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A Million Little Pieces

By Mira Khatib

 

Many of you have probably heard about “A Million Little Pieces”; James Frey, so called non-fiction memories as a 23 year old young man, destroying his mind and body to an intense addiction on drugs and alcohol.

After hearing about it from Oprah herself I had to go and get my own copy and find out what made Oprah stay up all night. Here is what I found:

A book so explicit in details filled with almost graphic cruelty that is too harsh to be real. With his simple straightforward words Frey takes readers on a hard and emotional journey from self destruction to self awakening. Too shocking that it is almost impossible not to keep on turning the pages to learn more about such a tortured life. So grasping that even Oprah Winfrey and most of her staff could not resist and made it one of her choices for her book club collection.

With such an endorsement by the show talk diva herself there was no surprise to the 3.5 million copies sold and making the book the best non-fiction seller in the New York Times for 15 weeks straight.

From there came the revelation, controversy and investigation. Police reports, court records, interviews with law enforcement personnel, and other sources have put the lie to many key sections of Frey’s book. Documents and interviews show, wholly fabricated or wildly embellished details of his purported criminal career, jail terms, and status as an outlaw “wanted in three states.” And from here Oprah Winfrey was put on the spot; making everyone question with such fabrications what parts of the book is true and what is not? Yet Frey has repeatedly asserted in press interviews that the book is “all true” and he told Winfrey, “I think I wrote about the events in the book truly and honestly and accurately.”

While there is no doubt Frey spent time in rehab, there really isn’t anyone left (besides the author himself) to vouch for many of the book’s outlandish stories. Later on Frey admits to Oprah that he has made a mistake, “I made a lot of mistakes in writing the book and promoting the book. But I still think it’s not a novel. I still think it’s a memoir,” he said. “I don’t feel like I conned you. I still think the book is about drug addiction and alcoholism and no one is disputing that I was a drug addict and an alcoholic, and it’s about the battle to overcome that.”

As for Frey’s experience he is hoping to learn from it, “I feel like I came here and (have) been honest with you, and essentially admitted to lying. It’s not an easy thing to do in front of an audience full of people and a lot of others watching on TV,” he told Winfrey.

“If I come out of this with anything, it’s being a better person and learning from my mistakes and making sure I don’t repeat them.”

Personally while I was reading the book I kept thanking God for the simple and safe life I lead. I prayed for others less unfortunate whose fate and wrong doing took them on a cruel twisted journey. Once I reached the last page of the book I felt I could breathe again and enjoy life to the fullest. It wasn’t easy reading the book, yet I couldn’t bring myself to put it down till it was over. Whether it is all true or not, I can only say that it is a well written, heart wrenching story…that left me in deep thought.

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