Friday, November 11, 2005

A Million Little Pieces - Raw & Fascinating

As I was surfing the Barnes & Noble webpage (unfortunately for my finances that's something I do too often) I came across a book that is one of Oprah's Book Club choices. It was A Million Little Pieces. Since I read so much children's literature, I wanted to get something totally out of the field of reading and teacher education. I ordered it. It is a fascinating read. It is the story of the author's stay in a rehab center as part of his journey from drug and alcohol addiction to sobriety. The beginning hooks the reader immediately. James Frey is 23 years old and awakens on an airplane with no ID. He is wanted in three states. He has a gaping hole in his cheek big enough to stick a finger through, he's missing four teeth, he's covered with spit, blood and vomit. He has no idea where the airplane is heading or how he got there. As he gets off the plane, he is met by his parents who take him to a drug rehab facility in Minnesota, and that's where the journey begins.
I'm only about halfway through the book, and so I can't report yet how it ends. It is not a book for the faint of heart. Frey spares no details as he describes the horror of his addiction. His injuries require extensive dental work, but because of his addiction he can have no anesthesia or pain-killers of any kind. The story is made even more heartbreaking because of his age. He first became addicted at the age of ten, and the rehab stay he describes occurred when he was only 23 years old. If you are offended by the repetitive use of the f-word and other crude and raw language, this isn't a book for you. Sometimes it's difficult to read because of the stream-of-consciousness style of writing. However, it is real and the story rings true of the experiences of someone at the depths of addiction struggling to regain his life.

I highly recommend A Million Little Pieces as a book that will scare you, enlighten you, and hopefully provide hope for anyone with addictions of any kind.

1 comment:

Joan said...

You are feeding my "to read" list too much -- it is getting FAT!! Just kidding, of course. I appreciate the suggestions for books read next. I am finally learning to get rid of books ALMOST as fast as I bring in new ones so I don't drown in the clutter.