Last weekend, I completed reading James Frey’s “A Million Little Pieces“. Branded as a non-fictional autobiography, I feel it is written in a very fictional way throughout telling the common story of the tough-guy who is an alcohol and drug addict and combats this in a drug clinic and comes out stronger!
All in all, I think this is a riveting book! It allows one to take a look at the horrid experiences of individuals who travel their life journey spending some time in an drug addiction clinic in order to overcome their problems and lead a beautiful life without touching such substances.
I particularly like the way James starts his book. The initial chapter puts you in the middle of his life, portraying the nothingness that existed before it brings you and him to really understand he got there. James is a ten year drug addict! There is also great writing about James’s dental experience in which he underwent the most excrutiating dental operations without anaesthetic. He captivates the reader with his strength and will to overcome his current situation.
The drug clinic has claimed that no-one can get out drug-free without being part of a group called Alcoholics Anonymous – something which James is reluctant towards and has no intention of following. He shows to the clinic, others and himself that with strong will-power, strong intentions and clear vision, it really is possible to stay strong and away from being a criminal, drug and alcohol addict.
Something I learnt very well was the meaning of friendships. James Frey met and made many different kinds of individuals with various working backgrounds in the detox who then became his friends. It is these friends who brought him into a higher state of being and helped him get out criminal trouble and reduced three years jail sentencing to just three months. Although he knew it was of their doing, his friends hardly accepted the gratitude.
Another essential part that also makes this book a great self-help book is the fact that there’s a psychologist at the drug centre who has a good working relationship with James and shares great insights that can help anyone get better on their path of recovery.
In the last month or so, there has been a lot of critiscism to say that James has made a lot up about this book and some real individuals in the book haven’t been registered for dying in the way James has mentioned. Although James Frey has mentioned that a lot has been exastered for creative and author writing purposes, his books that go to print from February 2006 all contain a disclaimer – a useful tool to have for authors nowadays!