Jump to content

A Million Little Pieces


Recommended Posts

I thought I'd added to this thread after The Crash. but I can't find the post anywhere in the thread. I have just found this in the Google cache.



I have finally borrowed AMLP from my son's gf, and finished it today. That's less than a week, which is unusual for me, and illustrates how gripping the book is.


I regret not having read it before the 'truth' came out, as I found that I was reading it as a novel rather than a memoir. Several times I had to remind myself that there was a real life going on there, behind the embellishments, and that it was hell.


Like some others I found the formatting a pain. Just another gimmick to 'authenticate' the book as a reflection of the state Frey was in. The irregular line length was a particular irritation, although the one word 'sentences', and repetitions would not have had the same impact if set out across the page (and could not have been skimmed down so easily). For me, though, the random capitalisation was a real bugbear. When reading, I put a mental emphasis, or added importance to capitalised words, so it did interfere with my reading.

There were some bits that I skimmed over. As I've mentioned, the strings of single words running down the page, and also, towards the end, the psychbabble drivel from his little Tao book.


My thoughts as I finished it were:


Read as a novel it gripped, but lacked style.

As a biography, the inclusion of fabrications detracts rather than adds to a remarkable tale of recovery from the depths of degredation.



I have just read through this thread and realise that a lot of the posts in it should really have gone into the Worse If It's Not True thread. I don't think I can untangle them from the rest of the thread 'though.



If anyone finds the original of this post, let me know where it is, and I'll delete the duplicate

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I gave this to a new bloke that I'm dating, I could see his face fall when I presented him with a book on the second date but it was his fault he had enthused about reading on the first date so I thought I'd make a suggestion.


He read it all in a couple of days and raved about it, even going onto the internet to explore what were the real parts and which were elaborated. I met him at the pub I work in at the weekend and everyones been taking the mick (in a friendly way) they all now claim I gave him homework to do, although several of them seemed fairly convinced the book seemed good so it may pick up a few more readers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...

(Almost) A Million Litigator Refunds

By Craig Morgan Teicher -- Publishers Weekly, 10/2/2007 12:21:00 PM


In the class action lawsuit against James Frey and his former publisher Random House over Frey’s discredited memoir, A Million Little Pieces —the result of which was that Frey and RH were ordered to refund the purchase price of the book to anyone who submitted a claim (up to $2.35 million)—it’s not readers, but the lawyers, who are demanding money.


October 1, 2007 was the deadline to submit a claim for a refund of the $14.95 retail price of the paperback. According to The Smoking Gun, the website that first broke the news that Frey had fictionalized and exaggerated his best-selling, Oprah-endorsed debut, only 1,345 readers have submitted claims as of September 17th. Because the refunds will not amount to the $2.35 million Frey and RH agreed to pay, the two parties have agreed to charitable contributions of $235,000.


Now that readers have had their chance, the lawyers who represented the class members are seeking $788,333.33 to cover legal fees associated with the suit, as stated in a declaration filed last Friday in a U.S. district court in Manhattan.


While I am dismayed at the thought of people demanding their money back for this book, I am heartened to see that it was so few people who actually submitted a claim.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I am dismayed at the thought of people demanding their money back for this book, I am heartened to see that it was so few people who actually submitted a claim.

I wouldn't have been surprised to see a lot more - not because of any issue relating to the book, just human nature. The idea of something for nothing will always appeal to a great many, even if it involves a daft level of effort.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't have been surprised to see a lot more - not because of any issue relating to the book, just human nature. The idea of something for nothing will always appeal to a great many, even if it involves a daft level of effort.


That's very true David. I think, especially in litigation-mad America, that to see such a low number of claimants is really heartening. I wish that I could definitively say that means that the vast majority enjoyed the book and didn't have a huge problem with the provenance of the story, but I suspect the legal process wasn't worth the effort for $14.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Similar Content

