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My Friend Leonard

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  39,269 ratings  ·  1,669 reviews
The New York Times bestselling follow-up to the #1 New York Times bestseller A Million Little Pieces-the heartrending story of a friendship between a newly-sober James and the charismatic, high-living mobster he met in rehab, Leonard.

A Million Little Pieces was the first Oprah Book Club pick by a living author in over two years. It instantly became a #1 New York Times bes
Paperback, 416 pages
Published May 30th 2006 by Riverhead Books (first published 2005)
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Janae Salinas I definitely suggest reading A Million Little Pieces first. It really explains to you the relationships between the characters. It helps you…moreI definitely suggest reading A Million Little Pieces first. It really explains to you the relationships between the characters. It helps you understand how much the people mean to James. It's not necessary, but it is very helpful to have that background information.(less)

Community Reviews

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3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  39,269 ratings  ·  1,669 reviews

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J.L.   Sutton
Apr 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Should it matter if a memoir is truthful? By asking this question, I guess it’s safe to say I went into James Frey’s My Friend Leonard with some misgivings. The act of memoir writing inherently produces meaning, but that’s not the same as manufacturing meaning, not the same as finding events (which possibly didn’t happen) to fit a pre-determined story. What’s called truth may lie in a fuzzy area of the memoirist’s memory not always accessible as a complete emotional/visual record. That’s why mem ...more
Jan 06, 2008 rated it liked it
I picked up "My Friend Leonard" by James Frey. This book is the follow up to "A Million Little Pieces" which is the book that started such a furor last year. The one that the author claimed to be true and the Smoking Gun website discovered was more likely an exaggeration of the truth. Oprah went a lil crazy and everyone trashed the guy. What a lot of people didn't take into account is that "true" or "somewhat true" "A Million Little Pieces" was a great book. A story of the hell of rehabilitaion ...more
Sep 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I never cared whether Frey's A Million Little Pieces was real or not. The truth is, if you enjoy his writing style, you're sure to be caught up in the environment and especially the characters he creates. I read this in one day on a flight from San Diego to Detroit.

My Friend Leonard pretty much picks up where A Million Little Pieces left off. If you thought it couldn't get any worse, think again. My Friend Leonard follows Frey's post-rehab trials and tribulations, and examines the continuation o
Apr 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I normally would reserve the 5 star rating for a book that I think NOONE should miss...but I just have to give this book 5 stars. Some people might like it, some people might think it is just okay. I read it immediately following A Million Little Pieces, and it is a great sequel.
I love Leonard.
I love Leonard.
I love Leonard.
I cried harder at the end of this book than I have ever cried after a book or movie...maybe it's because I am a pregnant hormonal headcase right now...but I SOBBED.
Then I to
Jun 19, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whether this book is fact or fiction does not mean crap to me, which was exactly my stance on A Million Little Pieces. It was just a good book. James reminds me a lot of someone I know and in some ways, of myself and some of my family members. His friendship with Leonard, albeit ridiculous, was very special and the stories in this book made me laugh and cry. If you read A Million Little Pieces you already knew what Leonard's demise was, but that certainly didn't make it any less heart-breaking ...more
Oct 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Years ago I read James Frey's ( now known as heavy on the fiction) memoir A Million Little Pieces as an Oprah Pick. This is the sequel to that book which I bought years ago but after the scandal and fury heaped upon Frey and the denouncement of his first book, I probably just set aside. Anyway , unearthed and read while " weeding out" the crowded library, this is the story of James and his friend Leonard, a much more established and successful conman who after meeting him in rehab (at the end of ...more
Apr 08, 2011 rated it did not like it
I read A Million Little Pieces by James Frey and I liked it. I devoured it. Despite the controversy that a lot of it was made up. It was made up to make James Frey look like a hardcore badass. But really it turns out that he's just another entitled rich white kid with too much time on his hands and too much money so he does too many drugs then ends up in rehab. Then writes a best selling "memoir" that turns out to be held together by lies and covered up by the convenient death of the majority of ...more
Jun 30, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought this one was so much more far-fetched than A Million Little Pieces. If I doubted Pieces, this one I downright didn't believe. Once again it should have been promoted as fiction, although actually I think it may have been promoted as such. I thought Pieces was better because it described so much struggling to get to where he got, and My Friend Leonard was pretty much "here I am, la-di-da" with good things happening all the time and a good ending and everyone is happy ever after. Totally ...more
Kate Hoffman
Oct 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
I know everyone gave Mr. Frey a whole lot of (probably deserved) shit for these two books of his, but I really enjoyed them. I could even overlook that they were on Oprah's book club list (which I got a LOT of shit about from my generally hateful friends). Since I'd heard about the inaccuracies in his first story - "A Million Little Pieces" - before reading either, I went in to each regarding them as works of total fiction. The writing was gripping, to say the least and the character development ...more
Apr 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Five stars simply for the last 30-40 pages of this book which never fails to make me cry like a baby.
Feb 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
Not sure what possessed me to add a book to my "to read" list that has an ashtray on it. I didn't even get past the first chapter. Awful sophomoric writing in a robotic manner. Waste of my time.
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: soft
a bit too disjointed for me, but otherwise it is such a bad-ass tale about a bad-ass person

