Book Review: My Friend Leonard

When I read James Frey’s first book A Million Little Pieces, I thought it was the most intense book I had read in a long time.  Frey’s second book – My Friend Leonard, which continues where the first book leaves off, is even more intense. 

This book starts at the bottom (like the first one does), starts to climb a little, and then turns you upside down and smashes your head into a concrete floor over and over again.  I started it in the Seattle airport last night on my way to Boston on the red eye – I figured I’d just get started and then put it down when I settled in on the plane to fall asleep.  Bad plan.  An hour into the flight, I finally gave it up and went to sleep.  I finished the book off after I woke up in Boston this morning.  The roller coaster ended – finally – on page 357.

Frey is incredible on numerous dimensions.  For starters, this dude is unbelievably stubborn.  It works against him for a while, but it ultimately works for him in major ways.  Next, he transitions from a devastating first 24 years of his life into a supremely articulate, yet rawly emotional, human.  While he struggles, is afraid of himself, hates his fear, and suffers, he never gives up, especially since he knows that giving up will mean death for him.

His friend Leonard is a major part of this.  Leonard has his own issues, but is an awesome friend when Frey keenly needed one.  Leonard is unapologetic, unyielding, and knows life is meant to be lived.  The interplay between Frey and Leonard is awesome, especially when you toss in Leonard’s bodyguard Snapper.

This book is brilliant.  Do NOT read it without reading A Million Little Pieces first.

  • amy

    I just finished reading Frey’s My Friend Leonard yesterday. While thinking that his first book was fantastic, my enthusiasm for this one is greatly diminished.

    His writing style now feels affected and annoying to me and I’m not buying the veracity of all of the “plot” turns. They came off as made up. Especially details of Leonard’s demise. They just too conveniently incorportated what seems to be currently passing for obligatory avenues of drama.

    He’s a talented guy but if I choose to read any subsequent memoirs of his, it will be with a much more skeptical eye than I had when I first approached this book.

  • c.moore

    I think James Frey is a gifted wrier. I feel like telling his critics to get on with ruining someone else’s success. Leave this guy alone. I will read anything he writes.

  • Shal

    I am reading a million little pieces and it is helping me to understand my husband who is a recovering addict. I think it is a GREAT BOOK and James Frey should continue to write i will read all his books and support him. He has given me HOPE when i thought there was none. His books are really God sent. I think they should leave him alone he has really done well. Hats of to James

  • Sandra Penaluna

    I have just finished A Million Little Pieces by James Frey and I was completely moved by his storie and the sheer rawness of his writing.

    It is one of the best books I have read for a long time and admire him very much for being so honest about his addictions and how he eventually overcame them.

    When his parents came to do the family programme I found it very upsetting because he completely blamed himself for putting his parents through so much pain.

    One thing is for sure he is a very very strong person and I hope he has found piece and contentment in his life.

  • mikie

    i thought this was the biggest piece of crap i have ever read. it was so pat, so perfect. i grew up in Las Vegas and it just reeks so false, i could have writtent this myself

  • Jennifer

    I really think that all of this is under fire only because Oprah had him in her book club. A betrayal of the readers??? Please, give me a break. I really hate that Oprah has Mr. Frey on her show to publicly bash him. The media is already doing that to the greatest degree possible. It embarrases Oprah??? Oh poor lady, I always tend to forget that she wears a halo and does no wrong. Shouldn’t we focus our national attention on something a little more important that an author making a few alterations to his own memory of his life? Big friggin deal.

  • lnthomas

    I just watched James on Oprah’s show… I think Oprah needs to get over herself and her ego-centered embarrassment… There are many, many topics that need to be presented. James is a great writer and both books are a great read and helpful to people. Is Oprah jealous of James?

    Her attitude on the show really got me very upset and as soon as I can – I am logging on and letting Oprah know.. hahahaha as if she will ever read it..

    Keep up the great writing James – you are the best writer I am experienced reading.
    ln in AL

  • Hope

    Come on people…can you really remember every little detail of what you were doing seven years ago? Even with journals, do you write every little thing, like what color your freaken underware were that day? Youre going to need to fill in the blanks w/ something sooner or later, besides its his story, the way he REMEMBERS it regardless. If it seems odd to you, maybe thats because you didnt live it! As for Oprah…I was a fan, now Im questioning that. Hows that for memoir…

  • nancy

    this is just a little note i sent to Oprah and her people seconds after watching the show….

    I decided to write as I was watching the show, but then chose to wait until it was complete so I heard every side of the issue to ensure I would have an informed opinion when I made a statement, unlike Oprah did. Memoir to me means what I’m reading is as the author remembers it. I as a reader know to read a book with an open mind not a literal one. A comment was made that so many parts of the story threw up red flags(even to almighty Oprah) and that those points would have been easily uncovered by a fact checker. Where was the fact checker on Oprah’s team; or even Oprah herself who may not have the time, but has every source available to her. When you put your voice behind something to volume that Oprah does maybe you shouldn’t rely on other people to do your sniffing. To reap the benefits of “discovering” James Frey only to come back and say you were duped? Poor you. Spare me. The ride of James’ recovery is not at all lessened in my eyes and I

  • Marilyn

    I wish there was something people with our point of view could do. I agree that Oprah has a big say in this country and she needs to keep that in mind when dealing with someone who admits he made a mistake. People are making an example out of James Frey and I don’t think it’s fair. I’ve heard Angela’s Ashes was fabricated a great deal, but no one can question that book because most of the people are dead.
    Give James Frey a break.

  • nancy

    Glad to find your blog. I really wanted to write to James Frey today and tell him to hold on again. He was so badly treated on Oprah today I felt so sorry for him. I read his book and I loved it. So what if every little detail wasn’t exact. And Oprah asking about Lily was so stupid, why wouldn’t he change her name and way she killed herself. I too think Oprah should get over herself. So she was embarrassed, so what!! Did you see how terrible James looked. Oprah knew she had the upper hand here and used it to her advantage just so she wouldn’t look bad for promoting his book. I would still read his books. And my feeling about Oprah have really lessened for doing this so publicly.

