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Fall to Pieces: A Memoir of Drugs, Rock 'n' Roll, and Mental Illness Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (November 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061719153
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061719158
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #595,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Weiland's lively, vernacular memoir tells the sadly wasted but ultimately self-directed tale of her meteoric rise as a model from impoverished, half-Mexican roots to a precipitous plunge into drug addiction. Growing up in a broken Southern California home in the 1980s, where she lived mostly with her working Mexican mother in near poverty, the author, née Forsberg, found autonomy and financial independence early on in modeling; by age 14 she was a finalist for a Seventeen magazine modeling contest and traveling to New York; by 16, she had quit school, been legally emancipated and booked overseas jobs. She also became infatuated with aspiring rock and roller Scott Weiland, who was briefly her driver, and as he became hugely successful with his band, Stone Temple Pilots, he slid into heroin addiction and dragged her along with him. He was also involved with another woman, and the author's account is a painful re-enactment of her youthful abasement. From partying scene to junkie desperation to psychiatrist's office, jail and rehab, Forsberg Weiland battled her demons, learning with some surprise that she suffered from bipolar disorder. Having two children with Scott turned her around, though her marriage crumbled when he didn't change. Weiland's forthright, resilient can-do spirit injects this sad story with a healthy moral. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“A harrowing story of addiction and mental illness.” (People)

“A worthy addition to the rock canon.” (New York Post)

“Weiland’s lively, vernacular memoir tells the sadly wasted but ultimately self-directed tale of her meteoric rise as a model from impoverished, half-Mexican roots to a precipitous plunge into drug addiction....Weiland’s forthright, resilient can-do spirit injects this sad story with a healthy moral.” (Publishers Weekly)

“A brutally honest and compelling account of Mary Weiland’s struggles with addiction and mental illness. Brave, bold and unfiltered, Mary’s writing injects humor and levity in a way that is both entertaining and necessary. I have no doubt that this important book will help save many lives.” (Dave Navarro)

“Mary Weiland’s beautifully crafted memoir takes the reader through the journey that is so very common today, the slow drift into addiction and mental illness. Honest, clear, and accurate, Fall to Pieces is perhaps the most vivid rendition of this experience I have ever come across.” (Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of Loveline and Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, author of The Mirror Effect and Cracked)

“Mary Weiland describes the depths of madness and addiction with surprising clarity. Fall to Pieces is a wild, gripping story, told with intense emotional honesty.” (Terri Cheney, New York Times bestselling author of Manic)

“For all the death and devastation detailed in its pages, this book is surprisingly funny.” (Reuters)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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The book flows very well.
Ashpash0986
I read this book over a weekend, and couldn't put it down.
D. Miller
Very honest and well written.
Heidi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Alla S. VINE VOICE on November 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In "Falling to Pieces," Mary Forsberg Weiland, the model ex-wife of Scott Weiland from the Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver rock groups, tells her story--one of a promising modeling career, lavish lifestyle, and touring with rock stars turned into a lifestyle of drug abuse, depression, and divorce. Coming from a working background and a broken family, Weiland has a dark childhood that reaches its climax when she goes to jail. Shortly afterwards, Mary replies to an ad for the Barbizon school of modeling and her life is forever changed.

Still a teenager, Mary drops out of school to pursue modeling. Her driver to assignments, for a brief period, becomes Scott Weiland--who at that point is a struggling musician. When he gets backed by a record company, Mary gets a new driver but can never forget Scott. Fast forward a couple of years, and Mary's touring with Scott and the band, spending time back and forth between the band's schedule and her modeling job. However, as Mary soon finds out, getting embroiled in the rock n' roll lifestyle has its costs--in Weiland's case, exposure to drugs. While Mary's modeling roommates, including future actress Charlize Theron, advance their careers--Mary enters a downward spiral, an increasingly dark frame of mind, and an ugly on/off relationship with her rock star boyfriend Scott.

