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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why I Work in the Detox Unit of a Treatment Center
Read this book and you may understand why. James Frey's wonderful, dark, and truthful portrait of addiction and the infinitely small possibility of recovery is one of the most honest portrayals of drug addiction that I have ever read. It's not a pretty story as no true story of addiction can be. Frey writes about the gritty reality of life on drugs and never once...
Published on April 29 2003 by Clare G. Stella

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3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings
This book is a diary and first person description of the hell of a particular alcoholic/drug addict (the author Jim Frey). It paints such a horribly painful picture that if you have a loved one who is an addict: DO NOT READ IT. It is too demoralizing. The one page epilogue that gives an update regarding a half-dozen of the people in the book will push many readers over...
Published on June 25 2004


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why I Work in the Detox Unit of a Treatment Center, April 29 2003
By 
Clare G. Stella "Word Lover" (Rockland, MA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Read this book and you may understand why. James Frey's wonderful, dark, and truthful portrait of addiction and the infinitely small possibility of recovery is one of the most honest portrayals of drug addiction that I have ever read. It's not a pretty story as no true story of addiction can be. Frey writes about the gritty reality of life on drugs and never once attempts to glorify any of it. His story is sad, honest, frustrating. Vomit and snot and rage. Victims, brutality, and very little in the way of hope. Frey is a Substance Abuse Counselor's nightmare - he refuses to play by the rules, he won't attempt to "go along and get along", he often bites the hand that feeds him. His addiction is a living thing residing in his head like a monster with huge bloodied teeth. I loved this book. Read it, feel it, learn from it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The hard truth but with no answers., Sept. 24 2005
By 
Tracy Stillman "Space Cadet" (California) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Million Little Pieces (Oprah's Book Club) (Paperback)
This is an absorbing gritty novel that I found very hard to put down, but also found myself wondering about. The author lays the awful truth of drug addiction on the line, along with hard truth that the addict must face when going through detox, but there does not seem to be any conclusion beyond "this is what happened." I would like to know more about why, at least why the author thinks this happened to him. The book deserves the praise it is getting, it is well written, but it is kind of like watching a car wreck. You want to look away but can't, and then there are no answers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still great, if you consider it fiction, Sept. 21 2006
This review is from: A Million Little Pieces (Oprah's Book Club) (Paperback)
Eyes wide open, I went into this book, not caring at this point if it was fact or fiction. Heck, I just wanted something to read. A MILLION LITTLE PIECES is one fantastic book. The autobiographical memoir seems to have become the latest trend, mirroring the rise in reality TV (but more intellectual, of course!) Television, newspapers, magazines and books have largely embraced this style of communication. And reviews are no different. A MILLION LITTLE PIECES is a good, quick read that explores a life pulling itself out of the maw of oblivion. Drug use and addiction are devastating on a person's life and all those around him. What makes this book so entertaining is the degree to which Frey had destroyed his life and how horrific the struggle to reclaim it has been. There are moments of brutally graphic honesty and unclothed emotion. But above all the book speaks about strength and weakness - how much punishment the body can take or dish out. While Frey is the center of the story, it is the people at the clinic, both patients and staff (as well as his parents) that show addiction to have consequences outside one's self. Also highly recommended: ----Katzenjammer---by J.T. McCrae: deals with what one person does to get published. Sound familiar? Thought so.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Of the three, May 22 2006
By 
This review is from: A Million Little Pieces (Oprah's Book Club) (Paperback)
Our book club recently picked three very good books. Okay, great books. And of these three, A MILLION LITTLE PIECES was probably our favorite. And yes, we went into it with eyes wide open, knowing that it was once stated as being true and now is at least partial fiction. The account, journey, or whatever you want to call it, whether real or not, is expertly portrayed.
The sad thing is, this is just as good a fiction read as it was/is supposed to be as "truth." Knowing (or not) how the world works, I don't blame Frey for this "switch" that was done--I'm sure he didn't have as much to do with it as some might suspect. Which leads me to one of the other books that our club thought was great. "Katzenjammer" by Jackson McCrae. We had no idea what this one was going to be about, but guess what? I was about the BOOK PUBLISHING INDUSTRY! And we read it right after AMLP. It couldn't have been more eye-opening, for it told us how things get made into books and what someone (one person in this case) has had to do to "get in." I highly recommend this one--Katzenjammer--as a companion book to AMLP. The third book we read was called "Naked" by Sedaris, and it was extremely funny and knowing. I recomend all three, but AMLP just left me, well . . . blown away. HIGHLY recommended truth or not!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still a good read, regardless of the level of truth, Feb. 23 2006
This review is from: A Million Little Pieces (Oprah's Book Club) (Paperback)
In light of what has happened regarding Mr. Frey's two books, I feel the responsibility for fact checking is the responsibility of Doubleday and also of Oprah's staff. I feel that Mr. Frey got caught up in all that there is with having a best selling book. Yes, he should not have lied but his books needed to be classified in another category and again the responsibility of the publisher. This is not the first time that this has happened with publishing corporations. Mr. Frey was used as a scapgoat and publicly humiliated. I read Million Little Pieces and bought copies for several people and have just purchased My Friend Leonard. I will continue to read all the books that Mr. Frey writes, still, I can't imagine why people haven't figured out "what's going on" in the publishing world and places such as Hollywood. A good example is McCrae's book "katzenjammer" which tells exactly this sort of thing-what someone has to go through to get their book published and then what "they" do to it to sell it. Or the book "The Man who invented Rock Hudson" is another which shows the inside workings of the corporations and their lack of ethics, etc. I would recommend the following books to see how people really got where they are: "The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson" and McCrae's "Katzenjammer." And I would still recommmend AMLP whether or not you believe everything in it. Still a good book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars truth or fiction, April 16 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: A Million Little Pieces (Oprah's Book Club) (Paperback)
