Monday, September 01, 2008

Review: A Million Little Pieces

I did not have high expectations when I picked up the copy of A Million Little Pieces by James Frey that my friend gave me a couple years ago. Those expectations were exceeded only slightly.

James Frey's A Million Little Pieces follows the author's recovery from severe drug addiction while in a rehabilitation center.

It's not that I have a problem with claims of lying in a memoir--I looked at this as a piece of entertainment rather than a true story. The problem I have is with the actual writing. Frey's work reads like a repetitive grocery list. And the format (lacking indentation and quotation marks) makes an editor want to throw a style manual at the author.

Style and format aside, A Million Little Pieces isn't all bad. There is an interesting story in the mess with characters that are slightly sympathetic for recovering drug addicts. However, readers don't necessarily need every single detail about the author's time in rehab. I really didn't care what he had to eat at every meal.

The book could easily be cut down by about 150 pages without losing any significant points of the story. Of course, seeing as it is a quick read, losing those pages would also save readers about two hours.

2 comments:

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JA Huber said...

I haven't read the book yet so thanks for the review. Interesting perspective, others I know who've read it raved about it.