  • kerian

    i’m really just writing this in hopes that james will read it. i’ve been watching oprah’s show for many many years now and no topic has ever seemed as absurd to me as today’s show. i read a million little pieces a year before it became a member of the oprah book club. i picked it up at the library and found myself completely enthralled – hanging on to every next word. to say the least it was a beautiful piece of work -an engaging piece of work. nothing that has come out about the book has made me feel any different about it – it has changed the way i feel about oprah. what is the point of publicly attempting to crucify someone and why are so many people interested in it? james wrote a story, he is not on trial for murder. at the end of the day james is the one who has to look at himself in the mirror and own up to the accusations – what fucking business is it of ours – he doesn’t owe any of us anything. after today i’m going to purchase a million little pieces and my friend leonard and anything else i can find by him because he does what he does very fucking well.

  • Robin

    I read A Million Little Pieces right after if came out. When I first read it, I didn’t know is was supposed to based on true events. So I read it as fiction….So….who cares, it was a good book, fiction or non-fiction.
    He writes in a style that I can only describe as…my coked up neighbor telling me a story on a sunday morning comming down….I’ll read anything he writes. Kinda reminds me of old times, old friends, old enemys.
    And as for embelleshment…I keep a journal, filled with poetry and prose, about my life… Ive kept it for 12 years, and I can honestly say….without the embelleshment, who the hell would want to read it?

  • Dianne Lang, Ph.D.

    Oprah’s attempt at damage control was nothing more than a modern day lynching. Not only did it upset me to watch this display of egocentricity, but my son phoned me from San Francisco and was outraged at the display. I use to be a fan of Oprah’s, but after this, I think I’ll resign.

  • Joan Kuehn

    I stand behind James Frey and his book. I read it and I fully understand the difference between an autobiography and a memoir. A memoir – from memory. A fried brain at the time from all the drugs. He was trying to hide the identity of the people in rehab by altering the facts. What’s not to understand. Suicide is suicide whether the girl slit her wrists or hung herself. She is dead from a horrible addiction. Stop nit-picking as another famous person said. I hope Oprah is happy that she has probably ruined this poor man’s life and many students who could have benefitted greatly from this book, now will not. Another point 3 days in jail as opposed to 3 months in jail, probably wouldn’t have been such a deterent to some teenagers not to use alcohol and drugs.

  • Kari Berg

    I love the book “Million Little Pieces.” The book is about overcoming addiction. It matters not if parts were not all true. It is true to James Frey. He should be commended for his recovery. I think, “Come on Operah, this is what you are about, commending people. You are just angry that the media is saying he conned you.” Operah should still be supporting this book no matter what. Have I lost respect for anyone, it’s not James Frey, it’s Oparah. James Frey I support you 100%. I love your book and I would buy it over and over again.

  • Laurie

    Regarding the ’embellishing’ issues surrounding James Frey’s book I’d just like to say this:

    For anyone that has walked the path to recovery from addictions, and for the percentage of those that are contemplating it, and those that are going thru it now, this book is a blessing. For anyone that hasn’t walked it, I estimate is a low percentage, but when I include those affected by the lives of an addict (the ripple affect of addiction) that percentage increases substantially…but I can see those that are still using being the percentage that will run the book and James Frey down. It’s a dynamic that, if walked is understood start to finish. There’s no glory in the lives of those that are using. The glory is in the defeat of this crippling dis-ease. But more than any of that is the wisdom that it remains a constant fight…24 hours a day…365 days a year. That’s it, those are my findings…and I feel I want to sign this, name and title: Laurie, recovering alcoholic, 31 years sobriety. ((((((James))))))

  • Billie Yancey

    James in hopes that your reading this, I want you to know I loved your book. My husband who never reads anythings but sports articles loved your book. When we would travel to my daughters home 3 hours away I would read to him. My daughters have also read your book and it has given us many hour of sharing. We
    all came to love Lilly(How could you not). Who does OPRAH think that she is, Oh please lets no-one make OPRAH angry . Remember she thinks she’s the closest to God you can get. I’LL be taking OPRAH of my Tivo list and so will my family. It was nice to know that we weren’t the only ones backing James. Good Luck to you James and peace and LOVE come to you and your family

  • Gwen

    Years from now, when the story of James and Oprah is written, it will state, quite accurately, that James Frey died the day Oprah hanged him with one of the most wanton displays of hubris I had ever witnessed on television. It was a terrible abuse of power and influence.

  • Barbara

    I was appalled at Oprah’s show “frying” James Frey! I read AMLP long before it became Oprah’s selection. James Frey’s story is amazing and all this fallout just takes away from the issue of the drug and alcohol problem gripping this country (out of 7 brothers and sister in my family – 5 have or are recovering from drug/ alcohol addictions). I hope those who are struggling with drug/alcohol addiction do not loose heart and will continue to “hold on”. I salute you James Frey for the courage you showed going on the show and facing your accuser. I have always enjoyed Oprah’s show for its diversity and the good works she does and her generous spirit but my mind belongs to me and I don’t need Oprah to pick/recommend my reading material! Because she blesses or doesn’t bless a book truly carrys no weight other than an author’s possible financial gain -so why is she “personally embarrased”? Keep up the good work James, hold your head high and continue to “hold on”. I have read My Friend Leonard and look forward to your next book.

  • I have read both of James freys books. He is an amazing author. I was appaulled at the way he was treated on the Oprah show yesterday. Oprah acts so high and mighty. I won’t watch her show ever again. I hope James Frey dosen’t stop writing. I hope that he can read what his supporters are saying and be encouraged.

  • Cathy

    I love James Frey. Oprah is treating him so poorly.
    I used to be an avid fan of Oprah’s but she treated him terribly. What does she want the guy to do, kill himself?
    I really beleive that it is ok to change names and alter stories about the people he was writng about in order to protect their identity.
    How can she insist that he admit that he is a liar on live TV? This is not a court room.
    He is not on trial.
    I don’t like Oprah anymore. She really thinks she is close to God himself. I lost all respect for her.
    Maybe she is angry with herself because she gained so much weight back. She looks awful! She is so monetary a total mercenary and she is holding it against him that his book is doing well?

