Friday, July 1, 2011

Books 153: A Million Little Pieces by James Frey

a million little pieces

"I listen to the tick of an unseen clock marking moments of time long passed. It takes me and it holds me and it carries and keeps me like the slow swing of a pendulum before the eyes of an idiot. The World has stopped not like before and not in a good way. It has stopped and is not going forward the same way my life has stopped and is not going forward. It is not going forward or backward or anywhere at all it has just stopped. It has just stopped. This moment and this chance they are the same and they are mine if I choose them and I do. I want them. Now and as long as I can have them they are both precious and fleeting and gone in the blink of an eye don’t waste them. A moment and an opportunity and a life, all in the unseen tick of the clock holding me nowhere. My heart is beating. The walls are pale and quiet. I am surviving."


A Million Little Pieces is a memoir of addiction and recovery, authored by James Frey, who records the time he spends in a Minnesota Rehabilitation Clinic at age twenty three. He wakes up on an airplane weak, thin, and malnourished, wielding a powerful dependency on alcohol and crack as well as a broken nose, a hole in his cheek, missing his four front teeth, but with no recollection of how he got there. After years of wrecking his body beyond repair, the doctors give James an ultimatum: either get clean, or die. The book is  raw and real, a detailed account of his struggles, from the painful detoxification process, the constant desire to do the one thing that will kill him, and a forbidden relationship with a fellow patient at the clinic. 


I should warn you that this book is pretty intense, with a lot of gruesome descriptions and crude language, but considering it's about a recovering addict you probably have guessed that already. Not exactly a lighthearted summer read. Nevertheless, it was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading, and would most definitely recommend.


  1. This looks really good, I guess I'm a little hesitant though because I heard this was all made up.

  2. I love that excerpt. And the cover looks brilliant!

  3. My brother was really made when he found out the guy made it up. He really enjoyed this book.