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James Frey (1) (1969–)

Author of A Million Little Pieces

For other authors named James Frey, see the disambiguation page.

33+ Works 15,132 Members 387 Reviews 28 Favorited
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About the Author

James Frey was born on September 12, 1969. He graduated from Denison University in 1992. He eventually moved to Los Angeles and found work as a screenwriter, director, and producer. He wrote the screenplays to the films Kissing a Fool and Sugar: The Fall of the West, which he also directed. He is show more an American author who was thrust into the spotlight after he published his "autobiographical" book, A Million Little Pieces in 2003. By 2006 it became common knowledge that parts of the memoir were fictitious. This lead Frey and his publisher to a public confrontation on the Oprah show. After admitting that he had made parts of the book up, a note was published in future editions of the book to that effect. Also, readers who felt that they were "defrauded" and who bought the book prior to the 2006 date were offered a refund by Random House. His other books include My Friend Leonard, Bright Shiny Morning, and The Final Testament of the Holy Bible. In 2009 he formed a young adult publishing company, Full Fathom Five, which wrote the novels I Am Number Four and The Power of Six under the name of Pittacus Lore. I Am Number Four was made into a movie in 2011. Frey's title, The Calling, co-authored with Nils Johnson-Shelton, made the New York Times bestseller list in 2014. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: November 2009, photo by Roger Casas-Alatriste


Works by James Frey

A Million Little Pieces (2003) 9,776 copies, 229 reviews
My Friend Leonard (2005) 2,340 copies, 47 reviews
Bright Shiny Morning (2008) 1,096 copies, 39 reviews
Endgame: The Calling (2012) 897 copies, 33 reviews
Endgame: Sky Key (2015) 326 copies, 10 reviews
The Final Testament of the Holy Bible (2011) 201 copies, 12 reviews
Endgame: Rules of the Game (2016) 166 copies, 5 reviews
Katerina (2018) 108 copies, 4 reviews
LA Story (2009) 18 copies, 1 review

Associated Works

Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do (2013) — Contributor — 183 copies, 10 reviews
Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer (2010) — Contributor — 135 copies, 26 reviews


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Common Knowledge

Legal name
Frey, James Christopher
Places of residence
New York, New York, USA
Denison University
Lore, Pittacus (shared pseudonym)




If you ever wanted to know and understand exactly what a hardcore drug addict or a severe alcoholic feels like as he becomes sober, then read this book. The author writes a play by play, in first person, present tense, the self deprecating struggles in his own mind as his body painfully withdraws and comes to grips with a sober life inside a clinic.

Addicts are told they are born with a gene, that when activated by alcohol or drugs, takes over...a gene that is not yet known. It is a disease and not the fault of the abuser. I'm not so sure I believe this is a disease as it is more of the drugs, alcohol, or even excessive food or a sex addict, altering a personality and it becoming a habit or addiction. Everyone I've ever met has some kind of internal problems they are dealing with, big or small. It's all in the way each person is able to handle it. So far, the only thing they say they find that defeats that addiction, and only temporarily at best, are AA meetings and the 12 step program....a continuous effort, and a Higher Power...even at that, there is only about a 15% success rate.

James thought all of that was bullshit, and he refused to believe he was born with this gene. He accepted the responsibility as his own. The choice was his to say yes or no with that first drink, or with trying that first drug. He did believe, as I also believe, that how a person handles stress, or how insecure a person may feel about themselves, can determine if a person will drink responsibly and know when to stop, or if they will look for harder stuff to mask their insecurities. He never listened to the daily lectures. He called their step-by-step program bullshit, especially when Lilly, the girl in the clinic he had fallen in love with, ran out of the clinic to a crackhouse and they didn't bother to help her until he, himself, ran out after her to find her and bring her back. Of course, he would have never even had a chance to become sober had he not entered the clinic, but the clinic appeared to be set up to only following their rules written out on paper instead of trying to identify each persons weakness and maybe straying from their formula at times to help someone. James had to find strength from within himself.

His brother had given him a book while in the clinic that seemed to help him mentally above all else: Tao Te Ching by Laozi. It gives Chinese wisdom on practical everyday life, which he gave little synopsis' throughout the book. James cherished that book.

At the end, he lets you know the outcome of the people he got to know inside the clinic. Only three stayed sober and two were still living...he is one of them. His best friend, Leonard, who the clinic advisors warned to stay away from because he was a bad influence, saved him with good, strong advise. Leonard also never relapsed, but he died of AIDS. The judge, Miles, who helped lesson James' sentence from 3-8 years to a 3-6 month sentence in county jail and several years probation, also stayed sober. All the others had been killed or incarcerated in state prisons afterwards.

Unfortunately, I gave this only a 3-star...average read...because it was so monotonous reading and living inside this author's head, rehashing his every anger, desires, and feelings over and over and over again. But, anyone dealing with these issues will surely connect to what the author is writing and feeling.
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MissysBookshelf | 228 other reviews | Aug 27, 2023 |
I really can't see the whole fuss about how much of this story was embellished. This book was great, and was inspirational. If it helped a lot of people, I think that matters more.

Great read, as is its sequel, My Friend Leonard, although this one takes the cake between the two.
Acilladon | 228 other reviews | Jul 30, 2023 |
Even if greatly exaggerated, still a very good read...
Mcdede | 228 other reviews | Jul 19, 2023 |
didn't live up to the hype for me
Andy5185 | 228 other reviews | Jul 9, 2023 |



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