Tuesday, November 18, 2008

a million little pieces

way back when, i read this book. i wasn't in the best place in my life. lately, it's come up repeatedly in discussions, so i feel compelled to share my thoughts on it from way back when.
In case you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard about James Frey's "memoir" A Million Little Pieces. Curiosity finally got the best of me, and I borrowed it. It was slow going at first because his writing style was hard to get used to. The further I got, the faster I read. Partly because I didn't have to stop and think about who was saying what, partly because it became more intriguing. I found myself laughing out loud at his interactions with his fellow patients and the staff. The descriptions in the book are haunting and vivid. His fellow patients are real, and come from a broad spectrum of society. Mob boss. Boxer. Steel worker. Judge. It holds to some of the stuff I taught. Addiction doesn't care if you're black, white, rich, poor, man, woman, child. You abuse, you're done. Simple as that.
With the brouhaha over the fictive parts of the memoir, I found myself wondering at points in the book what was made up. There were certainly parts of the book that I am convinced were complete and total bullshit, but then again, I've not been in his shoes before. Since I can't relate to the anger that addicts felt upon finding out about the embellishments or bold-faced lying, I can't help but wonder if there would've been the same outcry or hope if it was written by someone else as a work of fiction.
Never having dealt with substance abuse myself, I can't relate to those aspects of the book. The struggle the overwhelming need the craving the Fury...Sorry, I guess Frey's style got into my head. Hell, I've never taken anything harder than booze, and certainly not to the point of abuse. The most I've ever drank in one night was the better part of a fifth of SoCo, and I'm still being told details of that evening.
"Words can't say this. The one word love means too little for what it is. It means everything and that is still not enough. It doesn't communicate even a fraction of the feelings involved. Love. The word is not enough for what it is. Love. Love."(316)
The part of the book that I related best to was when he fell for Lilly. Being in love is about the only addiction I've ever experienced. Always wanting to be with that person, never wanting to part. It's awesome and it's powerful and it's draining and it's exhilarating all at the same time. When you lose it, you crave it and fear that you'll never find it again. I suppose it's an addiction that most everyone wants, and it seems to be awfully hard to find sometimes. Each time you're lucky enough to find it, your mind and heart race with all the possibilities it poses. But each time you're unlucky enough to lose it, the pain seems more intense than the last, though you build your walls and defenses and it sadly becomes easier to deal with. Thus a vicious cycle begins. Each time you meet someone worthy of your love, it's harder and harder to let yourself go and just be.

you read it? your thoughts, please. being in love then and being in love now are worlds apart, and i'm curious how your view may have changed (especially if you read this review when i originally posted it on myspace).

No comments: