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A Million Little Pieces

3.61  ·  Rating Details  ·  174,766 Ratings  ·  10,258 Reviews
Intense, unpredictable, and instantly engaging, A Million Little Pieces is a story of drug and alcohol abuse and rehabilitation as it has never been told before. Recounted in visceral, kinetic prose, and crafted with a forthrightness that rejects piety, cynicism, and self-pity, it brings us face-to-face with a provocative new understanding of the nature of addiction and th ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published April 15th 2003 by Nan A. Talese (first published 2003)
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Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆ Don't. This book is a fake and it's chalk full of BS. This book made a huge splash because the author couldn't get it published as fiction so he…moreDon't. This book is a fake and it's chalk full of BS. This book made a huge splash because the author couldn't get it published as fiction so he decided to publish it as a memoir (and then proceeded to go on TV and Oprah telling the world this is his life story.) It's just a crappy bit of fiction that he couldn't get published without lying...(less)
Mrs. Ryan I really enjoyed the story. I t was a story with likable characters who had real struggles. I read it in hopes of better understanding individuals…more I really enjoyed the story. I t was a story with likable characters who had real struggles. I read it in hopes of better understanding individuals with additions. There were some parts of the story that were a little dull but hey that's life . . . Oh wait it's not a true story. Yes, I read it and then found out it was not a true story and felt cheated. Then I felt stupid for believing so many lies. (less)
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Aug 26, 2007 Stephanie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody!
I did go into this book after the whole scandel business went down, and I went in not caring if it wasn't quite as factual as some may thinkg. Going in knowing this, I had a fairly open mind thinking of it more as a "based on a true story" kind of memoir (hey if I was writing about rehab I would probably change a few things too). However, even going in with this mind set I was SO irritated that this piece of crap had ever been sold as non-fiction. And no, it wasn't the fact that most of the book ...more
May 26, 2007 Flannery rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read MLP in the spring of 2004 after it was recommended to me by an internship supervisor-turned-friend when I shared with her a story I wrote about a man addicted to cocaine, inspired by true life events. Her life had also been touched by addiction and when she learned that mine was, she lent me the book. I was pulled in by it, chewed up, and spit out with everything put back together differently. Together, we dissected it at length, comparing battle scars reopened by Frey's raw-edged prose. ...more
Sep 24, 2011 Joe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My Book Club chose to read this Book for the month of June.
I had owned it for years and never gotten around to reading it.
Then I read it.
The Book.
A Million Little Pieces.
It is the allegedly true but probably not story of a Man who smokes a lot of crack and huffs gas and drinks and drinks and drinks until he is so sick he blacks out and he worries his friends and his family until he is sent to a Clinic. He has no front teeth and his cheek has a gash. He is hurt from smoking crack and huffing gas
Dec 06, 2007 Grace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really wish I'd gotten my shit together to review this before all of the news about how much of it might be fiction started swirling around. But since I didn't, I feel some responsibility to talk about that, as well as about the book itself. Oh well.

The drama, in case you live under a rock, is that the truth of a number of the claims Frey makes in this book, a memoir, is being contested. You can take a look at this article if you'd like more information. My thoughts are that Frey probably did
So bad, it's eminently quotable. I fondly remember lines like, "I endured, I endured, I fucking endured" and "a bayonet, an eight-foot bayonet, a fucking eight-foot bayonet" both during his traumatic root canal (poor Jimmy), and "Like a child being burned alive, a child being burned alive, a child being fucking burned alive," Frey's way of describing a grown man's screaming at the top of his lungs. See the pattern here? Forgive me if I misquote him by leaving out ellipses. No, I didn't demand a ...more
May 28, 2008 Amanda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: you
addicts exaggerate the truth -- who knew???
first off, it's a great read with a unique style. frey makes a sort of rhythm with his sentence structure throughout the entire story, pulling and pushing the reader along at a pace that he (frey) determines, and that is an amazing accomplishment in itself. it is also a wonderful tool for bringing the reader into a world that he/she may have absolutely no idea about. i've been to rehab -- a few, actually, over the course of a year -- and it is very muc
Mar 31, 2008 Dash rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody under any circumstances
Recommended to Dash by: A reviewer who's name I can't recall, but I still hold disdain f
Shelves: biography-memior
What a (million little) piece(s) of crap! By the time I finished this book I was craving a few stiff drinks, desperately tearing up the house looking for a syringe and spoon. If I had only thrown this one in the Goodwill bin sooner! I have no clue why anyone would think this was worthwhile reading material. I found it to be vapid, self-aggrandizing bullshit from start to finish.

