An intense, instantly engaging, hard-hitting, yet beautifully written memoir of a life beyond the brink that touches every nerve.
James Frey wakes up on a plane, with no memory of the preceding two weeks. His face is cut and his body is covered with bruises. He has no wallet and no idea of his destination. He has abused alcohol and every drug he can lay his hands on for a decade - and he is aged only 23.
What happens next is one of the most powerful and extreme stories ever told. His family takes him to a rehabilitation centre. And James Frey starts his perilous journey back to the world of the drug and alcohol-free living. His lack of self-pity is unflinching and searing.
A Million Little Pieces is a dazzling account of a life destroyed and a life reconstructed. It is also the introduction of a bold and talented literary voice.
©2003 James Frey (P)2013 John Murray (Publishers)
"Excellent...Frey's storytelling feels compulsive, involuntary...poignant and tragic. The forthcoming film will almost certainly be a cult hit.... The good thing about Frey is that he writes as if he needs to; I hope his new compulsion thrives." (William Leith)
"James Frey's utterly mesmerising account...[is] easily the most remarkable non-fiction book about drugs and drug taking since Hunter S Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.... As a memoir, it is almost mythic. You can imagine it made epic by Martin Scorsese, the auteur of wayward American maleness in all its extremity.... Utterly compulsive." (Observer)
"Clear sighted and intellectually honest." (Literary Review)
Near the top
All of it
I have never listened to a book quite like this before. I thought I had purchased a fiction book..it turned out to be 100% true! The style in which this book was written was so powerful it almost felt like I was in James Frey's skin. It was the most moving and incredible story of a man digging himself into the deepest depths and then finding the courage to literally pull himself back into the light.
The friends he made along the way will surprise you and perhaps make you realise that no matter how degraded a person has become, that nine times out of ten, there is still a good person willing to help his fellow man inside.
Some people may find this a little bit hard to get into the story, but do persevere. I promise you, you will listen to one of the most thought provoking storie in a long time.
"A good book ruined by the narrator"
The book is fantastic...but loses some of its impact on hearing. The narrator is awful. His inflections are wrong...his tone is off..I almost stopped listening because of it.
"Pretentious and boring"
Original style of writing but also pretentious. What killed in for me was the author admiting that he embalished his story. There is a reason I choose memoir and not fiction. Beside, I found the author attempts to show himself as a tough men rather pathetic. Also, the book did not have to be so long and I did not need to read about his dentist visit or cutting his own stiches in details. The narrator also overdid it reading the book almost like it was poetry.
The author uses a technique of repetition which can be wearing but gives a sense of the simple resolve required to complete rehab.
The epilogue is wearing and sad
"a fall down the stairs"
Dangerous, tragic, but ultimately uplifting.
it definitely has similarities to Ken Kesey's one flew over the cuckoo's nest. Our protagonist, James US well and truly caught up in the 'combine', but fortunately he survives his situation.
Not the best, but he does bring James' plight out through his performance. Which is what he's there to do.
The growing tragedy between James and Lily is heartbreaking.
"Did not like the narrator, almost ruined it for me"
It's based on a topic that interests me, knowing close friends who've been through / are still working on the 12 steps. The fact it's based on truth added to it, although I'm aware there's a lot that's been made up.
The story is really interesting. Can't say I like James much as a character, overall I think he's a bit of a twerp but the story is good. I would've liked to here more about the programme being worked but that's a small thing.
I really didn't like the voice of the narrator. It grated on me, to the point I almost gave up. He read things so differently that I would; nearly every interaction was read in an aggressive manner, even those that were blatantly calm.
His voices for other characters were fine, good even. I prayed for dialogue with other characters, so he stopped doing his James voice.
Too long to listen to in one sitting but it the story was very compelling.
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