A Million Little Pieces – James Frey
This is a story of a man with addiction problems. It traces his history from the beginning of his first alcoholic drinking (which started at sipping drinks at parties at the age of 6 or so) to the point of near-death by addiction and then recovery.
James Frey received much criticism for presenting the book as his true journey when in fact he had altered some of the details of what actaully he went through and what actaully happened. He does begin by explaining this challenge and does well to defend himself.
The story is well written and descriptive, sometimes even too descriptive that I had moments where I skipped paragraphs to avoid being sick myself. One thing James Frey does very well is provide a deep insight into what addicts actually go through, the things they experience, the feelings that overwhelm them and the suffering that goes with having an addiction. I thought the characters were quite typical of those you find in Total Institutions; some survivors such as Frey himself and Leonard and some victims such as Lilly.
It was a book I enjoyed reading and one that provided enough scope for discussion in our book club.