Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Million Little Pieces

I finally got around to reading this book!

I've had it for years and for some reason just never read it.

While I was pregnant and had my ridiculously itchy skin, I started taking baths. And when I took a bath I wanted something to read so I decided to start this book. Of course I didn't finish it before Cassandra was born so after a week or so, I picked it back up and finally got to finish it. I've been done with it for awhile now, but thought I'd chat about it since I have nothing really exciting to post about!

This book was quite the controversy awhile ago. You may remember that Oprah chose this as one of her book club books (which is why I wanted it). She had the author on and this book was supposedly his story.  Well after he was on, word got out that things didn't really happen the way it was written, etc. She got pissed at the author and had him back on the show to get the real story. I think what the conclusion was is that things were exaggerated a bit in the book and it was meant to be his memoir, not an autobiography.  All of the characters existed, but some scenarios didn't take place exactly as written.

Whatever. To me it doesn't matter. 

Anyways, the book starts with James getting off of a plane with two black eyes, a broken nose, teeth knocked out, a hole in his cheek and he's covered in vomit, blood, etc.  And he has no idea where he is or how he ended up the way he did.  Good way to get you into a story right?! 

I won't get into too many details, but the book basically follows James through drug and alcohol rehab. Detox, meeting different people, getting himself fixed up (physically and mentally), family visits, etc.

I'll tell you this....the guy is lucky to be alive. I think in the story he's 23 years old and the amount of drugs and alcohol he did in those short 23 years is incredible. You gotta wonder how someone gets into that habit in the first place and how they can sustain that habit for years upon years. It's pretty wild. And in the book, he's in one of the best rehab clinics and get this...only 15% of patients stay clean for a year. Forget about longer than a year!  To have one of the best sobriety rates and it's only 15% is pretty sad if you ask me. Once an addict, always an addict for most cases.

I really enjoyed the book. It got my attention right away and I kept wanting to know what was going to happen to him. Would he leave rehab? Would he make it through? What about the friends he made? Would he make amends with his family?

One thing that was tricky was the way that the author wrote out conversations. There were no quotation marks or anything. It was written like:

Bob was walking towards me. He speaks.
Hi James, how are you?
Good how are you?
Where are you headed?
Out for a walk.
Enjoy! It's nice outside!

And these conversations would go on for pages. You can imagine how hard it can be to follow at times. There were a few times I had to go back and re-read it to see who said what because I got lost somewhere in it! 

The other thing I want to mention is that the author curses like a sailor....lots and lots of swearing in the book.

One thing I liked was at the very end of the book, they did a recap of what everyone in the book is currently doing and it they remained sober or not. So that was pretty cool to see how everyone is  as of these days.

I definitely enjoyed the book and thought it was a pretty quick read. I would recommend it for sure!

Has anyone else read it and want to share their thoughts?

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