Customer Reviews


2,083 Reviews
5 star:
 (948)
4 star:
 (330)
3 star:
 (191)
2 star:
 (151)
1 star:
 (463)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As a member of the "recovery community"...
...I found this book compelling. There were passages where my heart started to race and I found myself trying to read faster because the experiences described felt so true. I underlined lines that put my own experience into words better than I ever have. I am a member of a 12 Step fellowship but do not believe it is the ONLY way to recover from addiction; Frey's...
Published on December 8, 2003 by Tal

versus
532 of 599 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Description of treatment is fiction not fact.
I have worked with alcoholics and addicts for many, many years, and I worked for the Hazelden Foundation, the treatment program the author indicates he attended. His description of the events in treatment never could have happened. All treatment centers are strictly regulated by a licensing board called the Joint Commission as well by state laws. What James Frey describes...
Published on November 17, 2005 by Macazonian


‹ Previous | 1 2209 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

532 of 599 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Description of treatment is fiction not fact., November 17, 2005
This review is from: A Million Little Pieces (Paperback)
I have worked with alcoholics and addicts for many, many years, and I worked for the Hazelden Foundation, the treatment program the author indicates he attended. His description of the events in treatment never could have happened. All treatment centers are strictly regulated by a licensing board called the Joint Commission as well by state laws. What James Frey describes is in gross violation of these strict standards of accreditation. The treatment center would have been severely disciplined or shut down. Hazelden is one of the finest treatment centers in the world and is the pioneer of treatment as we know it today. Their treatment program is centered on respecting the dignity of each patient and preserving the safety of all who are admitted.

James Frey would not have been admitted into treatment in such terrible medical condition without first being sent to a hospital for care and then admitted only after the hospital staff granted medical clearance. He wouldn't have been given stitches in his face at the treatment center, because treatment centers aren't licensed to give that level of medical care. Yes, recovering people can use anesthetic. Anesthetic is not an addictive drug, so no one needs to endure painful dental work or stitches or surgery without masking the pain. Pain medications (which are addictive) are used when necessary, such as after major surgery.

There are no men in white coats with syringes tackling people who misbehave. People in treatment don't behave in ways the author describes. People are mostly kind, caring and thoughtful. Disagreements are generally mild in nature, and mood-swings are usually the worst we must contend with. When someone behaves in an unacceptable manner, they are asked to change their behavior or be discharged. Treatment romances are never tolerated because they are a precursor to relapse and disrupt the entire unit. Physical violence always results in discharge, as does destruction of property. A patient would be asked to leave immediately if he destroyed a room full of furniture, for example. (Accomplishing this feat, by the way, would be extremely difficult because the furniture is made of heavy wood, built for endurance.)

The author's assertion that a doctor left the ER without treating him and then drove him to an airport is equally astonishing. Putting a patient on an airplane, where he cannot access emergency medical care while suffering from severe head injuries is unthinkable. That the airlines allowed James Frey on the plane is impossible to believe. These things simply aren't allowed to happen for very obvious and good reasons.

It goes without saying that counselors don't drive patients to crack houses-or anywhere else-while they are in treatment. Doing so would result in immediate dismissal. Never have I heard people screaming in detox, nor would someone be left lying on a floor overnight. Patients are well monitored and vitals are checked on a regular basis to be certain that blood pressure isn't dangerously high due to the body coming off alcohol and/or drugs. Without close monitoring, we would risk strokes or heart attacks. It is also surprising that almost everyone the author went through treatment with has died or disappeared in rather unorthodox ways. I've never know of this to happen and none of my colleagues, whom I've asked, have ever heard of this either. We sometimes hear that one individual out of a treatment group dies, but even that is fairly rare. People do relapse after treatment, but that happens primarily because people don't follow their aftercare plan.

