Written By: James Frey

Narrated By: Oliver Wyman

Date: April 2003

Duration: 10 hours 9 minutes

Summary:

A searing and controversial story of drug and alcohol abuse and rehabilitation, told with the charismatic energy of Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and the revelatory power of Burroughs' Junky.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.

Genres:

  • Julie V.

    Meh! I listen to the audio version. Narrator does a great job portraying his anger but the author never figures out what caused the anger issues or how he feels caused his addiction. and he is super repetitive.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Karla C.

    Disappointing to hear that this guy has no belief in a higher power, it doesn't have to be God you know, try NA, anything that keeps you from using is a power greater, your own thinking took you to the bar and the dope house and how can you not believe in the 12 steps if you never worked them, it would be interesting see how long he stays clean on his own

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Brandy S.

    one of my favorite books ever.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Jenna A

    Can't wait to read t all! Every book I've ever read from Oprah has been lovely. Wally Lamb! The Kite Runner! They're all great and this one sounds fantastic!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Suzanne

    I rather enjoyed this book. I only gave it three stars since I do find it is a bit long-winded and drawn out in areas, which made me lose focus or interest. But, all in all, it was a good story. There are other characters besides the author that you connect to and it is definitely a lesson on drug addiction.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Michael W.

    this reads more like a movie than a actual recovery book. I don't want to downplay the experiences this man went through. but I do know Quaaludes stop being produced in 1981 I think he States a woman was addicted to Quaaludes in the book. what's the book was written prior to 1981 I don't see how this could be true. could be wrong though

  • Lucille C.

    Did not care for the writing style. Dont need to hear the same lines repeated numerous times. Fact that its not an actual non fiction book also devalues it for me.

  • Eric Stone

    I am Truely in love with this book and the narrator is Awesome in his tones and reading attitudes !!

  • Lacey F.

    Absolutely loved this book . Could not put it down with life with addiction and other mental issues in a novel and profound way

  • Anonymous

    Incredibly emotive narrator, made for a great listen!

  • Samantha L.

    If I had to make a complaint then I guess I’d say that I really hated his relationship with Lily. There are also a ton of redundant words and sentences that were annoying to listen to but it’s a very good book. It’s dark and sometimes feels like something you shouldn’t be listening to but I’m glad I did.

  • Felicia L.

    i have read this book. I couldn't put it down. such a good read$

  • Melany D

    Compelling story, fantastic voice work! This reader brings the story alive with his acting- interesting story and delightful to listen to.

  • Deborah Cooper

    This was a great book. Very intense. I felt like I was inside the head of the narrator. I wasn't aware of the controversy surrounding the book and it's authenticity, but whether it was a true memoir or fictional account, I thought it was very good.

  • Jessica Makepeace

    The book itself is good. Though I can't say that I loved it or hated it. the narrator seemed bored, but nevertheless, got the point across. I would recommend this book to people who are just wanting something to pass the time.

  • toni sams

    The Narrator skips sections of the book. I read books at a fast pace , I didn't have the patience to follow the narrator.

  • cynthia

    The reader of the book was very monotone. It was not worth the read. Booorrrrring.

  • Mandi Scott Chestler

    Aside from the overblown Oprah controversy this pseudo-memoir inspired, it is also astounding that such a seedy, self-pitying collection of words has gained such traction in the publishing world. James Frey may have used poetic license to illuminate his life story, but he should invest in a thesaurus. At least a quarter of book depends on the F-word and other profanity for effect--a crutch a more talented writer could surely overcome with a bit of imagination.

  • Anonymous

    I love this book. I have never been addicted personally but have loved two people who were, one of them being my mother, the other being the father of my child. This book brought so much closure to my life. It made my heart smile and is one of the greatest stories ever told. It is real and not everything has a happy ending, just like in life. The words in this story will forever live in my head. I can't stop talking about this story and recommend it forever. I read it weekly. It is a story about a powerful journey that will move you.

  • Patty

    After each disc I was forcing myself to continue hoping it would get better..... it did not! Way too repetitive. It took 20 minutes to get one point across. I couldn't wait to get home and on line so I could cancel his other book "Leonard" from my wish list. It was written like a grade school story, "then he said, then I said, then he said, then I said,....." just keep repeating that and you have read the book. I think it was an insult to anyone who has been in recovery and any of their close family members. What arrogance!

  • Erica Jones

    This is actually one of the worst books I've ever read. The story is ridiculously unbelievable (from all the lies that have been uncovered to the fact that someone let him on an airplane with blood and vomit all over his clothes). I thought it would still be interesting even though it is fiction, but it is so outrageous and the writing is soooo bad, that I'm sending it back after 1.5 of the CDs. Don't waste your time.

  • Kate Benning

    I think this book was still very good even though he supposedly lied to Oprah. He got the point across and I have talked to others that have addictions and have talked about the same things that were in this book. He is simply making a point and a good one.

