Friday, June 22, 2012

A Million Little Pieces

For my second read in June I read, A Million Little Pieces by James Frey.  If the title seems familiar, it's probably because shortly after it came out several years ago, there was a lot of controversy about the fact that it wasn't truly a memoir.  After being called out on it, Frey admitted that he had embellished some of the events in the story.  I knew this going into it and so read this as a work of fiction rather than a memoir.

I had been meaning to read this book for years and had high hopes for it.  The story is based on Frey's stint in rehab after many years of drug and alcohol abuse.  I LOVED Dry by Augusten Burroughs, which is also about an experience with rehab (and the time after) so I thought I'd give A Million Little Pieces a try.  I was disappointed.  For the first 75% of this book I was bored.  It was very repetitive, granted he's in a rehab facility so they have a set routine but it was hard to read because it was slow and couldn't really hold my interest.  The last 25% of the book it picks up a little, some interesting things happen and you want to see how it turns out.  Overall though, I don't think I would recommend this book.

The first thing that turned me off was the style in which it is written.  It lacks proper punctuation and format.  This is because he's writing in a stream of consciousness kind of way, but I didn't care for it.  Next, is he repeats himself, a lot.  Addiction takes over your thoughts.  Drugs and booze are all you want and can think about and he puts this into his writing.  Written down though it comes off as repetitive and almost braggy in a way.  He talked on and on about all the horrible things he had done, but he doesn't seem truely remorseful about it until the end of the book and that frustrated me.  There are a few darker scenes in the book that are quite graphic, be ready for that.  They aren't pleasant and I could have done without reading them, I hope they were one of his embellishments.

Anywho, as you can tell I didn't really care for this book and it took me a long time to read it.  (Almost three weeks!)  I'm ready to step away from the memoirs for a while and find a book that can hold my interest.  Fingers crossed my next read fits the bill!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Unaccustomed Earth

Again, not one of my favorites.  I liked the writing better in this one that the last Lahiri I read... Or maybe it just didn't bother me so obviously.  There are two main stories, each with their own themes and separate characters.  Love, Jealousy, and again, cultural schisms are topics that Lahiri *really* likes and she drills them in again in this novel.

But again, I finished the book nearly in tears.  Do all love stories end in heart break?  Lahiri seems to think so.

I feel like I'm writing about the last two books I read all over again, so I'll stop.  No reason to make you read the same thing over and over and over... as I just did.. ;)


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Let's Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir)

For my first read in June I read, Let's Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson.  Jenny Lawson is a well known blogger (The Bloggess) whom I'd seen a few articles by while reading another blog TheStir.  While reading TheStir, I saw a book review for this memoir and it got rave reviews, so I ordered a copy.

When I first started reading this, I wasn't very impressed.  Lawson's father is a taxidermist and many of the first few chapters share some icky stories about his work.  I was afraid this would be the main focus of the book, luckily it's not (though there are many stories about animals, both dead and alive).  Lawson also shares stories about her childhood, parents, husband, daughter and variety of other things. 

I didn't love this book, but I didn't hate it either.  Honestly, I just thought it would be funnier.  The review I had read claimed I'd be "laughing out loud" but I think I managed one chuckle and a smile, but that wasn't until the last two chapters.  However, I did enjoy Lawson's almost conversational writing style.  There are "editors notes" and parenthesised extra comments throughout the book (which she warns readers about in the introduction) which makes it feel like you are listening to Lawson tell you the stories over a couple drinks.  Maybe the drinks would have made it funnier?  She also curses a lot.  Which is fine, but if you aren't into that, here's your heads up.  If you enjoy memoirs or are already a fan of hers, it's an okay read.

Fave Chapters:  The Dark and Disturbing Secrets HR Doesn't Want You To Know, If You See My Liver, You've Gone To Far & And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane.