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Publisher's Summary

From the New York Times best-selling author of A Million Little Pieces and Bright Shiny Morning comes Katerina, James Frey’s highly anticipated new novel set in 1992 Paris and contemporary Los Angeles.

A kiss, a touch. A smile and a beating heart. Love and sex and dreams, art and drugs and the madness of youth. Betrayal and heartbreak, regret and pain, the melancholy of age. Katerina, the explosive new novel by America’s most controversial writer, is a sweeping love story alternating between 1992 Paris and Los Angeles in 2018.

At its center are a young writer and a young model on the verge of fame, both reckless, impulsive, addicted, and deeply in love. Twenty-five years later, the writer is rich, famous, and numb, and he wants to drive his car into a tree, when he receives an anonymous message that draws him back to the life, and possibly the love, he abandoned years prior. Written in the same percussive, propulsive, dazzling, breathtaking style as A Million Little Pieces, Katerina echoes and complements that most controversial of memoirs, and plays with the same issues of fiction and reality that created, nearly destroyed, and then recreated James Frey in the American imagination.

©2018 James Frey (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Wendi
  • Houston, TX
  • 09-12-18

James Frey Fans Will Appreciate this Book

A Million Little Pieces, an Oprah book club selection that millions read and loved, became a huge fiasco and embarrassment for James Frey when it was outed that Frey's non-fictional story with his struggle with addiction and recovery was mostly lies and embellishments. Regardless of how his readers felt about his book, one thing remains true: James Frey is a hell of a good writer. He followed up 'A Million Little Pieces' with 'My Friend Leonard,' which was an extension of some of the characters he met in rehab, and I found that book equally appealing.

Katerina is sort of hard to describe. It emphasizes (surely after the hoopla with A Million Little Pieces) that this book is a work of fiction. I believe that Frey wrote this book about himself, and he embellished, as he did with his others. It shows the person he is, his love for literature, and his attitude of not really caring what others think. One line in the book that was really poignant was "I didn't care about the money and the success, it was the climb to the top that I cared about, and I miss that."

A young dreamer with a love of real literature (especially Henry Miller) goes to live in Paris and soaks up culture by simply being places with his notebook, wine, sometimes drugs, and his mind. He discusses his life back in the 90s and his life today loathing his corporate world, and also the love of his life and how they met. His words are crass, yet beautiful. They are obnoxious, yet wise. They are hard, and soft and full of hate and love. They celebrate the beauty of depressed and poetic literature and the raw newness of it's discovery. This book is fluent, yet written in Frey's choppy style. It's narrated by Frey as it is written, with run on sentences, monotony, and a faint lisp. It's educational, sad, happy, beautiful and ugly, and in the end not so different from Faulkner and Miller, and every one of Frey's heroes who have made a great societal and intellectual impact on the free thinking literary minds in our world and worlds past.

If you didn't like Frey's other work, you may find this boring, trite, and pointless. I feel like I caught a piece of the millions he shared, and I feel like this, albeit fiction, is a masterful compromise on his part- a way to say 'screw you' to the masses with discretion. This is a work of fiction, but so much of it is not. And, if you like the book or not, I don't think Frey will care.

Solid 4 stars- next time he gets five if he doesn't throw in the 'fiction' disclosure. Love your mind James- stay sober, my friend.

-Wendi

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Love Frey - Good story, narration disappointing

I've read all of James Frey's books and I love them all. He's a fantastic storyteller and wonderful at developing characters. Katerina is another gem. It was a little less entertaining for me than A million Little Pieces. My Friend Leonard and Bright Shiny Morning...but it's extremely close. Really cool story done in a unique way. I don;t want to give away too much of the plot but it's basically a love story (with some drugs, sex, booze, and other fun stuff thrown in). It't definitely not a sappy love story. There are some real good details thrown in.

Again, I love James Frey. Love his style and his writing. So when I saw he was narrating I was actually pretty excited. But unfortunately I was disappointed. His performance is very monotone. So the one weak spot for me is the narration---but it's not bad enough to keep from listening to this one in my opinion. It's well worth the credit and 7 hours of your time. Especially for Frey fans....but also for anyone else looking for a unique novel.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A masterpiece

However you might feel about James Frey the person, I find it impossible to deny his talent for writing. He is an absolute master of the craft and his ability to plunge you head and heart into his stories is nothing short of magical.

This is one of his finest yet. The places he takes you, the feelings he awakens. Absolutely beautiful and perfect. I want to read it through again, right away.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Herodotus
  • Charlottesville, VA United States
  • 10-10-18

Gritty yet beautiful

James Frey has done it again—I get pulled into his stories, knowing they will stay with me whether I want them to or not. Katerina does too. I didn’t want it to end. What better compliment can one give?

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not my favorite

Glad he is back to his old style, but it wasn't my favorite work he has written. It started very slow, and I had a hard time falling into the book until midway through, but it finally caught me. I can say that I've been blown away by his previous works at the end, but this one left me slightly indifferent.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it

Hearing it from the author's voice gave it even more than reading it could've. Just great!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I didn’t like this at first...

I lived in Europe for 18 years through my 20’s and 30’s and occasionally ran across a character like this...a pretentious know it all. So I hated this book but kept listening anyway. And I laughed. And I cried. And I felt what he was feeling. And I loved it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Unique Style

James Frey delivers in his own unique way. He makes me want to cry, no one gets into the mind of an alcoholic/addict quite the way he does, it's real & gritty and his narration is spot on.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful