Monday, May 2, 2011

a million little pieces

I picked up a Million Little Pieces at a used bookstore a long time ago... so long ago that it doesn't have the Oprah's Bookclub sticker on it. But after Oprah endorsed James Frey, then retracted her support, and the debate over the "nonfiction-ness" of the book, I just got sick of hearing about it and never started reading it. School also got in the way of leisurely reading (although some books just couldn't be stopped... the Harry Potters, for example. Oh, and the His Dark Materials trilogy).

Welps, I finally got around to reading it. It's the story of his rehab experience. He's really bad and then, SPOILER ALERT, he gets better and he's off drugs and goes on Oprah.
Honestly, it all felt a little shallow. Truth or embellished truth, the other rehab characters make up a pretty cliched cast. Big shots that become addicts and lose everything. A girl on drugs who becomes a prostitute to feed her drug habit and commits suicide. I've heard it all before... maybe I've been watching too much Law and Order SVU. Also, there is this whole dentistry part where he gets two root canals and some procedure involving a sander (there is not such thing as a sander) without anesthesia. Which is RIDICULOUS. Let's just say I am a reliable source of dental information, including rehab patients.

Subject matter aside, the no-frills, almost mantra-like writing style works. The book starts with short, staccato phrases on a need-to-know basis. He's still under the influence and not much matters. As the drugs and alcohol wear off, the writing also becomes more lucid and detailed. I'm glad I read it. I work with guys in rehab and it doesn't look easy. The book has given me an idea of what it could be like for one guy.

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