A Million Little Pieces is the confessional autobiography of James Frey about his past as an alcoholic and drug addict. The book starts at the moment he is checked into a rehabilitation facility at the age of twenty-three. He is in such bad shape, that the doctor at the rehab center warns that another incidence of substance abuse might kill him. Fellow patients and poems from the Chinese book Tao The Ching give him more support than the twelve steps of the AA by which the clinic swears. Through flashbacks, Frey effectively depicts the alcohol and drug abuse scene and his agonizing months of detoxification.
Frey’s style is repetitive; he often writes the same sentence twice or more, but with a slight difference, and regularly repeats as a mantra: I am an Alcoholic, I am a drug Addict and I am a Criminal. His apparently random use of capitalization and non-traditional phrasing sometimes causes the text to resemble song lyrics.
James Frey is thirty-three years old. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, he has lived in six countries and ten states and now lives in Los Angeles. He has worked in an odd number of jobs and is now a screenwriter and writer of non-fiction. Mr. Frey has been sober for ten years.
Translator Sjaak de Jong was awarded a scholarship from the Stichting Fonds voor de Letteren for his translation of In duizend stukjes.
NY Times article explaining Million Little Pieces controversy