I read this book before the whole Oprah controversy/confrontation, so that really had no impact upon my lowly opinion.
Apr 26, 2007 Annie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read "A Million Little Pieces" before the entire scandal broke out surrounding the truthfulness of the "memoir". Even before obtaining the knowledge that the book was not 100% truthful, I found it to be an overdramatized and unrealistic account of what real life drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs are like. In many scenes in the book I felt as though Frey was self aggrandizing and in some parts even glorifying the experience of being a drug addict. He portrayed drug addicts as rough and r ...more
The first part of this book is well done. Frey does describe what it is like to be an addict well. I'm one & I know. After that, it was pure fiction - very dangerous fiction for an addict.

From his description, I believe he went to the same treatment center as I did. They would never allow him to run his own program or pull half the crap he said he did. His best thinking & will power got him to treatment. It isn't logical nor part of any reputable treatment plan, to allow the addict to cu
Oct 27, 2011 joel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Original Review - 2007 edited slightly (mostly for grammar) in 2011.

I got into a discussion about this book yesterday with some fellow goodreads friends and thought I should add my two cents here. I must start, as is customary with this one, by saying I read the book after it was picked to be in Oprah's book club, but before the scandal occurred.

I enjoyed the book. I attempted to rate it based on the way I felt upon completing it, and without the perspective I now have which is likely affected
Jun 29, 2010 Oriana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me start by saying that the primary reason I decided to read this book now was that I got it for free. Not that I wasn't curious; I've got a definite weakness for angst and drugs and devastation and redemption. I mean, shit like this is ludicrously popular because it like twangs something in us, right? It accesses some kind of emotional core or whatever, some place in us that has struggled too, that wants to see suffering end and the sun shimmer out from behind the clouds and a reward come t ...more
Karen Rotwitt Perrin
I was so captivated by this book. For the first 100 pages or so, the narrator has his front four teeth knocked out and I kept having the sensation of no front teeth either! I kept attempting to run my tounge along my barren gums and was "surprised" to find my teeth there instead. It was a completely strange experience, but I mention it just to illustrate how this book immediately transported me to another time and place. Although there were parts where I felt he was too repetitive (no more vomit ...more
Nov 12, 2012 Aldean rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Aldean by: Amy Lynn
[This review is excerpted from a essay I wrote for my blog in 2005]

I started reading A Million Little Pieces in the spring of 2003, shortly before its April release. Our friendly neighborhood Random House rep knew I was a shameless trauma junkie, and when she slid the reviewer's copy across the breakroom table I snapped it up.

It was immediately clear to me that this was not a factual book. This is not to say that I thought it was untrue — far from it — but merely that it did not strike me from t
Elijah Jones
Aug 03, 2008 Elijah Jones rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Being a recovering drunk myself, I found Frey's book to be thoroughly annoying. People in addiction tend to be self-absorbed people and this is one of the things we're trying to learn not to be when we stop drinking/using. Frey portrays a character who stops using but doesn't really change. He becomes more annoying and self-absorbed with his cliched eastern religious study and trip to the dentist without pain med's which I found totally unbelievable and unhealthy.
The good thing about the book
Sep 02, 2008 Jamie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm still not quite sure what to think of this book, even with the revelations that chunks of it were totally made up. To me, that's not its main problem. Frey's entire work is hamstrung by a half-baked stream of consciousness style that is more often annoying than compelling. Sure, I can appreciate the style when he's talking about how messed up in the head he is, but the inexplicable punctuation (he seems to capitalize words randomly) and the total avoidance of quotation marks doesn't make it ...more
I deliberately read this memoir of non-fiction fiction to explore the relationship between truth, Truth, and story. But I didn't learn all that much about my relationship with those things as much as I did find out about other people's entaglements with those issues.

For example, I took this book with me to update my voter registration. Granted, it is a small city, so it was just me in the small office with the registrar, but I don't think being alone was the only reason she looked at what I wa
Feb 11, 2013 Brandon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In 2003, James Frey released A Million Little Pieces, a memoir detailing his 10 year battle with drug and alcohol abuse. Praised by critics and championed by Oprah Winfrey, it seemed like Frey had achieved literary success. However, fast forward 2 years and website, "The Smoking Gun", investigated the legitimacy of some of the claims made in Frey's memoir. It turns out that Frey had embellished a few of the major events within his autobiography; mostly to do with jail time and his main love inte ...more
Dec 01, 2008 Jafar rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The only reason that I finished this book was that I brought it with me from London and I was going around small coastal towns in the Dominican Republic offering no alternative reading material. But what a waste of 500+ pages of reading time! I cannot think of anything that Frey wants to say in this book other than: Look at how fucked-up I am. I'm not asking for your sympathy or understanding - and fuck you if you even think of pitying me. Nor am I writing to help others with similar addiction p ...more
Bruce Campbell
Apr 20, 2008 Bruce Campbell rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who are over-credulous
Recommended to Bruce by: Not Oprah
I got to read this book just a couple of months before the Oprah controversy broke. I remember speaking about it to the Social Work Practice class I taught at the time and noted that I wasn't at all convinced that it was "true." But I did think it had some interesting material in it if you could look past the quite serious horseshit*: the oral surgery, the romantic embraces, the endless vomiting, and ultimately, the heroic vindication.

