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A Million Little Pieces

by James Frey

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2003, 400 pages
    May 2004, 448 pages

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Natalie Jeanne Champagne (05/25/11)

Does anyone remember a million little pieces?
I do, Sort of. But what I remember most was Oprah.

James Frey received critical acclaim—a National Bestseller-- for his book, A Million Little Pieces, a perfect title for a book which would effectively make his life fall into such. I rarely re-read books which don’t steal me by surprise but I found it on my bookshelf, sitting beside books I appreciate to a much higher degree, grabbed it and opened it to the first page:

“I wake to the drone of an airplane engine and the feeling of something warm dripping down my chin. I lift my hand to feel my face. My front four teeth are gone. I have a hole in my cheek, my nose is broken and my eyelids are swollen nearly shut.”

Frey recognizes, through those swollen eyelids and with a hole in his cheek, that he is on a plane. Red flag. What sort of man ends up on a plane, without a chaperone, with a goddamn hole in his cheek? Surely Oprah might have questioned this. But a memoir is a memoir and a memoir isn’t always factual. Frey scared all future memoirists with his tryst down memory---lack thereof----lane.

Search: A Million Little Pieces on Google. The first two pages: Wikipedia and, what a surprise, Oprah come up. Oprah seems to find her way into every controversy.

Wikipedia states:

“A Million Little Pieces is a semi-fictional memoir by James Frey”

Oprah’s website has Frey sitting on her plush couch trying to explain how addiction erodes memoir etc etc while Oprah has her leg crossed, she stares at Frey, and her eyes could kill.Nothing is worse for your career then pissing off Oprah. Ask James.

Oprah states:
“James Frey is here and I have to say it is difficult for me to talk to you because I feel really duped. But more importantly, I feel that you betrayed millions of readers. I think it's such a gift to have millions of people to read your work and that bothers me greatly. So now, as I sit here today I don't know what is true and I don't know what isn't. So first of all, I wanted to start with The Smoking Gun report titled, "The Man Who Conned Oprah" and I want to know—were they right?”

James responds, deadpan:

“I think most of what they wrote was pretty accurate. Absolutely”

What a brilliant response, truly. Bravo James.

She goes on and interrogates him like he has just killed someone. I must ask: why did she not notice that he had no visible scarring on his face? Would a hole in your face not leave a scar? Why am I bothering to re-hash this? Simply because in the first few pages of the newest edition of A Million Little Pieces, Frey explains that certain things were embellished for the benefit and readability of the book.

His (past) publisher Doubleday states:

“We bear responsibility for what we publish, and apologize to the reading public for any unintentional confusion surrounding A Million Little Pieces”

So, here’s what we have:

-A seething Oprah angry because she has been made to look a little gullible. Oprah, understandably, does not want to be seen as anything but absolutely correct. She is a monarchy in her own right.

-James Frey, maybe a little embarrassed, but if any publicity is good publicity he couldn’t have planned this any better. The book goes on to sell another million copies and as such, his life remains in piece.

-As for Doubleday, well, they went ahead and took James of the list of clientele. He finds another publisher and off he goes, broken nose and all.

Case in point: a man with a bleeding hole in his cheek would probably not be on an airplane.
Bekah (03/04/10)

Like to tell you the truth this is the best I have ever read in my life. I bought this book myself and as soon as I started reading i couldn"t put it down. I tried but coudn"t. If anyone is looking for a book for any reason, pick this one. It is absolutely amazing. You wont regret it at all. It tells a great story about an addict.
Brittany (03/01/08)

Inspirational! I love this book and the book following it "my friend Lenard" they are both absolutely amazing and I really recommend it. It'll make you laugh and cry-- at least if your anything like me. I'd recommend it over any book I've read.
Steph Watkins (02/20/08)

So my mom bought this book but hadn't read it yet; so being bored one summer day I picked it up. It was so good I couldn't put it down. I tried but couldn't. Then for English I had to read a non-fiction book; I knew immediately this was going to be my book. I re-read it and had it done within a few days. I recommend this book to anyone who needs a good book to read, it gives you an excellent insight to an addict's life and thoughts. And if you're skeptical just give it a try, you'll be glad you did.
kelsey. (05/01/07)

Sure it was embellished a little but this is by far the most amazing book I have ever read. I'm young, but I understood everything in this and finished the entire book in three days and if it weren't for school it would've been less. I couldn't set it down. I love everything about this book and would recommend it to everyone. Even if you don't relate to it the slightest bit, it teaches you a lot.
Ryan Schiely (03/07/07)

despite everything
Regarding the accusations and even the admittance of Frey himself that this book is partly fabricated I can only state one thing. To me it didn't matter. This book is as heartbreaking and emotionally packed as anything that I have recently read. His minimalistic style and straightforward way of expressing his constantly changing inner feelings and outlook on life has moved me in a way that I have not felt while reading any other novel. Despite the embellishment of certain events in the book, Frey's account is exceedingly well written and will leave you breathless and gasping only for more. Behind all the tears that will be shed and the sorrow that will be felt, there's an underlying factor which overtakes all other emotions...hope.
Amanda (01/16/07)

A look into the truth ..
This book was amazing in more ways then one, simply for the fact that I couldn't put it down. The reality of the situation he has put himself in and how he can come to terms with himself is amazing. I want to meet James Frey to tell him how proud I am of him even tho I don't know him at all. A definite must read...
Sam (01/14/07)

I started to read this book in school because I was in a group for and english class and we had to read a book and do a review!!! We all choose this book because we heard that it was an inspirational book and that it was one of those books u would not be able to out down. and WAS IT EVER!!!! This might have been the BEST book that I have ever read!!! It was so insightful yet you could feel his emotions without actually going through them. I totally recommend this book to EVERYONE and hope that people get the same insight that I took away!!!

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