A Million Little Pieces Author:James Frey Publisher Comments (before the controversy): — Intense, unpredictable, and instantly engaging, A Million Little Pieces is a story of drug and alcohol abuse and rehabilitation as it has never been told before. Recounted in visceral, kinetic prose, and crafted with a forthrightness that rejects piety, cynicism, and self-pity, it brings us face-to-f... more »ace with a provocative new understanding of the nature of addiction and the meaning of recovery.
By the time he entered a drug and alcohol treatment facility, James Frey had taken his addictions to near-deadly extremes. He had so thoroughly ravaged his body that the facility's doctors were shocked he was still alive. The ensuing torments of detoxification and withdrawal, and the never-ending urge to use chemicals, are captured with a vitality and directness that recalls the seminal eye-opening power of William Burroughs's Junky.
But A Million Little Pieces refuses to fit any mold of drug literature. Inside the clinic, James is surrounded by patients as troubled as he is--including a judge, a mobster, a one-time world-champion boxer, and a fragile former prostitute to whom he is not allowed to speak about their friendship and [whose] advice strikes James as stronger and truer than the clinic's droning dogma of How to Recover. James refuses to consider himself a victim of anything but his own bad decisions, and insists on accepting sole accountability for the person he has been and the person he may become--which runs directly counter to his counselors' recipes for recovery.
James has to fight to find his own way to confront the consequences of the life he has lived so far, and to determine what future, if any, he holds. It is this fight, told with the charismatic energy and power of One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, that is at the heart of A Million Little Pieces: the fight between one young man's will and the ever-tempting chemical trip to oblivion, the fight to survive on his own terms, for reasons close to his own heart.
A Million Little Pieces is an uncommonly genuine account of a life destroyed and a life reconstructed. It is also the introduction of a bold and talented literary voice.
Publisher Comments (after the controversy):
The controversy over James Frey's A Million Little Pieces has caused serious concern at Doubleday and Anchor Books. Recent interpretations of our previous statement notwithstanding, it is not the policy or stance of this company that it doesn't matter whether a book sold as nonfiction is true. A nonfiction book should adhere to the facts as the author knows them.
It is, however, Doubleday and Anchor's policy to stand with our authors when accusations are initially leveled against their work, and we continue to believe this is right and proper. A publisher's relationship with an author is based to an extent on trust. Mr. Frey's repeated representations of the book's accuracy, throughout publication and promotion, assured us that everything in it was true to his recollections. When the Smoking Gun report appeared, our first response, given that we were still learning the facts of the matter, was to support our author. Since then, we have questioned him about the allegations and have sadly come to the realization that a number of facts have been altered and incidents embellished.
We bear a responsibility for what we publish, and apologize to the reading public for any unintentional confusion surrounding the publication of A Million Little Pieces. We are immediately taking the following actions:
*We are issuing a publisher's note to be included in all future printings of the book.
*James Frey has written an author's note that will appear in all future printings of the book.
*The jacket for all future editions will carry the line "With new notes from the publisher and from the author."
The author's note begins:
A Million Little Pieces is about my memories of my time in a drug and
alcohol treatment center. As has been accurately revealed by two journalists
at an Internet Web site, and subsequently acknowledged by me, during
the process of writing the book, I embellished many details about my
past experiences, and altered others in order to serve what I felt was the
greater purpose of the book. I sincerely apologize to those readers who
So Oprah had a hissy fit over this book. So people were put off because of some alleged fictionalization of this story. Regardless, it is excellent reading, and the author either has done a tremendous amount of research into addiction and recovery, or experienced addiction and recovery to tell this chilling story. In all reality, when one tells their side of a story, who isn't tempted to expound upon the truth a bit? Embellishment makes for good story telling. The only difficulty I had with the story is that an addict as severe as Frey could gain and maintain sobriety in as short a time as six weeks.
An amazing novel. I wasn't interested in it until after the hype about the story being partially fiction. Even with that in mind, this book was excellent; one of the few life-changing novels I've read in my life.
Frey's writing makes him one of your family members or a close friend. You want him to succeed in sobering up and you hurt when he hurts.
Truly beautiful and incredibly sad, this novel will haunt you for a long time after you've read it.
A really good book, even though all the stuff came out later on the Oprah show ,about it also being a little bit of fiction as well as a memoir of addiction, it was still a really good book. I really couldn't have cared less if it was real or fiction...it was a riveting realistic portrayal of addiction.
A very hard book to read. The destruction and wasted lives of substances abuse are hard to comprehend. He was able to stop and gain control of his life without using the 12 steps of AA, but he is a man with unbelievalbe control. It will make you glad your now addicted to anything.
You know what? I don't care about the big stink over whether every freakin fact is accurate or not (although OKAY, he lied about a lot, LOL). it's such a great book. I think it stands on its own, so if it makes you feel betetr cross out memoir and write novel and be done with it. (Why he didn't do that in the first place is beyond me. He could say like, "based" on my life. Duh.)
Sorry, not my cup of tea.. Tedious one line conversations that seem to go on forever. I got that he doesn't believe in God or a higher power, I can respect that. I have about 10 more pages to finish the book & I can't wait.
I dont care about all the drama Oprah tried to stir up around this book. I enjoyed it, i felt like i was getting a peek into an addict's head and that was so interesting to me. I think James Frey is a fantastic author with a singular voice, that I was moved by, isnt that what you want in a book? I am looking forward to reading 'My Friend Leonard' which is the follow up to this.
I read this book after all the hoop-la on Oprah, so I went in to this book knowing parts were embellished. I thought it was very well written. I have never read a book quite like it, it was the hardest and easiest book I have read. Descrepencies or not, I believe the heart of the addiction struggle rings true.
I'd heard a lot about this book when it first came out, telling a very true-to-life story of a recovering addict. Then it was found that it was a complete hoax. I wanted to learn for myself what was so true-to-life about it. The sentence structure was different, so it took a bit to get used to it. It was pretty graphic and a few times I had to skip the section I was reading to keep from gagging! It was interesting to read what may go on in an addict's mind as they go through the process of detox.
Augusten Burroughs book Dry, is a better book, and better written.
A big part of the power of this book was the idea that it was a true memoir. It has been revealed that large parts were fabricated, and that diminishes the impact of the story, and kind of leaves a bad taste in my mouth.