I hope if you read this book, you will keep in mind that this description of treatment is fiction. No one who is thinking of going into treatment to seek help should be afraid, thinking they will experience things similar to what the author has described. All reputable treatment centers offer caring support, preserve patients' dignity and will not allow one person's behavior jeopardize the wellbeing of all others. As for the author's assertion that he has stayed sober without the help of AA or other 12 step groups, that may be true, but only about 2% of addicted people find this method successful. And of that 2%, most continue to behave in much the same way they did when they were drinking or using drugs, only without the alcohol or drugs in their systems. Sometimes they are so unhappy and angry being "dry" because, without a recovery program, they haven't learned to find contentment in sobriety, and their behavior becomes more intolerable than before. The main purpose of AA isn't just to quit drinking or taking drugs, but to become a better person in recovery.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


188 of 211 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Million Pieces of Crap, June 14, 2003
By 
Xzavious Reinbold (St. Bonaventure, Nebraska) - See all my reviews
This is an amazingly bad book.
Ridiculously pretentious,vain and stupid, James Frey wallows in self-pity for many pages.
And his Writing Style is a satirist's dream:

He thinks he's "Edgy" but He just doesn't Know how to Write.
To write, in Words.

How to write. Words, words, words.

I'm James Frey.
I'm repeating myself. Myself, myself, My Self.
My Important Self. My Edgy, Drug-Addicted Self.
Look At Me!
My Rich Parents sent Me to Rehab and I'm Really Edgy!
I'm Writing.
In Sentence Fragments.
That Repeat and Repeat and Repeat. And I'm really Edgy and Maudlin. And in the End I Hug and Hug and Hug and My Stupidity is really an Inspiration to Everyone.
One star: Good for a laff.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


92 of 102 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Plagarism?, January 28, 2006
This review is from: A Million Little Pieces (Paperback)
Having read Another Day in Paradise by Eddie Little, it became very obvious to me that James is living vicariously through Eddie's book. You must read Eddie's book and then you will see how clearly AMLP parallels the Little book. From the same basic characters to their almost identical pasts, I found myself becoming angered at this blatant rip-off. Lilly IS Rosie, right down to the description of the gang rape scenes in both books. As a result, I just do not believe anything in James book actually happened, other than the fact that he spent time in a rehab facility. It was all a fantasy based in large part on Eddie Little's book.

Another tip-off - on Oprah's site there is an interview with James and someone asked him the significance of the scribbles at the start of each chapter. James stated that he had wanted to start each chapter with a full page of pure black, but it would have been cost-prohibitive. Hmmmmm, Another Day in Paradise starts each chapter with a page printed half in black. Coincidence, no?

This is just so wrong.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


120 of 135 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I knew this book was full of it when.., January 10, 2006
By 
Afan of Sitagyl Manor (Brooklyn, New York United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Million Little Pieces (Paperback)
I was reading it last year and got up to the scene where the dentist refuses to give him anaesthetic for his root canal out of concern that he would relapse into drug addiction. I knew this couldn't possibly be true. It was like a ripoff of Marathon Man. At that point, I realized I'd been had and threw the book away in disgust.

I acquired the book accidentally in a mistaken book club shipment and decided to give it a try. The narrator is an annoying spoiled rich kid, extremely unsympathetic. Like most junkies, he's boring. He has no interests except himself. The writing is tedious. When I caught my neighbour reading it on the subway I actually asked him in disbelief, "You LIKE that book?" (He said yes. God knows why.)

Come on, no anaesthetic for a root canal? You'll need an anaesthetic..preferably some hard drugs..in order to enjoy this ridiculous, overheated, overhyped book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


211 of 241 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Finally, what I really think, January 11, 2006
This review is from: A Million Little Pieces (Paperback)
I am an alcoholic, sober for ten years. I went through detox, rehab, AA, and all the rest. When I read this book a couple of months ago, I thought, "This is just nothing like what I went through." I bought it and intended to pass it along to my AA friends to share, but after I finished it, I didn't want to give it to anyone. It would scare anyone who was considering going into treatment, and that's a shame because treatment isn't like that. If I had pulled any of the stunts he did, I would have been out on my bum. I think the author is just needing attention badly--thus the rebellion and bad boy stunts that he tells about. In my experience, alcoholics/addicts with his attitude end up drinking/using again, because they have such a case of terminal specialness--the 12 steps work for those other losers, but I'm better than that, stronger than that. I don't need those crutches. This book is just sensationalism of the worst kind. I'm sorry I donated to James Frey by buying this book. I threw it away so it wouldn't fall into anyone else's hands.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