  • julie

    I think James Frey is great! I was truely disappointed in Oprah for bashing him. The book hit my heart in every way. I will support James in anyway I can.

  • eld

    I was appaled at Oprah’s behavior. She was apologizing for calling Larry King, because she was embarrassed by her fan’s reactions, she misused her power to obliterate this poor guy. I admire his strength sitting there and taking her crap. Oprah thikns she can do what ever she wants, he didn’t ask her to call Larry King, she is only upset because her giant ego is hurt.I think she came off a lot worse then him. I didn’t expect a drug addicts memoir to be totally factual. She’d ask him a question and then not even let him respond fully. I lost respect for her, because all she cared about was her ego. It is a good book, and I would still recommend it.

  • Mary-Anne

    James Frey is an amazing writer, and A Million Little Pieces is a great book. I have read the book several times, and I have recommended it to others and will continue to do so. I have a sister who is an alcoholic, and James’ story gave me insight into her addiction.

    Oprah’s behavior towards James was a disgrace. The format of the show–live, with Oprah and several guests berating James–was outrageous and resembled a Jerry Springer show. I found it totally inappropriate and offensive when one guest joked about his own addiction (to bagels) and another joked about writing his own embellished memoir.

    After seeing the show, I do not think less of James or his work. He is a great author, and I hope he realizes many people are rooting for him and his success. As for Oprah, I am angered by her behavior, and I think she owes James an apology!

  • Tasha

    I agree with all of the comments above. Below is the email I just sent to the Oprah show by accessing the oprah’s book club website. They make me sick. I wish I could write to Frey and express my sympathies to him. Anyone have any idea how to email him?? Please let me know if you do at

    [email protected] -THANKS!

    Dear Oprah Show –
    I am disgusted with the way James Frey was treated on your show. Tell me honestly that you people don’t exaggerate. No one there has ever written a book that has touched people the way Frey did – exaggerated or not. It was a moving, intense piece of writing. He could have been handled without public humiliation. it hurt to watch. Every one of us could be called on the carpet for mistakes – some of us for big ones. I am absolutely done watching your show after many, many years…sorry. Yesterday’s show was cruel.

  • becky

    I feel so badly for James. I wanted to contact him and let him know that I think he is wonderful. I really don’t understand what the big deal is. He is an incredibly gifted writer, every person who reads his book raves about it. So what exactly is the problem? I personally think the guys at smoking gun are jealous that the didn’t write such a fantastic piece of literature.Hold on James , your an amazing writer please try not to take all this to heart.

  • Hello?

    OPRAH EMBARASSED HERSELF! The book was well thought of at least, but her responses all weren’t. Oprah prizes herself on her inner peace and spirituality, but she showed herself to be truly an empty shell just like the rest of us, who only care about what people say about us. If it weren’t for the goodness of others who believed in Oprah and supported her and made her what she is today, then who is she to ridicule simple people for making mistakes?

  • janet

    Thank you, thank you! Oprah is just some mindless TV icon. Do you think she even read the book? She needs to stop talking and let James Frey continue writing.

  • Deborah VanDuyne`

    I assume that from now on, setting the precedent that Ms. Oprah has unknowingly presented… one must research, track down, and actually “pick clean” if you will…all Memoirs/Biography/Drama reads that I read in the future. Simply, put…”HOGWASH!” I do commend her efforts to put her “Seal of Approval” on all stories that do come from her Book Club, however, I am the one that picks the book up, addresses whether I want to read it or not…put it back on the shelf or buy it. I chose Mr. Frey’s book not on her suggestions to read, I simply chose it because I had heard so much about the book I was quite curious to read it. I have read many, many authors. I have ready many, many different books. None other has ever intrigued me to stay with it, nor turn to the back page..or skip words. James’ style is in itself one of the best I’ve ever experienced. The repetition of words the bleakness of setting is simply genius… whether all facts be true?, is not an issue with me. I simply don’t care whether he stayed one moment in jail or 10 years…the issues he spoke were believable enough. Drug addictiion is a “monkey on anyone’s back” and anybody that can write about it, be it fiction, or non..or otherwise should be commended with no apologies. I think this was Mr. Frey’s ingenous way of pulling alot of people in, to tell “the” story of an addiction that he touched and still touches alot of people. Oh, and by the way, I had an abcessed tooth last summer that had to be pulled in the emergency room, NO painkillers, NO anesthesia…and NO novacaine….gas or otherwise. My cheek was so swollen that my eye was shut. The oral surgeon told me to brace myself because he couldn’t give me anything…and when he pulled the tooth, I came up out of my chair, the nurse held me down and I saw “White”…Mr. Frey….they DO, pull teeth,…and have emergency root canals without anesthesia… it is not a impossibility. I never thought to question it because I am a positive person. Anyway, another point…I have a great love for “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books, do I ask Mr. Canfield, and Mr. Hansen if I need to research all of the stories that he receives from people telling them of their supposedly true stories? I think not…. Memoir or not, fiction or non….keep writing James…your the man of the hour. Thank you.

  • Janet Carlson

    I could not wait to see Oprah’s followup to the book “A Million Little Pieces” and hearing her response to Larry King, I was so shocked. I was so proud of her for her remarks to Larry King and standing behind her decision to have the book in her club. I thought the show would be taking to task the publisher’s who were invited. Instead it was taking to task the author. I have read some of these remarks and totally feel Oprah should have stayed true to her original remarks, although truth is important, the responsibility should be with the publishers and if truth was really all that important, then they could have seen that a book like this is not 100% true. I have been involved with an alcoholic and know they do not understand the difference between lies and truth. So he is a dry drunk. Does not mean the lying has stopped, but I do think he is an original author of writing that is fascinating whether a memoir or an embellished story based on his life’s experiences. So I prefer to just appreciate his gift of writing his feelings and thoughts and how they affected him and in the process how much they can affect us. I want to read more of his writing. Oprah, thanks for bringing this book to my attention!