  • Anonymous

    I listened to this book, after all the Oprah/TSG controversy, with the idea that it is a fictional book. That being said, I found it to be an incredibly engaging, moving, wonderful story. I found myself wanting more after the book was over. I would recommend this book but think of it a a fictional book but if you can't handle vulgar language, you may want to skip it.

  • Magnetawan

    Not sure where to start with reviewing this book. I really chose it because of all the controversy surrounding it ... but it actually drew me in. Once I got used to the language (you can't be a prude and listen to this book!!) I found I was alternately liking the character and hating him. Following James' story in recovery can become very heavy and depressing at times, and I started to wish I had chosen the abridged version! But, it's a 'culture' I know very little about, and although he has been accused of "taking liberties with the truth" when writing this book, I know that most of it actually happened. Is it worth renting? Yes, but get the abridged version. Warning! Don't listen to this book if you are feeling low spirited!!!

  • Mariana

    I really liked this audio book. It was different and sensitive, I loved it. I would recommend it to anybody.

  • moviegal

    I hated this book! Of course I had reservations after hearing the revelation on Oprah that a lot of it was made up but I decided to try it anyway. The "author" uses repetition as a literary device: the only one he apparently knows! I usually do not listen to abridged audio but I was thankful that this version was not any longer! I basically listened to the entire thing to see if it got any better; news flash: it did not! Whining, unbelievable, an insult to those who have successfully worked the 12-step program, and altogether unpleasant listening. Avoid this book!

  • GRRRRR8EST

    I found this to be the best written, most compelling, most vividly alive book I've ever had the pleasure to read. I don't care a whit if some of it was exaggerated...it was a stunningly well told tale of walking though hell. I found it absolutely believable and I cared deeply for the tragedy of this man's experience. Oprah's wounded ego aside, it was quite simply an impeccable tale of defeat and redemption.

  • Teri

    If foul language bothers you, skip this book. I work in a behavioral health agency, so it was interesting to listen to; but, his total aversion to 12 steps was unusual. This has since been "revealed" as fiction, so you may find several things unbelievable. If you can think of it as fiction, it was interesting; but if you are looking to learn about treatment and recovery, I'd pass on this book.

  • Anonymous

    I can't believe that Oprah endorsed this book! The writing was horrible, the author basically just repeats a sentence 3 times to express his feelings. "I'm a drunk and a drug addict and a criminal. I'm a drunk and a drug addict and a criminal. I'm a drunk and a drug addict and a criminal. " Ok I get the point. And considering this was the abridged version, I never want to see the full copy. Why would anyone want to read pages & pages of a detailed root canal?? And I don't think the story sends a positive message at all. James Frey may have stayed sober after leaving rehab, but he did so by disobeying his counsellors and taking a risk on his own theory about getting sober. I don't think that is brave of him, I thought it was risky and does not set a good example for others in a similar situation. My advice, this book is not worth all the hype!

  • Kristin Prescott

    I did not enjoy this book - in fact I only listened to 2 cd's. I just felt no connection to the character, and did not know why I was supposed to care about the excrutiating details of his life in rehab. There was no introduction to the character, no reason to care about him. It was like listening to the diary of someone you really don't know or care about. Maybe it gets better after the second cd - I'll never know. The narrator, however, was very good.

  • Anonymous

    I found this audio book very interesting. I was hesitant to listen to it after all the bad press about the lies and exaggerations told by James Frey, but it was definitely worth a listen. I have friends and family members who suffer from addiction and it really gave me insight and compassion for their struggles. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys stories about life experiences. If you consider it a work of fiction, then you are not bothered by the details that may have been embellished or completely made up.

  • Laura

    Knowing that major portions of this "auto biography" were falsified and embellished, I purposely did not read the reviews before listening to this book. I struggled to get through it. Thankfully it was the abridged version. I cannot believe anyone thought this was a completely true story! His writing style was horrid! My mind was filled with fury, my mind was filled with fury, fury, fury, fury. The author sounds like a whiner who wants to come across as brave and without self-pity. I found him to be FILLED with self-pity. If a child had an undetected ear infection for TWO years he was seeing quacks, and his parents were blind! The only redeeming quality to the book is the reader. I found the emotion the reader delivered to be great.

  • Anonymous

    Very good. Although rumors of embelishment abound, it is still very good. Large use of the F word.

  • Anonymous

    The fact that he did not believe in the 12 steps makes him unique. We can't mesaure everybody with the same ruler. Not all people shold follow the 12 steps. I like his view point to be strong and had the desire to give up all the addictions he had it. True or false, it does not matter. This book is real because it reflects the true what an individual can do. An eye opener, yes we can survive anything only if we wish to do it.