I certainly enjoyed watching Frey squirm as he tried to parse
Nov 09, 2007 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recently finished the roller-coaster ride that is James Frey's (mostly) autobiographical novel A Million Little Pieces. Surely many of you have seen the controversy over this book which has left Oprah "very disappointed" in author James Frey. She feels taken advantage of by the fact that he seems to have fictionalized several incidents in the book. It is unfortunate that Frey lied (his book would have been just as good with strictly the truth), and I am not condoning lying (am I?), but let's h ...more
Gary's right about this dude. He's a bigger pumpkin fucker than Steinbeck.
Jul 07, 2015 anarki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Million Little Pieces … When someone is broken beyond repair, it's one of the first things that surfaces into my consciousness. Pulverizing one's self into molecular form. This book gives me a mental image of what I stated. A Million Little Pieces … Bit by bit to the point that you are not longer existing. Perhaps that's the goal. Self-destruction. To be non-existent. To die. To be no more. Good-bye.

Nowadays, that being broken is being turned to literature. As to what a guy said to the another
Aug 18, 2007 Laura rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Oprahbots
Shelves: fiction
You may be thinking you'd like to read this book to see what all the fuss is about. Don't. First of all, even putting the "scandal" aside (and I'm sorry, but if you read this book and didn't know that 90 percent of it or more was absolute bullshit, you really need to do some work on your critical thinking skills), the writing style is embarrassing -- an overwrought, pseudo-macho mess. Second, if you buy this book, you're just inflating Frey's bank account, which is tantamount to rewarding this a ...more
Ruth Turner
Sep 17, 2014 Ruth Turner rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned

I stopped reading about half way. There was so much about this book that I didn’t like.

I didn't like the way it was written.

The inconsistent use of capitalized nouns.

The lack of quotation marks.

One word sentences often written as a list.

It's repetitive:

Over and over, descriptions of his meals in the dining room.

Over and over, descriptions of him throwing up.

Over and over, descriptions of him showering.

Over and over, that he’s an Alcoholic, Addict, Criminal.

Over and over, how f*d up he is.

It's u
Mar 14, 2008 Sally rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't be suckered in by Oprah's fanaticism. It is a woven narrative of memory and dream from a twisted, warped drug user and alcoholic. Of course it is full of inverted realities and embellished versions of history. Its a wonder his brain can even form sentences. The fact that he not only can, but can convince the world with vivid, enchanting prose makes me believe in his ability as a writer.

Show me a writer and I will show you a liar.
Two sides to the same coin.
Anyone who disagrees with me is
Ruben Rodriguez
Nov 04, 2007 Ruben Rodriguez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
This is one of the most engaging books I have ever read. With every page, you are lead along a ride with a recovering drug addict. Throughout the book, you find yourself wishing for his success. The book starts with James, the protagonist. He is on a plane, and he does not know how he got there. He is very injured; missing four teeth and having a broken nose. He eventually finds out he was put on the plane by two men and a doctor, and that he is flying to Chicago. Arriving, he is placed in a Reh ...more
Actual rating: 1.5/5 stars

Hmmm. Where do I start?
Let's begin by the fact that this book is a FRAUD.
I didn't know that when I was still half-a-book, but when I found out, I didn't want to finish. I mean, why read a book that is a literary HOAX? Anyways, I didn't want to dissapoint my friend(the one who gave me this book), so I FINISHED the whole thing.

What can I say? It was gripping. The imagery was great. When he was describing about him throwing up, I LITERALLY felt it. And yes, his writing did
May 07, 2007 liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My best friend was reading it maybe 6 years ago. I went over her house one day to hang out. After realizing that she wouldn't be putting that book down anytime soon, I complained about wasting my time and she had me read one page, any page. I understood why she wasn't putting it down and let her be.

Years later, after book club hype and before memoir controversy, my mom had me read it. I've always been open minded in terms of memoirs and their relativity to fact. This wasn't the first time truths
Aristogama Inounu
"A Million Little Pieces" is James Frey's recollection of his days in a rehabilitation center. He woke up on a plane not remembering anything and his parents decided to admit him to a program called the Twelve Steps. He described everything from surgery to landscape graphically, often in horrific details. The story is told in the first person perspective. I believe the author did this on purpose to put forward his point of view but sometimes there are fallacies in his line of reasoning.

James Fr
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James Frey is the author of A Million Little Pieces and My Friend Leonard. After battling with alcohol addiction and spending time in rehab, he wrote A Million Little Pieces which was published in 2003 in America and the following year in the UK to critical acclaim. He wrote the sequel, My Friend Leonard about life after rehab, which was published in 2005 in the US and the year after in the UK.

More about James Frey...

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“Sometimes skulls are thick. Sometimes hearts are vacant. Sometimes words don't work. ” 835 likes
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