p23: i walk as quickly as i can down the street, i walk jog run walk as fast my lungs allow.

If ever there was a book that triggered me to pick up a cigarette after having quit so many months ago, it would be this one. From the ashtray on the cover to the chronic smoking that takes place by almost all of the characters, reading My Friend Leonard turned out to be an exercise in will power, if nothing else.

This is the sequel to Frey's first faux memoir, A Million Little Pieces and although I really enjoyed that novel, this one was rather stale and I had to really push myself to ge
Rihab Sebaaly
I finished this book with tears in my eyes...

This book is sad, so sad and real. Although, I enjoyed million little pieced way more but I can't deny that I enjoyed this one as well.

With James Frey it is never about the style... It is always about the courage, the courage to stand up naked in front of the world and tell a story of shame and failures.

Lots of love for those who suffer from addiction all over the world. You have my sympathy, you will always do!
Jomanah Aloumi
One hell of a bad book.
Lance Fielder
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Basically a second part to a million little pieces. Much better read than I expected. As long as you remember it's a story not a memoir. Actually had me tearing up at the end!
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
This one was a bit much. Yes it was a good story and there were some relatable moments on the temptations of addiction and recovery from it. But this time around it seemed much more of an attempt to portray a successful life after rehab by building up larger than life characters and situations that didn't register as real. It tried too hard.

For what it was though I did like the story. Who wouldn't? Who wouldn't want to hang out with a guy like Leonard and meet girls like Allison and Brooke? But
Apr 21, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I rate this audiobook 3 stars but close to 4.
A sequel that is a must-read, and I recommend this book, but not nearly as much as Little Pieces.

*SPOILERs in this review.*

The reader of this audiobook was really outstanding. One of the best I've heard and I've heard a lot.

The story picks up at the end of the a million little pieces. It outlines extensively how blessed our hero, James, really is. He gets tons of help from friends, family and his not so mysterious benefactor mafia friend Leonard. Wh
Amanda Linehan
Jun 22, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who read A Million Little Pieces
It always takes me a while to get into James Frey's style of writing, but once I get past it I'm sucked into the books. Sadly, I'm willing to overlook the fact that he made parts of the book up because it's a good read; that said, I found the plot to be totally predictable in the way that only fictional stories can be. Life just doesn't arc that way, and it doesn't operate in a sea of cliches like this book does. It is distracting as you're reading to realize that the improbable parts are likely ...more
Oct 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2011
I am so fucking behind on everything in my life. Here are my "private notes" I made for myself like a zillion weeks ago when I actually read this book. I though I'd have time to make them into an actual review, and maybe one day I will. Until then, here's some scribbley nonsense.

The quirky style gets in the way of the story with this one, unlike in A Million Little Pieces, where it meshed and pulled you in. Here it's overdone and kind of cripples the prose, makes it plodding and harder to read,
Jun 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Did I cry with this book? Yes. Would I have cried if I hadn't read "A Million Little Pieces" first? Probably not. The point is, I cried and you will too if you understand the depth of their relationship.