  • Jeremy Neese

    Having known that Frey embellished a lot of the details in this book, I took it with a grain of salt. It was a good story, if you remember that, for the most part, it's just a story.

  • Judy Stokes

    OK, I had heard the Oprah controversy. I had picked up the hardback book but never tackled it. I did finish this book on CD and found myself fascinated by the story, wanting to turn it on again to find out what happened next with his characters. Overall, this is the portrait of a self-centered and troubled young man. After reading in the news accounts that, in real life, he left his girlfriend to die alone while he was lying about being in jail...well, it was hard to take. I admire his courage in letting us see the inside of a addict's mind and heart, but sometimes you just don't want to know.

  • Richard Mitchell

    It was a great story, and as I am currently working at an Addiction treatment facility, it was very real to me. I do beleive in the author's story concerning how everyone is an individual and different in their own way to addiction recovery, however the author tends to send the message that the 12 step program doesn't work, when indeed the statistics show it does. Even though in this case the author's course for self healing worked, and this could be of assistance for others with similar circumstances, I hate to see the message get put out there that standard CBT based therapies aren't useful.

  • Anonymous

    This book obviously polarizes the readers - some love it some hate it. My take is that if you view addiction in the typical Alcoholics Anonymous way, then you will probably hate it. But living with someone who struggles with an addiction, I found it to be quite inspirational. If you believe in AA and have a problem then your path is clear - go to rehab and get fixed. But if you don't believe in AA, feel that personal accountability is at the heart of your problems, but still want to get better then you are pretty much on your own. I don't care if parts of this book were made up, just to hear in gory detail the (admittedly embellished) journey of someone who was on his own in this way of thinking but succeeded anyway, was very inspirational. I had my partner read it and he realized he's not alone in his views and found it to be very helpful in HIS journey. I didn't find the writing to be boring, drawn out, or inappropriately vulgar. That's what addiction is really like.

  • Alicia from Austin, TX

    I don't care what Oprah says, this is a great book! Even though some of the things in here aren't true, if you approach this as a fictional novel its STILL wonderful. It's a very powerful story that is written in such a way that you begin to feel as if you are the addict instead of James Frey. Definitely check this one out.

  • Paula Gutierrez

    I tried to listen to this book and I tried to read this book, and I gave up both times. The writing is mundane filled with whining, and it lacked real substance. Oprah should've never even considered it for her book club.

  • Anonymous

    This is undoubtedly the worst book i have ever read/listened to! I can't believe i perservered to the end, but i was hoping there would be some redeeming factor eventually. What a colossal waste of time! I thought it was a slap in the face of all addicts and alcoholics who are struggling with addiction and recovery. Also, knowing that some/most of it was fiction was distracting. All i can say, is thank godness it was the abridged version! I couldn't have suffered through the entire f-word ladened bs. This guy had some fantasy about being a tough guy who defied the odds, but he came off to me as a loser and phony.

  • Anonymous

    Was really hard to listen to at times because it was so intense and descriptive - but it was worth sticking it out - great story

  • Jet

    Slooooow, slow, slow. I have a new found faith in my writing skills because of this book. Simply draw out every little breath and moment you live and viola! a best selling novel. Only my life of self-examination would seem a little too ordinary for using the f word as a adverb. Still, I, too could one day meet Oprah scribbling out dribble.

  • Mrs. Morgan in Az

    Too much swearing even in just the first disc... I couldn't finish it. I don't recommend for anyone who dislikes vulgar words.

  • Jane

    I knew that the author made up this story going into this book so that is probably why I disliked it so much. It is obvious that Frey fabricated a lot of the stories that he tells in this book. The narrator's voice got really annoying 1/4 of the way through, but I finished it regardless. I wouldn't recommend this book...if you know anything about drug/alcohol addiction it will irritate you more than anything else.

  • Anonymous

    The writing was interesting as it seemed to mirror the main character's state of mind as he progressed through recovery. The reader was very good and the story moved along at a good pace.

  • Bonnie

    This is a very tough listen. It is full of harsh language and some rough scenes to listen to. I made it through because the story line eventually drew me in enough to want to continue.

  • Shane Nixon

    Did I really like it, or really hate it? Still trying to decide I guess. This is a hard listen, and while that doesn't make it bad, it can't make it GREAT. For all the hype, I found this average. Careful, as it is definitely rated R!

  • Anonymous

    I rented this book KNOWING that it was made up, but still could not get over how manipulative and shallow it was. Do not rent it--waste of time. THere is no "writing"--it just attempts to take advantage of human emotion. I do not recommend it. If you are interested in this topic, I am sure that there are many more informative, well-written books on the difficulty of drug and alcohol abuse recovery.

  • Richard Dupuy

    I usually don't care what other people write in reviews, but this book was very boring and not at all what I would have thought. The narrator had no emotion. Being someone who has been around alcoholics and drug addicts, I found this book to very fabricated.

