A while back my brother-in-law gave this book to me as a gift. I had heard amazing things about it and finally read it almost 2 years ago. In fact, I actually taught a class about it as well to first year college students (in part because of the topic as well as the controversy that it raised).
Here's my quick summary of the book . . . James Frey tells his story of drug addiction, his time in rehab, his love in rehab, and his path to sobriety. I am not going to go into a lot of detail here simply because it has been a book talked about a LOT in the media and I am going to assume that many of you have already heard about this book.
In January 2006, The Smoking Gun published a very detailed account regarding Frey's "fiction addiction." Upon a thorough investigation on their part, they found that Frey fabricated many of the details in his so-called memoir and stirred up quite a controversy, including with Oprah Winfrey who had chosen his book as an Oprah book pick. The publisher even offered refunds to those customers who had bought the book and felt that they had been betrayed. (For the full "smoking" article, check out http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0104061jamesfrey1.html.)
Anyways, my opinion . . . I did feel betrayed by the author! Why change some of the details? I just don't understand! However, with that said, I will say that I did feel that it does give everyone out there who reads it a very good idea of what it is like to struggle with an addiction. Though some of the details were completely made up, the overall book does have some value to it. I think that it can debunk many ideas that people have out there about addiction and the path to being sober. It can be a very difficult journey that can last a lifetime. Many addicts cannot just go cold turkey. Some addictions can start at any early age. And, of course, addiction knows no bounds . . . it can affect anyone and everyone, whether it may be alcohol, tobacco, drugs, gambling, eating, etc. That I will give it credit for!
Now, you may be wondering why talk about this book when it has been so long since I read it! I was recently searching the internet and came across an article about the author, James Frey (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20750314/). He is writing a novel and has found someone to publish it. It got me thinking . . . with the mixed emotions that A Million Little Pieces brought to me, would I buy this new book? At this time, I would have to say NO! I did appreciate the topic that Frey brought to the forefront; however, I do NOT appreciate his deceit of the people . . . and for that, I do not think I will buy another book of his!