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!

1 comment:

  1. I remember all the to-do about this book. Oprah was pissed! I probably won't read this one.
    I have the Ian Michael Black and Jenny Lawson books on hold at my library (number 5 out of 5 and 29 out of 34). Just finished Micro by Michael Crighton and Richard Preston, felt like I was reading a remake of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Had to force myself to finish it, I'm always hoping the bad books will get better.