The writing keeps the story interesting and Mary's occasional name dropping adds some extra flavor. You get to see the kind of world Weiland had access to, and see inside the mind of an addict. Mary's stories about her escalating dependence on Weiland and illegal substances seem to be rooted in her inability to deal with the real world. Throughout the book, there's almost nothing held back--including her breakdowns and dealing with being bipolar. Overall, I found the read pretty solid--too serious for a day at the beach, but deep enough to satisfy the more curious readers looking for a tell-all.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Book Junkie on December 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is an amazing account of a person's struggle with bi-polar disorder and mental illness with the unusual twist of the life of a model who was too young and unprepared for the type of life that her accidental career provided.

To be honest, I was completely surprised by this book. I assumed this would be a poorly written, boring attempt to cash in on knowing someone famous and having a few moments in the spotlight thanks to another wacko hollywood person's meltdown. Being a fan of Scott Weiland, I assumed that this was just his crazy wife's attempt to make him look worse in the public eye.

I was completely wrong about the intended purpose of this book, the author, and her capability to share her story. Over the course of one weekend this page-turner gave me insight into the world of someone with bipolar disorder, addiction, and no where in the book did she seem like she was trying to capitalize on her husband's troubles or that of other hollywood celebs. Although, I will admit that it is fun to read about people like Dave Navarro, Anthony Kiedis, and Charlize Theron. I would recommend this easy to read book to anyone, especially those like me who know someone who struggles with mental illness and drug addiction.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Miller VINE VOICE on May 26, 2011
Format: Paperback
Mary Forsberg, ex-wife of Stone Temple Pilots and former Velvet Revolver frontman Scott Weiland, takes the title of her memoir from one of Velvet Revolver's hits, a song inspired directly by her. I had no desire read her memoir until I read Scott's Not Dead & Not for Sale: A Memoir and heard that his wife's provided a much more in-depth look. While Mary made her living as a model for some time, it's easy to say that this memoir is the result of riding the coattails of her husband. It's true that had she never married Weiland; publishes would have no interest in her memoirs. However, I feel she wrote this out of a genuine need for this information to be heard rather than just as a way to cash in. There is a great story here that details her struggle drug addiction and with mental illness, particularly bi-polar (a disorder both Mary and Scott have). Not only is this book entertaining and thoughtfully written, but it's eye-opening enough that it may actually help people going through similar troubles.

Mary opens the book with the first time she shot heroin, after catching her then-husband Scott doing it. Jumping far back, she details her early family life; growing up poor and misunderstood. Essentially, she covers everything from birth to now. Almost anyone reading this will be most interested in her first meetings with then-fledgling rock star Scott Weiland and, I assure you, there is plenty here to satisfy Weiland fans. The memoir isn't just a book of gossip about the rock star though and there's a lot of interesting information about the woman who is more known to the public through songs penned by her husband.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tina on November 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Unfortunately, we live in a time where addiction is an all too common shared experience. One of the positive things to come out of it, I believe, is the fact that some people who struggle through this hell, somehow find the strength to overcome their demons and have the courage to put it all down on paper - so that other people who are suffering can read their words and maybe, feel as though they are not alone.
Fall to Pieces was exactly that type of book. I love the fact that I had no idea who the author was. This actually happens to me quite often. I see a book on addiction and recovery and I pick it up, only to discover that it was written by someone who is somehow in the spotlight - either directly or indirectly. As it turns out, I had no idea who Mary Weiland was and since I am not a huge music fan, I was pretty clueless about her husband as well.
However, as soon as I started reading this memoir, I instantly connected with Mary and found myself getting completely involved in her story.

Sometimes, when I read a memoir of this type, you can actually see the "addict in the making" and this was definitely the case with Mary. As I was reading, I kept thinking "wow, what were the chances she would come out of that childhood without an addiction?" Nobody really knows why one sibling will become addicted and the other(s) don't - but from Mary's description of her childhood, she sounded so incredibly sad and lost that it made me want to cry.
Weiland is brutally honest about her part in this story and, frankly, she certainly went out of her way to make her life as complicated as possible and makes no excuses for herself.
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