Frey's writing is a little distracting, especially since there are no "paragraphs," per se, and because he tends to have sentences that aren't completely sentences. Either way, you eventually get into the story and the writing loses its grip on you.

The story is one you have to have understood pr
Rebecca McNutt
My Friend Leonard features two unlikely companions, one a former junkie still mourning the death of the woman he loved, and the other a mobster whose life is like something out of a film. However, appearances can be deceiving and Leonard might be covering up something that even a guy involved in organized crime might not be able to handle.

The great thing about this book is that it's so honest. The author's writing is intentionally written at first from the mindset of a man in rehab wanting his
Jul 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
I loved "A Million Little Pieces" and was really nonplussed by the drama that ensued, when it turned out to be not quite a memoir. My feeling was that it was a great book either way. Who cares if he embellished?
So imagine my surprise as I delved into "My Friend Leonard" and found myself unable to shake the feeling that I was being deceived. I couldn't help but wonder, how much of what I was reading was the truth?
Fortunately, the story and characters (particularly the glorious Leonard) were so en
Jun 06, 2016 rated it liked it
My biggest misgiving is that I read this book before reading A Million Little Pieces. I think my connection with and understanding of characters would have been deeper had I read the first part.
Regardless, I enjoyed this book. It was poignant, deep, emotionally coercive. The disconnected thoughts and his consciousness, that a lot of readers found troublesome, made it easier for me to connect with the protagonist. His loss was so powerful and profound. It was beautiful, in a tragic way.
But I ha
Amy Margaroli
Aug 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing
this is such an amazing book. it was super entertaining and i *bawled* like a baby at the end. i hardly ever cry at a book. just fabulous, do yourself a favor and read it :D
Oct 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
I remeber reading this book and kept wanting more. It is not a romance book by far which it took me way out of my elements cause that is what I'm partial too. I'm glad I gave it a chance though.
Hanna de Koning
Jan 26, 2018 rated it liked it
This was definitely an interesting book. I couldn't really relate to the main character because of the difference in age and all his issues (which I fortunately don't have), but I did like his character. This book is almost non-fiction, but not entirely, since the writer changed some of the details about his life. This book was unlike any book I've ever read, and it really pushed me to broaden my horizons.
Jess Kimmel
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I thought I might have a hard time reading this book because of the writing style. Run on sentences, lack of punctuation and bad grammar at times. Put all that aside and I can honestly say Frey has captured me. This is a beautiful story of the journey though overcoming addiction, meaningful friendships and love. I am very inspired by the story that I simply could not put down. Well done, James Frey. Well done.
Jun 25, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Those who've read James Frey's first book
Recommended to Brittany by: Sarah
Shelves: memoir, fiction
How I Came To Read This Book: I've literally had this book in my to read pile for upwards of three years. I think it deserves an award for sticking it out for so long - and so does my friend Sarah, for lending it to me. I do a roulette to choose my books, hence why this one was passed over so long. That plus I hated 'A Million Little Pieces'.

The Plot: This book essentially fast forwards through James Frey's fictional 90 days in prison after his departure from Hazelden, a rehab facility that serv
Jan 24, 2015 rated it liked it
I really wanted to hate this book. I was fully prepared to hate this book. After reading the entirety of A Million Little Pieces, taking it in as a memoir, and loving every minute of it, only to find out the majority of the story was sheer fiction, I had trust issues with James Frey. This time, though, I was prepared. I knew it was highly unlikely that this book would be all truth. I had absolutely no thoughts in my head that this is was in any way an account of Frey's life. I took the story in ...more
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Reading Leonard 15 208 Jan 18, 2013 03:36PM  
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James Christopher Frey is an American author and entrepreneur. 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.

James Frey now
“Pain is the feeling. Suffering is the effect the pain inflicts. If one can endure pain, one can live without suffering. If one can withstand pain, one can withstand anything. If one can learn to control pain, one can learn to control oneself. ” 408 likes
“Leonard asks me if there's anything I need to know before he dies, I think about it for a minute, turn to him, say what's the meaning of life, Leonard? He laughs, says that's an easy one, my son, it's whatever you want it to be.” 168 likes
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