, which opens at the end of Frey's three-month jail sentence. Upon release, Frey was hopeful: he was headed to Chicago to join the woman he fell in love with in rehab, Lilly, and start a new life. But devastating news awaited him in Chicago, and Frey found himself tempted to march into the nearest bar. He bought a bottle of cheap wine, which he managed not to open, and turned to his friend Leonard, a charming, gentlemanly mobster whom Frey met in rehab. Leonard thought of Frey as his son and was willing to do anything to help him. Leonard gave Frey a questionable but lucrative job delivering packages, and encouraged and bolstered Frey, until a personal secret caused Leonard to withdraw from his friends and associates. Never one to mince words, Frey lays bare even his most private and personal musings, making this a raw, often visceral, reading experience. With Frey's emotions so close to the surface, it's impossible not to care about Frey's struggles to reintegrate into society and prosper. Another powerful read from a talented, dynamic author. Kristine Huntley
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Top Customer Reviews
There has been a lot of controversy around James Frey and "A Million Little Pieces." But who really cares? What he did was wrong. Yes, he should have wrote a disclaimer stating that not everything in the book happened the way he wrote about it. BUT- who's to say that hundreds, if not thousands of other authors haven't exagerated a little in their memoirs? Why center Frey out?
I give this book 4 stars out of 5. I would have given it 5/5 but I got a little frusterated in the beginning of the book when things weren't explained clearly. Maybe it was his idea of suspense but it drove me nuts. I'm looking foward to seeing more from Frey. To me, a good story is a good story, no matter what.
Most recent customer reviews
Husband loved it, read his other book first and really likes the booksPublished 15 months ago by Lindy
A Million Little Pieces was incredible but this book blew me away, and its what really got me into reading. Love it!Published on Jan. 8 2014 by rrrachelray
I've only read a few book cover to cover and only two that kept me up past my bedtime; A Million Little Pieces and My Friend Leonard. Read morePublished on Sept. 25 2013 by Paulette
And yes i will recommend
Already reading it a second time around now
The best book ever
Just as in James Frey's first book, A Million Little Pieces, I was able to get into his head and feel like I was a part of his life. Read morePublished on Jan. 3 2013 by Marcie O'Connor
The book came to me in very good condition. Completely new. I had to wait for the parcel a little longer than I thought but was worth it. Read morePublished on Aug. 4 2011 by malgorzatas
how can you take anything this guy writes seriously? right at the start of the book he purports to be leaving prison after serving 3 months which we all now know is a complete... Read morePublished on March 6 2009 by philip freeman
This book is amazing, it is beyond words. I highly recommend it. You will become drawn to it and find it hard to put the book down. A book filled with happy and sad tears. Read morePublished on Jan. 1 2009 by Stiles