87 of 97 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bogus Reviews!!!!, December 27, 2005
By 
Celso "Celso" (Greenpoint, New York) - See all my reviews
It's true. Most of the positive reviews come from people working for the publisher and the author. It's an industry practice as Amazon is one of the best places to sell books and advertize them. Take a look at the following reviews from 2003, and reviews from 2005. Why would anyone spend 2.5, going on 3 years posting the same review under different names if they did not have a vested interest in the sales of this book.

Readers Addiction, April 17, 2003
Reviewer:Helen L. Motley (Ohio) - See all my reviews
I was up 'til midnight reading Frey's Million Little Pieces. I woke again at 4am and read until my alarm went off.

Solid five star book, December 1, 2005
Reviewer:Donna Freuhaf (Pell Lake, WI) - See all my reviews
I was up 'til midnight reading Frey's Million Little Pieces. I woke again at 4am and read until my alarm went off.
______________________________________________
Absorbing, fresh, and never cliched, April 17, 2003
Reviewer:
James Frey has been getting a ton of press and hype over his debut work, and rightly deserved.

Harrowing and enlightening, bright and dark all at once, October 4, 2005
Reviewer:Thomas Watkins (Freemont, CA) - See all my reviews
James Frey has been getting a ton of press and hype over his A MILLION LITTLE PIECES, and rightly deserved
______________________________________________
Please try this book, December 10, 2005
Reviewer:L.N. (Oxford, MS) - See all my reviews
After having read James Frey's debut novel, my answer is an unequivocal and resounding yes.

A writer for a generation?, April 20, 2003
Reviewer:Dan Glasser (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
After having read James Frey's debut novel, my answer is an unequivocal and resounding yes.
_______________________________________________
Standing on its own boards, April 17, 2003
Reviewer:
The autobiographical memoir seems to have become the latest trend, mirroring the rise in reality tv (but more intellectual, of course!)

A Million little stars, December 26, 2005
Reviewer:Sandra Frohm (San Francisco, CA) - See all my reviews
The autobiographical memoir seems to have become the latest trend, mirroring the rise in reality tv (but more intellectual, of course!)

One review that stood out was,

Deeply personal book, April 11, 2005
Reviewer:amitnaiz (Walla Walla, WA USA) - See all my reviews
A Million Little Pieces is certainly one of the best books I've written in quite a long time.

I just thought it was interesting how the author of this critique stated it is one of the best books "I"VE" ever written. I'msure it was probably just a typo, but Frey is a compulsive liar, I wouldn't put it past him.
_
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


102 of 115 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Million Little Pieces = One Giant Lie, January 21, 2006
This review is from: A Million Little Pieces (Paperback)
Had I not found out that this book was based on complete fabrication, I would have left an entirely different review. But the singular reason I enjoyed the book so much was that I thought it was real -a series of uncanny conincidences and extraordinary evidents with a bittersweet ending.

It took me a while to get into reading it, not because of the graphic details of going through detox (the puking, the blood), but James Frey paints himself as super-human. The infamous going through a root canal without sedatives, pulling out his stiches prematurely, breezing through the weeks of rehab by playing poker and making jokes, ditching the blue book and all rules of recovery by sticking to his own principles, playing a keen Sherlock Holmes when his love interest leavees the clinic and ends up in a crackhouse, etc. I never got the sense or truly bought that he truly understood what it was to be an addict. A decade of abusing alohcol, sniffing glue, and smoking crack daily while vomiting blood and not being able to keep down food, also on a daily, leave you as a resemblance of something that may have once been human. Anyone having gone through it personally or knowing anyone who had gone through it, would know that. This is very different from this mug shots which show a healhty, fresh faced boy in a crisp button down shirt. (How does he keep his clothes so clean after passing out in alleys and crack houses?)

