"A Million Little Pieces" by James Frey Book Club Discussion

Hi all. I’ll start things off with questions to get things going. Feel free to post your own questions too. Here we go!

  1. Rate the book between 1 and 4. Why? 1 = thumbs down. 4 = thumbs up.

1 bc the guy made it up and tried to profit off a vulnerable population.

  1. James rejects AA, and seems to use self reliance to aid his recovery. Thoughts?
  1. James often refers to “The Fury”. What’s “The Fury” like for you in your recovery?
  1. Eyes are symbolic throughout the book. For the longest time, James wouldn’t look himself in the eyes. He eventually did. Thoughts? Share something about what you’ve seen in your own eyes.
  1. Do you have a book recommendation for October? If yes, what?

They say eyes are the window to the soul. When I was using and looked in a mirror there was nothing. Just dead space. Drinking and using robbed me of my soul

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I have to go to the gym and run some errands right now y’all. I’ll hop back on here, when I get home, to answer the questions and participate.

It was written in an addicive way. Obsessive in his writing style he hit the nail on the head for me. He has battled addiction but did inflate experiences. I’ve read it many times and enjoyed the sequel my friend Leonard. We share a common illness for sure but are individuals in our recovery and thoughts. I go to AA and follow the twelve steps but as always advocated. I keep an open mind . Read smacked if you can it’s brilliant as well by mellissa furgeson

  1. Rating it a 4. I liked the style of the writing. No quotation marks, etc… raw, kinda like the subject matter imo. It was an easy read for me. The brutally detailed story of addiction and recovery resonated with moi in that even tho our backgrounds and “stories” vary, we share a common thread which breaks down a lot of barriers between people imo.
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  1. I’m open minded about recovery methods/programs. I dont think it’s a one size fits all thing. I think I would’ve gone along with the treatment centers recommendations to embrace AA. Haven’t gone to AA yet in my own recovery, at least not yet.
  1. I think I’d call it “The Vortex”. When I want to escape via alcohol, it’s like theres this whirling, frenzy of emotions trying to consume me. I hate the vortex. Hate.it.
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  1. It takes time, and ongoing examination of ones self, to clearly see things about yourself imo. I’ve seen emptiness in my eyes. I’ve seen hurt in my eyes. I’ve seen a spark in my eyes…hope.
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  1. I’ll make a book recommendation, but need to consider some options.

I can remember times, especially when drunk, stopping and looking at myself. It’s like I was looking at a stranger. Kinda like “where are you” “what’s happened to you”


I’m thinking I want to read the sequel. Leanord was quite an influential character.

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I first read this book when it was published. It absolutely blew me away. It was such a vivid picture of the horrors of addiction.

Then I heard that he fabricated lots of it. I saw the second Oprah interview. In no way am I saying that what he did was right - but I think I understand it. He wrote a book. He didn’t know how it would be marketed. He was desperate for money. It snowballed. He reverted to the addict behavior of lying - and lying - and lying. Yep, he’s a liar and a manipulator. I was too.

All that aside, I think the book in isolation is excellent. I’d give it a 4.

My eyes - lord, they just looked empty for so long. Like my soul was dead. It’s been incredible to see them brighten again - in myself and in so many transformations I see on here.

The fury: my usage never felt that angry. It felt frantic. That all consuming “when can I get my next drink? What if I run out? How can I get through the day if I don’t have it? And then it became quick sand. It just kept pulling me back in - slowly, quietly, sadly…

His rejection of AA - I think everyone finds their own path to sobriety. From what I understand, Frey is still sober. Personally, I could not do it on my own. I tried. A lot. I failed - a lot.

I also wonder if his dishonesty surrounding the book would have been the same if he was working a program. Maybe. Maybe not. For me, the step work has been invaluable in seeing the illusions and lies in my life and keeping my ego in check.


Didn’t read after controversy that it wasn’t true.
I did read Russell Brand’s book and would give that one a 4. He recommended alcoholics/addicts find an online support group. That’s why I’m on this website. Best decision for my recovery besides AA.


We read Brand’s book several months ago. Theres a discussion thread for it. FYI