  • Linda Detamore

    I, too, was extraordinarily disappointed with Oprah. She was cold and rude and wrong. I was not reading a newspaper or an encyclopedia when I read “A Million Little Pieces”. I was reading a memoir, his way of telling HIS story. I loved the book and have been personally distraught by this ridiculous assault on James. I hope he knows he is not alone in this painful time.

  • Jamie

    I am so glad I found this site, as my thoughts and feelings have already been articulated by so many but felt the need to chime in order to get some closure and reach out to Mr. Frey. I did not believe several of the depictions in the book – and it didn’t matter. I am glad I read the book before the ridiculous accusations. To find out now that they were in fact embellishments does not demean the message, only reinforced my ability to read a situation and take it however I interpret it. As a current substance abuser, James’ account of his recovery was moving and inspiring. As many abusers agree, I felt that if someone that messed up could recover, than I certainly can. So the fact that James was not in jail for 3 months has miniscule affect. As I watched the interview on Oprah, I just kept thinking if I were he I would be jonesing for some chemical relief and am so sorry for James to be put through all this. If anything, I feel that if he can survive yet another crisis such as this, and not fall off the wagon than I would put him on even more of a pedestal.

  • Kris

    Regaurdless of the truth of every little detail, the basis of the story is still the same. He was at the bottom, either die or get clean. His book has saved MILLIONS of people…not because of every little detail, but because of the basis of the book. James, if you are reading this, HANG IN THERE…DON’T LET ANYONE, EVEN OPRAH, MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVEN’T MADE A DIFFERENCE. YOU HAVE!! Simply change the wording on the outside of your book to state “based on a true story” instead of memoir. HOld your head high, you have people who support you!

  • jgreer

    My name is Sheena, I’m 21 years old, I watch your show every day. Yesterdays show upset me very much. The way you treated James on National television was cold and heartless. I understand he lied about things in the book, but most of it was true. Just because he lied you don’t need to treat him like that. Now because of what you did, do you know how many people won’t read that book? True or not true that book is real and shows the struggle of an addiction. Trust me, I know because both my parents are addicts, I’ve lived with this my whole life. A Million Little Pieces touched my soul, I laughed, I cried and I breathed that book and it opened up my eyes to my parents addition, I have always felt they chose drugs over me, and now I realize that that they need the drugs like I need them, but addiction doesn�t let you see that and they don�t realize that they have a problem. James is a recovering addict and addicts tend to remember things differently and elaborate to make their lives sound more interesting. If

    you have any idea about an addict you would have known that some things weren’t right. I thought out of all people, you would know that people need love and support when they least deserve it. A Million Little Pieces opened peoples eyes to addiction. It showed people how bad it really is. It gave me hope and faith that someday maybe my parents will wake up and realize what addiction does to people and themselves. I don�t care if he lied, I still think that every one in this world should pick up that book and read it. Now I’m afraid, after your show that the people who have read the book will lose faith and for people that haven’t read it won’t. Addiction is a horrible thing and the way he put it into words is the way the addict feels, and people need to understand that so they know it’s not as simple as it seems. Please, Oprah, stand up and don’t let this book drift away to nothing. It is what it is.

  • Shelley

    I am glad I didn’t get to see the Oprah show. The way it sounds it would have pissed me off. The past few shows I have watched her sit on her high horse and rub the salt into the wounds of her guest and decided then not to watch the show anymore.
    I think it is great that people are READING!!!!! Who cares what. A Million Little Pieces has made an impact on such a wide varitey of people, addicts, family members with addicts, staff of treatment facilties etc. I will continue to read anything that Frey writes. Thank you for your courage James.

  • sharon
  • Patricia

    I cannot believe the the controversy these books have caused, there is no reason for this. I think James Frey is an amazing author and does not deserve all this hardship due to Oprah’s righteousness. When I saw commercials for Oprah promoting A Million Little Pieces I was extatic, and when the controversy was going on I thought, she BETTER STAND BY HIM. But of course she didn’t. I am very sick of Oprah telling America how to think. Read the book, don’t read the book. I work in a particular clothing store which happens to be the one Oprah always talks about, our JEANS. Women come in and trying on jeans and the will only purchase the ones Oprah says looks good on them. It’s ridiculous. Oprah has never seen you! She does not know your body type. Also, Oprah has told everyone that she is a size 8, which makes these women how know they are smaller than Oprah try to squeeze into smallers sizes, in return making them feel bad about themselves because now they think they are bigger than Oprah, which is never the case. In conclusion FUCK OPRAH!! I

  • Alma

    I’m 15 years old and I loved A Million Little Pieces. It is probably the best book that I have ever read. I saw how Oprah treated James Frey on her show and I was really pissed. She’s just jealous that she could never write a book that everyone was moved by. And who cares if she “felt betrayed”? Who cares about her stupid book club? I used to think that Oprah was an okay person, but now I just think she needs to get her head out of her fat-ass and stop thinking she’s ALL THAT! What does she think? That she’s everybody’s friend, and that everyone likes her? Oprah, quite being such a bitch. James Frey’s book is amazing and that’s all that counts. His book really captured me and the only thing that matters is that he is happy with what he wrote. I love the book. Oprah can just go suck monkey nipple.

  • Kelly Covington

    I have already written an email to “Queen Oprah” letting her know how discusted I am with her. She is the most self-righteous, pompous person I ever saw on TV. But, I wanted to let James know that I support him and I felt his pain on her show. Don’t give up and surround yourself now with people who love you. You need them now. You will survive this! Love ya.