There are so many elemenets that seemed fake. Had I picked up this book with the understanding that it was fiction, in all honesty, I would never have made it past the 2nd chapter. James Frey, in interview after interview, credits himself for his writing style and his stregth. I'm sure he was nothing more than a party animal who was admitted to Hazelden after his parents thought he was an alcoholic and treatened to cut off his inheritance if he didn't recover.

Shame on Oprah for her unrelenting seal of approval. Of course, she will do nothing short of praise him since she inducted his book into her book club with a shower of tears on her show. Do yourself a favor and don't bother with this book. If James Frey had paid attention during the recovery process he would have learned that one of the most important steps towards betterment is honesty. This book is nothing short of some garbage supermarket novel.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


102 of 115 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea, January 10, 2006
This review is from: A Million Little Pieces (Paperback)
I finished this book last week, and even before all of this smoking gun talk came on the scene I had a hard time swallowing a lot of this story.

I have a brother who was an addict so I could relate to a lot of Frey's descriptions of what it's like to be an addict. I also appreciated that there was no denial that he was a drug addict. My problem was the arrogance! This guy portrayed himself as always right. It NEVER stopped. He also portrayed himself as the toughest guy that ever existed. It's like he is still a 23 year old kid who just likes to brag to everyone how tough he was and how no one would ever dare mess with him. You can tell thats how he still demands respect. When he wrote this book it was like he was thinking of who would be playing him in the movie. Whoever the lucky actor is better make sure to say in his Academy Award speech that James Frey is a true inspiration to us all or else Frey will make sure to be there to kick his ass and once again prove how tough of a guy he really is.

I wanted to go through this journey w/ James Frey and I just realized I could not because he was so closed minded. Great he got through it and I am happy for him, but I found him to be very closed minded and insulting to others, like my brother, who got through his addictions by AA and a higher power. How dare he say that is just replacing another addiction for another?? How dare he judge what has worked for so many others?

Then how ridiculous it is to be on a plane w/ 4 front teeth missing, a huge gash in his cheek, piss, blood, vomit all over himself, how is that possibly allowed no matter what?? Also, root canal and caps in one sitting and no type of medication? Skipping meeting, playing cards in lecture, etc.?? I mean please!

Addressing Frey's writing style - I was able to get use to that after about 20 pages and really did not have a problem with that. The repition got a little boring boring boring after awhile.

Finally, I was very excited to read this book but was just plain dissappointed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


62 of 68 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fraudulent Silliness., January 16, 2006
By 
dynaman2 "dynaman2" (camp hill, pa. United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Million Little Pieces (Paperback)
When I read this book and having some familiarity with addiction, I was astounded at the untruths and far-out exaggerations contained in this self-professed victim's fairy taleThe outlandish performance at the dentist's,his unlikely physical state on the plane,his tough-guy posture,his being left off the hook for serious infractions. He might be a rich-boy alcoholic but a heroin addict he's not,simply because his behavior does not fit the role.Like others,he has exploited this society's infatuation with drugs to make an easy buck. For an authentic ,yet humble read,throw this junk away and find a copy of Three-Dog Nightmare. Guaranteed,it's the real deal!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


126 of 143 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Complete fiction, December 28, 2005
By 
Concerned reviewer (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Million Little Pieces (Paperback)
This book seems like complete fiction -and bad fiction at that. I'm stunned that Oprah's group didn't do any research - no airline would let this guy on the plane covered in vomit and blood. No rehab facility would let meals be catered, patients gamble to televised football games nor, especially, let one of the patients lead a counselor into a crackhouse in search of a patient that left the facility. James Frey is a failed screenwriter that came up with his best dose of fiction and a lot of desperate people bought it. Funny how the "people" or should I say "characters" that could have exposed him are all dead. I doubt that any really existed, particulary "Leonard" the mobster who says the author is the toughest kid he'd ever met. Pure, awful, dangerous fiction.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2209 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

A Million Little Pieces
A Million Little Pieces by James Frey (Paperback - September 22, 2005)
$15.95 $10.64
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.