Like so many things in life, not everbody likes the same things. If a book is well written and interesting then I feel it should be judged as such, not judged because someone of self importance put their stamp of approval on it. When one stops and thinks how much is embellished in today's world, appearances, life history, names, all to make one seem more exciting. I am not saying this is right but more of a fact. The book should not have been passed off as a true account of the author's experiences, yes there is some truth and some fiction. All in All it is a very good book, so read up and enjoy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one word: AMAZING, March 4 2006
This review is from: A Million Little Pieces (Oprah's Book Club) (Paperback)
A Million Little Pieces is the most interesting piece of literature I have read in a very LONG time. It was everything I have ever wanted in a book and found in the most gripping ways. I would describe this as the BEST book of the last decade because it gives you everything and more in one book. I really don't care if it was real or not, because regardless of the fact that even if it was fiction it was still amazing. You can see the truths and the true struggles of an addict and maybe give you sympathy and support if you chose to walk on this tough road. This book was fabulous and anybody that thinks less of it does not have an open mind. You need an open mind and a judgment free perspective to embrace this excellent book.
A million Little Pieces is about a man names James Frey and his struggles to become sober. When the book first starts out, it grips you with the reality that an addict has to face day after day. James speaks about horrors of his past and his uncertainty to why he drank tons of alcohol and smoked crack and PCP and other horrific drugs. What James does for a lot of people is that he takes the "glory" out of the drugs and puts alcohol as a destroyer as it should be. He takes it from being a socially acceptable drink, to a very factual level in how much of it can kill you and how many years it takes off your life.
There are many aspects of this book on which I could go on forever about, but one I would like to touch base on is the inspiring words. Line after line I had to stop to read the words out to my family because I couldn't believe the way he made me be aware of his thoughts, feelings and emotions. I wanted to cry at some points in the book when I thought James was failing but wanted to cheer when Leonard, Miles, Lily and other people became a part of his sober life. I loved the way he depicted the "Fury" as he names it because it's the unconscious mind seeking the alcohol and his other lethal drug preferences.
James Frey takes you on a journey, one which I do not think everybody is ready for. He takes all the myths and legends about certain drugs and drags them back to earth and depicts them as they should be. I can actually say this that with this book he probably turned many people off of drugs and saved numerous lives. He is an amazing person in this novel and I can't help but to want to applaud him. I can't stress enough that everybody NEEDS to read this book. It is the kind of book that will stay with you for the rest of your lives. It's inspiring, gripping, humorous, realistic, and beautiful. It's largely about redemption and hope and experiences many of us are to afraid to think about or too close minded to understand. It shows how friendship, love and family can take even the most terrifying experience and help you come out of a dark and lonely place that had once consumed you.
READ THIS BOOK AND FIND OUT. Maybe you should allow James to inspire you as he did me and countless number of others. Is it true or not? Seriously I really do not care; a good book is a good book. And this book is above and beyond. GOOD WORD MR. FREY, I hope you continue on writing there is a great need for authors like yourself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, quick read, March 15 2006
By 
This review is from: A Million Little Pieces (Oprah's Book Club) (Paperback)
A MILLION LITTLE PIECES is a good, quick read that explores a life pulling itself out of the maw of oblivion. Drug use and addiction are devastating on a person's life and all those around him. What makes this book so entertaining is the degree to which Frey had destroyed his life and how horrific the struggle to reclaim it has been. There are moments of brutally graphic honesty and unclothed emotion. But above all the book speaks about strength and weakness - how much punishment the body can take or dish out. While Frey is the center of the story, it is the people at the clinic, both patients and staff (as well as his parents) that show addiction to have consequences outside one's self. Funny and knowing like McCrae's KATZENJAMMER and probing and honest like RUNNING WITH SCISSORS, PIECES is by far the best thing I've read this year. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fact of Fiction? Who cares?, Oct. 16 2006
This review is from: A Million Little Pieces (Oprah's Book Club) (Paperback)
I could not put this book down. Admittedly I picked the novel up in the first place because of all the controversy. But what emerged was a great story with a protagonist who grew on me, and a convincing story. I liked the characters, I liked the way the author weaved his way though the daemons he was fighting with a touch of humanity, and I just plain liked this book.

If you are at all interested in what it must be like to recover from an addiction, and want to read an entertaining story, then by all means pick this book up. Step away from the fact or fiction debate and just settle down for a fascinating read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great., April 9 2006
By A Customer
Despite all of the controversy I decided to read this book. It was one of those books that leaves you thinking about it for days after you have finished it. Even if some of the details are embellished/ untrue, I believe that the general story is interesting and thought provoking.
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A Million Little Pieces (Oprah's Book Club)
A Million Little Pieces (Oprah's Book Club) by James Frey (Paperback - Sept. 22 2005)
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