  • Kay Larson

    I don’t give a rat’s ass how Lilly really died. The fact of the matter is James Frey changed his story to protect the people in rehab who he wrote about. I’m sure some of them don’t want their identity revealed.
    I thought Oprah was a rotten Host to James Frey when he was on her show. She barely gave him time to answer the questions, let alone explain himself.
    Both of his books were great and I’ll buy the next one he writes! But I may cancel my subscription to my Oprah Magazine.
    Kay Larson

  • Donna Neal

    I am so angry at Oprah for discrediting James Frey’s books. I’ve read both, and were mesmerized by both. I laughed,I cried, I totally related. Hats off to you James,and God bless you and the message of hope,love and perserverance. Keep on writing.

  • Courtney Leigh

    I picked up A Million Little Pieces shortly after it was first released, but long before it was noted as a part of Oprah’s book club. As an addict myself, i found this piece to be touching and raw, but spectacular in its honesty. As soon as i heard that My Friend Leonard was coming out, i rushed to get it, and was just as intrigued as i was with AMLP. Frey originally tried to publish AMLP as a fiction novel, but the publishers bought it as a memoir.

    The fact of the matter is that Frey’s writing inspired me, and countless others to turn their lives around, or at least take it down a notch.

    If people really want follow into Oprah’s little cult and say that hes a liar and a fake and whatnot, let them. But I was not reading lies & i wasnt being decieved for the two days that i couldnt put the book down. I was changing.

    In my opinion, James Frey is a literary hero, and Oprah can shove it. 🙂

  • Kristin Aires

    Let’s be honest

  • steven

    People always want the truth. Sometimes it really doesn’t matter if you get a word for word account of what really happened. When someone commits suicide, we NEVER know the whole truth as to why they commited suicide. Try and realize that James might have been trying to convey an emotional experience instead of a step to step story. Take for example, you are re-telling an experience you had to your friends, you want to express that feeling that you had at that moment to your friends, so obviously you are going to exaggerate the story to make in interesting and convey that emotion. Those who have read the book and were moved in any way by it, then the message was accomplished. How can you blame James for you buying a book. He lied a little, GET THE FUCK OVER IT!!! You listened to your friends and the media that this is such a great book. Who’s fault is it that you bought the book? James didnt put a gun up to your head and say “buy my fucking book or im gonna kill you.” No, obviously he didnt, so take responsibility for your own actions. Your own president has lied to you. I dont see anyone bitching about that. He conveyed a message about his battle with trying to recover from addiction. He accomplished that. He didnt say that I am going to write a word for word account of my life. He wrote a memoir about his struggle with addiction. There are a lot of bad books out there. You never hear people bitching about them. So, James writes a good book and since the readers didn’t get a the whole truth about his life then everyone goes crazy. I just think that its a petty little fucking problem. If you have the money to buy the book, then you arent in that much debt that you need it back. Shit, even the Bible is exaggerated. No one EVER asks for their money back on that.

  • Karen

    My guess is the main reason the Smoking Gun scrutinized A Million Little Pieces so closely was to make Oprah look bad. I’d also venture to guess that Oprah’s self-righteous tirade had little the do with the “truth” and more to do with looking bad–lord knows her show and her magazine are all about making her look good.

    I am a writer and a human being, and like other humans, I am prone to exaggeration and an imperfect memory. Is James Frey not human? I challenge the Smoking Gun to do their witch hunting in any number of other popular memoirs, Memoirs of a Geisha for example, and see what they find? Give me a break

  • 16 year old with an opinion

    For x-mas a friend bought me A Million Little Pieces and I didn’t put the book down untill I was finished. It was definatley the most amazing and intense story I have ever read, whether it’s true or not. It took a lot of courage from James to even go on the Oprah show a second time and admitting that not everything in the book was true. What I found most sad about the situation that Oprah put James in, is that everyone else on the show was saying how proud they were of Oprah for admitting that she made a mistake. They should be proud of James, not Oprah. I don’t see why they are making such a big deal out of it anyways. The underlying message is they same, even after you change a couple details. The books going to get even more sales with all the contraversy.I’m dying to read My Friend Leonard. I hope James writes another book, he’s so talented.

  • voice of reason

    Why are so many people so mad about this? I read Pieces about the second week it came out and loved it. I absolutely don’t care that it’s not entirely true. All my friends in NYC who read it (long before Oprah caught on), also loved it, and similarly DO NOT CARE that it may be embellished. All writers embellish. How would we ever be able to prove the validity of any type of “memoir” written by the likes of an author like Hemingway? He’s gone, plus we didn’t have all the internet savy fact checkers (i.e. people nothing better to do with their time than ruin other peoples lives) running amuck. I feel terrible for James Frey. He’s a talented writer. He was successful in capturing brutally unendurable emotions and conveying them to a wide audience. I see grandmas and 15 yr olds reading this book on the L-Train! My question to the naysayers is…WHY DO YOU CARE? Does it hurt you deep down inside that he embellished? For those drug dependent folks who read the book looking for enlightenment…Did you FALL OFF THE WAGON, and blaming James Frey is the easiest and most convenient method of DIVERTING the blame from yourself? Do you consistently LOOK for salvation from your pitiful life in self help books? (I don’t believe Pieces was meant to be a self-help book) Or…are you perhaps some type of jealous writer who looks to take cheap shots at anyone who is making money?…because you CANT, you’re writing is DREADFULLY BORING! People GET A LIFE! What is more important…that James Frey embellished in a memoir, or perhaps the alarming state of fraud and corruption in our own government (i.e. the Bush Crime Family, Abramoff, Alito, DeLay, etc etc etc)? Point being…choose your battles. Railing James Frey should be LOW on your priority list. In my honest opinion, the only people that actually CARE, are those who are already completely lacking in self-confidence and self-assurance…and of course those with NOTHING BETTER TO DO. Seriously people, GET A LIFE.


  • StephanieGelinas

    I want to say something about James Frey, I just read "a million little Pieces " I love his witting, in many was it changed my life. His words moved me. Most of the things that he writes about I have felt, lived or disgustingly understand.
    I am 20 and I have been in and out of all sorts of addictions all my life. In and out of rehab's. In and out of living. His writing touched me. He touched me in a that real way. In a way that you can only be grateful for, another's understanding it is beautiful. It Changed me. It made me cry, Made laugh and made me smile.

    I don't care if its not all true and I don't care if it is. Fuck Oprah. If she wants to uncover bullshit, she should sit down and actually listen to the diarrhea dripping from doctor Phil's lips. I don't know where he got is degree but it may as well, been from the back of a fruit loops box. He is a moron and so is she for not seeing the beauty of this book. Shame on Oprah for focusing on her feelings of being hoodwinked. For a women with a lot of money and a book club she sure doesn't know much about writing, well good writing anyway.

    Most books are interruptions of deep parts of people. Good books have words and meanings that shake you, burn you and give you goose bumps. Great writers create things.. unforgettable authors tell stories and make words so real that people feel them, feel them deep and feel them right. The type of creation that only the understanding, of life, scars, true tears, fear, true happiness, raw and real… that only true emotion can encompasses. James Frey is an Unforgettable author. The issues of truth or correctness is for information in encyclopedias. Writing that changes you, knows no correctness. Real raw things that leave marks on souls, don't have dates or order or correctness. They just are.

    Thank you,
    Stephanie Gelinas

  • Janet

    To James Frey: I just read a quote that I think applies to you and your situation: “If a book comes from the heart, it will contrive to reach other hearts —All art and authorcraft are of small account to that.” (Carlyle)

  • StephanieGelinas

    I want to say something about James Frey, I just read “a million little Pieces ” I love his witting, in many was it changed my life. His words moved me. Most of the things that he writes about I have felt, lived or disgustingly understand.
    I am 20 and I have been in and out of all sorts of addictions all my life. In and out of rehab’s. In and out of living. His writing touched me. He touched me in a that real way. In a way that you can only be grateful for, another’s understanding it is beautiful. It Changed me. It made me cry, Made laugh and made me smile.

    I don’t care if its not all true and I don’t care if it is. Fuck Oprah. If she wants to uncover bullshit, she should sit down and actually listen to the diarrhea dripping from doctor Phil’s lips. I don’t know where he got is degree but it may as well, been from the back of a fruit loops box. He is a moron and so is she for not seeing the beauty of this book. Shame on Oprah for focusing on her feelings of being hoodwinked. For a women with a lot of money and a book club she sure doesn’t know much about writing, well good writing anyway.

    Most books are interruptions of deep parts of people. Good books have words and meanings that shake you, burn you and give you goose bumps. Great writers create things.. unforgettable authors tell stories and make words so real that people feel them, feel them deep and feel them right. The type of creation that only the understanding, of life, scars, true tears, fear, true happiness, raw and real… that only true emotion can encompasses. James Frey is an Unforgettable author. The issues of truth or correctness is for information in encyclopedias. Writing that changes you, knows no correctness. Real raw things that leave marks on souls, don’t have dates or order or correctness. They just are.

    Thank you,
    Stephanie Gelinas

  • StephanieGelinas

    I want to say something about James Frey, I just read “a million little Pieces ” I love his witting, in many was it changed my life. His words moved me. Most of the things that he writes about I have felt, lived or disgustingly understand.
    I am 20 and I have been in and out of all sorts of addictions all my life. In and out of rehab’s. In and out of living. His writing touched me. He touched me in a that real way. In a way that you can only be grateful for, another’s understanding it is beautiful. It Changed me. It made me cry, Made laugh and made me smile.

    I don’t care if its not all true and I don’t care if it is. Fuck Oprah. If she wants to uncover bullshit, she should sit down and actually listen to the diarrhea dripping from doctor Phil’s lips. I don’t know where he got is degree but it may as well, been from the back of a fruit loops box. He is a moron and so is she for not seeing the beauty of this book. Shame on Oprah for focusing on her feelings of being hoodwinked. For a women with a lot of money and a book club she sure doesn’t know much about writing, well good writing anyway.

    Most books are interruptions of deep parts of people. Good books have words and meanings that shake you, burn you and give you goose bumps. Great writers create things.. unforgettable authors tell stories and make words so real that people feel them, feel them deep and feel them right. The type of creation that only the understanding, of life, scars, true tears, fear, true happiness, raw and real… that only true emotion can encompasses. James Frey is an Unforgettable author. The issues of truth or correctness is for information in encyclopedias. Writing that changes you, knows no correctness. Real raw things that leave marks on souls, don’t have dates or order or correctness. They just are.

    Thank you,
    Stephanie Gelinas

  • My wish is that James will read this. Do not get discouraged. You are one terrific writer as is evidenced by all the people writing in favor of you. I am not normally a reader, but my daughter brought the Million Little Pieces book home for the Christmas holidays. Like Oprah said she couldn’t put the book down. I was the same way. I’d wake up at 2 AM and go downstairs to read until it was time to go to work. Dec. 27 was my birthday so I treated myself to buying and reading Leonard. Same story, couldn’t put it down. James, I’d love for you to write a story about Snapper. Both books caused me to laugh and cry. Of course at 2 AM no one saw me crying. James, they say publicity is good no matter whether it’s good or bad. It’s no fun when people attack you as you’ve been attacked and no fun for your family, parents, and brother, but It’s not like you killed someone. Like you said in your book, just hold on. You have a very bright future as a writer. I’m honored to say I read your 2 books and look forward to many more from you.

  • Tammy Wade

    I have never had a drug or alcolhol problem but I loved James’ book. Whatever troubles a person has they could learn a lesson reading this book. I think Oprah should be ashamed of herself. She obviously missed the whole point to the book. I could care less which facts are true and which aren’t. The point of this story for me was to “just hold on” no matter what your problem. I would like to say to James, don’t let these people who obviously have nothing better to do, get you down. Just hold on, cause there are many more people out there who got it ! As for addicts who read this book and feel lied to, James feelings were real, I don’t doubt that. The message is real, don’t miss it. I have to applaud James for going on the Oprah show , he knew what was coming, and he stood up and took responsibilit for it. Bravo to you James !!!! Keep holding on !!!!!

  • cyn

    first of all, i want to say that i support James Frey 100%
    Pieces and my friend leonard are addicting. i couldn’t put the books down even when tears were streaming down my face!
    the emotion, the rawness, the heart wrenching moments the words… i couldn’t put the books down. James, hold on and PLEASE keep writing.

    the subject of Oprah…i will never watch Oprah again. nor will i buy her magazine or anything else she sells.
    I feel her behavior was unfeeling, heartless and cruel. where was her compassion and her loyalty that she is known for?
    did she not remember the main subject of the book, addiction to alcohol and drugs? and the ablity to hold on? it wasn’t about the time he was going to spend in jail.
    I was outraged like many others about her behavior and her judgement. Who has a right to judge someones memories or their experiences?

    I didn’t write Oprah, because I refused to join her listing in order to send a message. so, i was happy to fall upon this link to vent my outrage about her behavior. i live in chicago and it is amazing how many people are talking about all of this…in the office, on the L, everywhere. most in support of James! I hope he sells even more books.

    Keep writing James!
    hold on,

  • Cindy McGill

    I refuse to write Oprah as well. Thank you for this site, as I was surfing to find Mr. Frey’s personal email address to write him ‘in support’. I hope he’s smiling all the way to the Bank 🙂 In closing…does Oprah Forget when she wrote her ‘Memoir’ before she was Famous, and that her Mother and Aunt accused her of fabricating pieces

  • Greg Teter

    I am an addict and I don’t care if James Frey lied in his book. A Million Little Pieces saved my life. It wasn’t until I read this book that I realized I was an addict. After reading it, I immediatley sought help for my addiction. I believed that if anyone,fictional or real, could survive what happened in A Million Little Pieces, I could survive what was thrown at me. As an addict, I know that only other addicts even come close to understanding what its like to have your life controlled by drugs. I also believe that no one but an addict could have written a book with so much detail. I say that James Frey should be praised for his book and the courage to write it. Maybe if Oprah spent some time in a rehab center, feeling rejected by everyone in the world, and wanting to die so as not to hurt the people that you love anymore, she wouldn’t be quick to discredit James Frey and his wonderful book

  • Butashana

    I’m so glad to have found a forum to post my thoughts about the most disgusting display and ambush I’ve ever seen on television.

    My question is to Oprah…… did you, in fact, have any form of gastric bypass to lose your weight. Tell the truth!!!! Frankly, after this egomanical display of mean spiritedness and abuse of power I don’t care. I used to think that if I ever met Oprah I could envision a wonderful friendship, now I wouldn’t accept the introduction. She’s absolutely frightening.

    I have cancelled my subscription to her magazine. She has lost all crediblity. I have never seen such cruelty masked in a cloak of self-righteousness. How about the all important human qualities of compassion and empathy!? Her disgusting attack could have had a far greater impact for the cause of truth if it had been done in a respectful and compassionate manner since she was, in this case, dealing with an admittedly damaged soul.

    Oprah, you remind me of the Dr. Seuss classic, Yertle the Turtle….. remember what happened to him.

  • I am heartened to read so many wonderful posts in support of James Frey. He deserves your support, and not the bashing he’d been getting of late.

    Memoir is a book written from memory, and memory is subjective and selective. An author has not only a right, but an obligation to shape his outpourings into a readable book, and to enhance the scenes for dramatic purpose.

    I don’t believe very many memoirs would stand up to the harsh light of scrutiny that A Million Little Pieces has. I just finished reading Teacher Man by the brilliant memorist Frank McCourt. It was wonderful, but I doublt Mr. McCourt recalls verbatim conversations with students that took place thirty years ago.

    I believe James Frey will survive this dark time in his life (God knows he didn’t need another) and I look forward to reading his next book, and the one after that.

  • Stephanie From TN

    This book is wonderful. James Frey, you do have supporters out here. I am one of them. I have also spread the word via my blog that gets quite a lot of visitors each day. I love the book, I think Oprah sucks for what she did. I also think it is so sad that she has so much power and is so iconic that she could literally ruin a mans life in a matter of a 60 minute interview. If she would not have done that show, do you think that James Frey’s agent would have dropped him. Everyone is jumping on the Oprah bandwagon and it is disgusting. If you can remember exactly what you did and how you did it over 10 years ago even when you are a raging alcoholic and drug addict then I want to talk to you because that is a crock. I am not a drug addict nor an alcoholic and I can barely remember where I ate lunch last week. The fact that he embelished details and changed names and parts of the story are so INSIGNIFANT here. See the big picture people. The book is fabulous, that is the bottom lined. It had a profound affect on me and I cannot wait to read Leonard. I hope to hell that James Frey will be ok and come through this awful time. Just know that you have people that support you. I will continue to read and buy your books for as long as you continue to write them.

  • Cindy

    A good book, in the end, is still a good book. Keep writing, James, and I will keep reading.

  • Lisa

    I have to say the book Fucking Rocks! I am a recovering addict and alcoholic for many years now after reading the book I am glad I am sober I remember when I was there James and I have felt your pain many, many times. Good luck to all those who have ever had addictions, live with addicts, alcoholics or co-depends. Keep writing and I look forward to the next books

  • Dottie Barton

    How sad when Ophra Winfrey embarrasses James Frey and her arrogance toward him is just laughable. She is the one who is embarrassed and since she considers herself some kind of a spokesperson for “angels” how hypercritical is that? As a Mom who lost her own daughter recently and suddenly to alcohol and pharmaceutical addictions, I read that wonderful book and sent it to a member of my family to read. Addictions run in the family and I wanted him to think clearly how they creep up on you, and how you are never cured. You are only a drink away. The rehab success is strictly up to you. You cannot ever say that you will drink only socially, etc. It does not work that way. Thank you, James, for your book. You are a gifted writer, so never stop. This will pass away and people will look forward to any book you write. Who cares if it has the “Oprah” stamp.

  • K.

    I am a huge fan of “A Million..”
    Exaggerated, fiction, truth, or all parts thereof, I don’t care. It was fantastic reading. I could not put it down. Way to go James. Can’t wait to get “…Leonard”.
    Best wishes from Dallas!!