  • JS

    As much controversy this book recieved, I am HOOKED. I can almost feel the emotions and feelings James describes in the book. Though I wonder if I acutally read the book, if I would feel the same. I really enjoy the way the narrator reads, his inflections for anger and sorrow and when he represents a woman. I highly recommend this book, at least in audio form.

  • Debbie

    This book is very raw. But, once you get pass the profanity, It's a great book. A must read. Everyone who sees themselve as a victim should listen to this book. I felt empathy for the character and was silently cheering him on. I beleive it is truly a realistic view of the world of drug use and recovery: if there is such a thing as true recovery.

  • Anonymous

    Not believable at all. I find it hard to believe that this author made such a splash with this allegedly "true" tale. I did make it through the entire story, but would not have, if I had a different listening choice in my car at the time. I would not recommend it.

  • JU

    This was one of the most miserable stories I have ever heard. I could not finish it. Tried to complete the book just to see if anything good ever happened to this man but it just got worse. Would not recommend it.

  • Anonymous

    I found this book to be extremely repetitive and hard to believe in a lot of places. I wouldn't recommend this book at all. It's like the author was asked by his publisher to write 10,000 words and since he couldn't think of 10,000, he just repeated a bunch of words and phrases to bulk up the word count. It was ridiculous. If I hear a sentence like "It was getting dark, so dark, so dark, so dark." again, I'll start doing drugs! A lot of what is wrote just seemed to unbelievable to me. No dentist is going to pull several teeth at once w/o any pain medication. There are various pain medications that are non-narcotic so the fact that the character was in a drug rehab at the time, wouldn't have stopped a dentist in giving him something for the pain. It was just too farfetched.

  • Pat Hying

    I found this book to be interesting from the very beginning. The reader made it exceptional for me! The descriptive dialogue was telling. Whether it is a true story or not, I found it captivating.

  • Anonymous

    I struggled just to get through the first 5 discs. This story was really depressing on the level of Catcher In the Rye. No matter that I looked upon the story as true fiction the book was boring.

  • Angelika Teal

    I did not know about the controversy of fiction vs autobiography until I rented it, but I must say it is well worth listening. It doesn't matter if it is 'true' or 'false', what rang true to me is how he described the drug hell and the prison of addiction. The reader was excellent and the story raw and intense, full of horror and joy. The book is well worth the 'hype' that was made around it.

  • Nanette

    Had bought this book to read before the big "controversy" and never got around to reading it, so I decided to listen to it. I did enjoy the story. Some of it seemed a little far-fetched. But I didn't feel "ripped off" because Mr. Frey might have "embellished" a little.

  • Camille

    For some reason this was not my cup of tea, so to speak. I know that many have found this very good, but I cannot get through the first CD. Too much about the drugs and alcohol, and not enough about other important things.

  • Anonymous

    FANTASTIC! I listened to this entire book on a 10 hour drive. It is amazing - the reader is amazing - even with the drama around the author - it's a really captivating story!

  • John W. Pierick

    truthful, shocking, but great insight into addiction

  • Kelly

    With the recent news that major portions of this book were falsified, it was hard to buy into this “autobiographical” story. An unbelievable inspiring story became just unbelievable. Even without the controversy, I felt the book’s repetitious style became increasingly nagging as the book dragged on. There are scores of better true stories of survival and beating the odds and your time would be better spent on them.

  • Brett Tiller

    This intensly interesting story grabs you almost from the start of the book, and doesn't let go. Anyone who thinks that they know anything about drug addiction will realize that it is much more demanding, intense and damaging than he/she has ever imagined. The reader does an excellent job conveying the emotional intensity and desperateness that James faced when he was trying to overcome his addiction to drugs. I don't care if this book is fiction because there is alot to be learned here, and it is a very good read. The author's writing style is simple, earthy and unique, and he does a nice job of keeping the story flowing. I recommend this book to anyone, but be ready to be taken on a ride!

  • Jessica Gibson

    Even with all the lies James Frey added to make this book more interesting, it still drags and is completely over dramatic. He takes a million little words to say one piece of a thought and it is rarely profound and it is always predictable. No wonder this book wasn't picked up by any publisher when Frey originally shopped it around as fiction. It's not that good. If you are looking for entertainment there is none because it is not that well written. If you are looking for an inspirational story you won't find one because this book has been proven to be a hoax. If you are curious as to what all the fuss is about save your time, there is nothing interesting, shocking or thought provoking in A Million Little Pieces.

  • Anonymous

    I can't find the words to describe how I felt about this book other than ABSOLUTELY AWSOME! It throws you right into the world of the disease of addiction. I recommend this book to anyone working and/or struggling with this disease.

Million Little Pieces

by James Frey

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Million Little Pieces, James Frey
Million Little Pieces, James Frey
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