A Million Little Pieces

  • by James Frey
  • Narrated by Oliver Wyman
  • 10 hrs and 6 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

By the time James Frey enters a drug and alcohol treatment facility, he has so thoroughly ravaged his body that the doctors are shocked he is still alive. Inside the clinic, he is surrounded by patients as troubled as he: a judge, a mobster, a former world-champion boxer, and a fragile former prostitute. To James, their friendship and advice seem 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. He insists on accepting sole accountability for the person he has been and the person he may become, which he feels runs counter to his counselor's recipes for recovery. He must fight to survive on his own terms, for reasons close to his own heart. And he must battle the ever-tempting chemical trip to oblivion.
An uncommonly genuine account of a life destroyed and reconstructed, and a provocative alternative understanding of the nature of addiction and the meaning of recovery, A Million Little Pieces marks the debut of a bold and talented literary voice.

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What the Critics Say

"A Million Little Pieces is this generation's most comprehensive book about addiction: a heartbreaking memoir defined by its youthful tone and poetic honesty." (Bret Easton Ellis)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Million Little Incongruities

From its beginning with the surreal plane trip to the end, I find it impossible to believe most, if any, part of this fable is true. I plan to check many of the so-called "events" described in the book by looking into Mr. Frey's bio.. This is clearly fiction. Let's face it---being allowed on an airplane in the described state would be impossible even before 9-11. Two root canals while strapped in a dentist's chair at the onset of the rehab program. I find it impossible to believe that a local anesthetic would cause such a severe reaction that a rehab clinic couldn't allow it. And the cast of characers reads likes a bad Hollywood script. Judge, Mafiosa, Simon & Garfunkle's Boxer, the lovely little hooker, the "saved" who stay and work at the clinic.
The entire story is so preposterous that I cannot believe people would buy into it. And the blurb from Bret Easton Ellis makes me think that HE may have been the real author. It reads like one of his worst works, if we can say one is worse than another, but uses a style so imitative that one has no choice but to think that the author either copied his style or tried to update "Bright Lights..." and transpose in into an incredibly morose melodrama.
This book cries out: "Fact-checker needed."
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- Thomas

Waste of time

Okay, so I knew about the controversy surrounding this book when I decided to download and listen. I wasn't too bothered that it was embellished and parts had been fabricated. Anyone who knows an addict should fully expect this.

But, I thought with all the fanfare and rave reviews that this might be worthwhile for an addict such as myself. Maybe I would learn something more, or see something a different way, or at least see myself.

What I got from this was something totally unrelatable to my own experience, not helpful, and even dangerous in its advocacy to do it your own way.

Anyone who has ever been in 12 step knows that working your own program is going to lead to relapse. The type of addict Frey purports to be (and I'm not sure he even is) doesn't just will himself to stop. He even starts the book saying how he had never been able to do it on his own before. Suddenly he can. How? He "decides" to. Addicts I know who are recovering have completely surrendered and are willing to try anything, they don't thumb their nose at everything offered.

Finally, I don't know how anyone ever believed that anything in this book could possibly be true. In particular, addicts should be able to smell this one coming from a mile away. If you want facts and something that works, pick up a blue book.

I agree with a previous review. This is fiction, and not even good fiction.
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- Robert in Denver

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-10-2005
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books