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A Million Little Pieces

I've mostly been reading scientific non-fiction. While I love doing that, it was time for a change. I heard about an upcoming book discussion about A Million Little Pieces by James Frey and I figured given the recent controversy about that book that would be a nice change of pace. Originally billed as a memoir it has since been determined that the author changed much more than one should to be able to still call it non-fiction. These transgressions were summarized in a reader's note that will be included in all future publications of the book.

With that said, the book itself is a great read. Frey is a great author and his narrative style moves the book along. One stylistic trait I found odd at first but came to like was the lack of punctuation detonating conversation. There isn't a quote mark to be found. The repetitive elements I found helped draw me into the addicts mindset and understand the difficulty of the healing. How much of that was real versus embellished I'm almost inclined to ignore as it helps makes the story work. I do agree that if it was fictionalized it should be marked as such, but I think the core of the addiction healing process is what captivates.

One simple sentence echoed out at me as having double meaning in light of the falsifications. "I hate the memories and I hate myself for creating them." [275]. In the original intent it concerns the reflection he is having on his life and how his addictions caused him to act poorly and mess everything up, thus creating many painful memories. In a more cynical view, it can be read that he has made up his memories and hates himself for having done that.

In the end I'd recommend the book provided you first read the "a note to the reader".