A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I want to start this review out with the F word somehow because I probably read it at least a thousand times in this book. I kept telling myself I should quit because of the language and the questionable content but I was riveted as I was transported into a body that was experiencing detox and drug rehabilitation. I felt like every one of my 5 senses were awakened as this book was a chilling piece of fiction. I justified reading the questionable material because it was a part of the typical drug rehab center. The author did an amazing job of helping me to experience the touching, seeing, hearing, tasting, and smelling that druggies engage.
There is so much I could say about what I enjoyed about this book, but the ONLY real reason I kept reading was because I felt completely educated by each word found on the pages. I feel I can understand addicts of all kinds better now. I can love them better and judge them less. In fact, I found myself thinking of all the addicts I know and wishing I could give them a copy of this book. In the words of the author is found the precious key to combating addiction: getting in touch with your inner self and learning how to control your out of control emotions.
I know there is some controversy surrounding this book. In fact the librarian mentioned it when I checked the book out. She wouldn't tell me WHAT exactly was the controversy, but I did glean some things during the course of reading the book. As I mentioned my reading it to friends, they said that the author James Frey had this book published as a piece of non-fiction, when it is very much fictional. I do have to say that it would be much more powerful if it was actually non-fiction, but the fact that it is untrue, does not completely rob the book in enlightening the reader about the workings of addiction. I plan to go and read everything I can about this controversy, but I wanted to write my review before I do, so that I won't be tainted.
There were parts of the book that I didn't like. I wish it could have been written with less offensive language; I don't think it was absolutely necessary. I also don't really agree with the author's criticism of the 12 step program or his agnostic views. However, I did learn some things from the referenced Tao teachings and find those in sync with my religious views. I find myself adding the Tao book to my to read list. For some reason, A Million Little Pieces was a long read for me. I kept telling my husband that I didn't know why it was taking me so long to get through it. I was interested and reading consistently, yet it still took me a good week and a half and I'm not really sure why.
Overall, I would recommend the book to anyone struggling with addiction or with an addict in their life. I would also refer it to anyone having an inner struggle learning about themselves. But, I would NEVER refer it to any of my Mormon friends, as they would probably suffer a heart attack from all the language.
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