    • By Hazel
      My Friend Leonard is the follow up to Frey's masterpiece, A Million Little Pieces. My postie delivered it this morning and after doing all my housework, feeding my boys, I settled down to read it. At 3:18pm I finished reading it through a blur of tears. MFL is just as good as AMLP, and by now you know how much I loved that book.
      At the end of AMLP you are told what happens to each of the people Frey meets in rehab, so you kind of wonder what the point of the follow up will be, as you already know Leonard's fate. However, there is much left to be said, and although Frey isn't in a visceral struggle to come off booze and drugs, daily life is as much a struggle. The writing style is the same, the pace and emotion doesn't change, and I admit to reading some passages through blurred eyes. It's another fantastic book which will stay with me forever. Hopefully some of you that pick up AMLP will go on to read this too. You won't regret it!
    • By megustaleer
      Go to the biography forum for discussion of A Million Little Pieces
    • By Hazel
      I was a huge fan of Frey's controversial memliar, A Million Little Pieces, as most BGOers will know. I almost wet my pants in admiration for the gripping, engaging, fraught, and terribly well-written book. Unfortunately, as we all know, the book was less non-fiction and more fiction. A reading of his sequel, My Friend Leonard, should have been a beacon of the truth, long before thesmokinggun broke the story. Despite the controversy, I still maintain that the books (MFL slightly less so), are infinitely good reads, and Frey's writing style, fiction or non, is right up my street.
      Still, I had his fictional novel, Bright Shiny Morning, on my shelves for a little while, a little scared to crack it open and be disappointed. Plus, I hate the cover. But thanks to Leyla's encouragement, I finally gave it a go. And it's good. Very good. So good in fact, that it really should stop people bleating on about his memliar controversy. Me included.
      Bright Shiny Morning is a kaleidoscope pictorial of life in Los Angeles. At times, it is a documentary of the major events in the creation of L.A. At times, it is a patchwork of stories, featuring characters who do not necessarily re-appear. but for the most part, Frey shows us the lives of small selection of people who come to and reside in L.A.
      We have Esperanza, a bright, talented girl who lives with her parents and other family members. Esperanza was born in L.A. to immigrant parents, and has to fake being a stereotypical immigrant, just to get bus concessions and work as a housemaid after scholarship plans fall through. Like her fellow colleagues, the gardeners, she pretends that she doesn't speak much English so that she can avoid conversation with the extremely nasty L.A. wife that employs her, and so that she can hear what is said about her. In L.A. Esperanza finds herself - unlike most who seem to lost themselves.
      Amberton Parker; movie star, A-lister, good looker, musclebound, and gay, is married to Casey; movie-star, A-lister, good looker and...gay. They have children and the seemingly perfect life, but both stay firmly in the closet. But Amberton isn't used to not getting what he wants, and when he falls in love with Kevin, an agent, nothing stops him. Not even the fact that Kevin...not so much with the gayness. Here, the Amberton/Kevin storyline isn't as important as the story in which Amberton and Casey build and maintain a facade, and how they conduct their (shallow) lives.
      Most heartbreaking, is the story line featuring Maddie and Dylan, who escape to L.A. from abusive parents, and struggle to have a happy family life. The closest they come is when Dylan starts work as a caddie and his fellow caddies fill the gap. But the past isn't a foreign country, even a relatively new L.A. past.
      Frey, through vignettes, historical facts (simply listed), documentary notes, and most saliently, through his characters (all vivid, all believable), successfully creates a picture of L.A., a panorama of a city we think we all know. It's not a million miles away from the perception we have, but he manages to make it human. It's all shiny and glossy whilst at the same time grubby, seedy, dusty and hot. He sticks to his trademark short sentences, separate lines for dialogue, whilst merging sentences without punctuation in longer passages of prose. And it works well, it conveys the sense of this tired, exhausted, dreamy, fast, superficial, shallow city. His writing is not particulary descriptive, but his brisk, simple narration really lends itself to story-telling, a voice you want to listen to. I did really feel like I was standing on the city borders, watching these tales roll by as Frey's narrator presented them.
      A note on the cover that I hate. Neon lights simply scroll out the title. I get it - if any light is going to be shone upon L.A. it has to be neon - both glossy and showbizzy, whilst being seedy and grubby - the lingua franca of strip joints and XXX Movie Rentals. And it's false; a false light, a false colour, a false brightness. I just don't like it - it doesn't do justice to the contents.
      I can't tell you how pleased I am that Frey has proved himself to be a consummate story-teller, and how much of a joy this book is. Stick with the fiction Frey, and you'll go a long way.
  • Create New...