  • K

    Does anyone have an email address for James Frey? Thanks!!

  • Diana R.

    I’m a drug addict.

    I’m clean and sober today thanks to the rooms of AA and NA, and the people in them, and a great sponsor, and my Higher power.

    I choose to be clean and free today. I nearly died 3 years ago after OD’ing on legal drugs, prescribed for my by a doctor. If I had died, I would have left behind my husband, 2 beautiful children, my 3 sisters, my parents, and many friends.

    When I first entered recovery, I was shattered, and my very personality was destroyed from years of self-abuse. I was quite impressionable during my first year of recovery.

    I have looked at this book and saw it as filled with artificial drama and juvenile attempts at creating emotion, written by a narcissistic punk who wanted to seem “macho” or “cool” and hopefully pick up some female companionship in the process.

    I say that I am in recovery. Any true addict or alcoholic is either in recovery or relapse. We never “recover”, as Frey claimed.

    If I had read this book early on, I probably would have fallen for it. I, too, might have worshiped the author and considered it part of a higher force filling me with courage. Once it was revealed as a sham, an intentional misuse of license, such as claiming one has cancer when one does not, I would have felt angry and betrayed. That was an emotion common to me in my first year of sobriety.

    If I had picked up a drink or a drug back then, it still would have been my choice – a choice based on my continuous battle with a physical disease which is manifested in the brain. It would have served no purpose to place blame – yet still, Frey’s behavior is very, very wrong.

    Alcoholism and drug addiction are a progressive, fatal disease. Many try to win the battle – many more succumb.

    As one who struggles daily with this disease, I do not appreciate being used and manipulated by a self-centered thug who capitalizes on the misfortunes of others. Outright lying about his involvement in a train/car wreck where two families lost their daughters is not an “exaggeration”. Frey’s conduct is reprehensible and has done serious damage to these families. (Ref: The Smoking Gun)

    I thank God that I do have Him as my Higher Power, and that while through His grace I have survived another 24 hours, my faith tells me that He ultimately will write the last chapter in Frey’s book.

    Perhaps Frey’s next non-fiction piece will exploit children born with genetic defects, hospice patients, or military widows.

    We can hardly wait.

  • lnThomas

    I agree – Oprah is into ego gratification and glamour. She has lost her way. Money=Power in her eyes. not mine.

    I hope James Frey is aware i.e. sees these posts to see how much support he still has.

    I do not know how to really email him….
    LN in AL

  • Lois

    I thoroughly enjoyed A Million Little Pieces and it does not bother me that James changed some of the information. The story of addiction remains the same and he shed light on another avenue of rehabilitation. It is a great book for those who do not understand addiction, and has been an interesting topic of conversation. Oprah however is a real loser. I can not believe how cold and calculating she was to totally demean James on her show! She is misusing her power!
    Thank you James for your story.

  • Janet Witkosky

    Thank You James for a wonderful story. It doesn’t matter how much is embellished or even the “lies”. The facts are you are a recovering addict, you went to rehab, have been clean and sober and have been an inspiration to many. Thank You

    I have been an “Oprah” viewer for many years. Since she “blasted” you, I have not tuned in.

    Janet// San Francisco

  • When I read James Frey’s “A Million Little Pieces” I was a sophomore in highschool and a huge screw up in life. I attended an alternative school because i got kicked out of the 2 schools i attended prior. The book was given to me by my english teacher during by far the toughest times of my life. I didn

  • i just love his damm books. i started my friend leonard this morning and cant put it down on page 209. two of the best books i ever read!

  • Tina

    I read A Million Little Pieces, which was a great book, I have been there done that. We all have a story to tell, and if I were going to go back and try and remember all the things I did, there would be no way, so really it shouldn’t matter how exact if you can remember the matter. I am reading My Friend Leonard now and I take in both books the view and understanding from a drug addicts mind and the books to me are a reality. It all pretty much the same in drug addicts minds and it is refreshing know that someone has been through the same things, having the same thoughts. The only thing I could say that is all the cussing could be lightened. I use to be a big cusser, but now I try not to, so reading as many F words in his book, my mind has been cussing lately. Otherwise I want to know what made Jim so angry? Thank you for writing these books, I fully respect your tendancy.

  • Lisa

    Dear James Frey,

    I just finished your book and it touched me deeply. I read it because Oprah panned it. The prose and style of writing were captivating. I can’t wait to read the next book. Thank you so very much!

  • Cori

    Dear James,
    Not sure if you will ever read this but I hope you are ok. This world is so messed up…

    You wrote a great book and you are an excellent writer. We all know books are exaggerated and sensationalized! You don’t want to bore the readers. The important facts are that you were a drug addict and now you are clean. Oprah really dissapointed me in her reaction. You have helped many many people-because people in the same situations need to relate. I just want you to know that the majority of people who have read your book still respect you. I hope you keep writing because I will be reading.

  • Amanda

    It makes me so glad that so many people feel the way I do about Kames Frey’s mistreatment by Oprah. I once heard that reality is 99% perception. it was told in a way that he wanted for the purpose of exposing how he viewed himself. Maybe no one would care if he only spent one hour in jail, not longer.Then he may be seen by readers as a self-righteous and/or uneducated writer. His message came across to me because i saw something in what he went through in me, not on the same level but in overindulgence. Which, by the way is common these days. Give the guy a break. Maybe if we all had a personal team of chefs,trainers,cheuffers, celebrity friends, and whoever to surround and support because they’re being $$$ supported, we too could pass judgement from the comfort of what we like to think we think and what we like to think others think of us.

  • Caitlin

    I just read Million Little Pieces after I found out about the exaggeration of it and I LOVED IT. They style in which he wrote it, the language it was so genuine and from his heart. People need to back off the details of the book and focus on its intent. You can’t see the forest through the trees.

  • Kelly E

    I just wrote Oprah, not that she or her staff will ever read my email, but I felt it necessary. “A Million Little Pieces” changed my life and I am in recovery, coming up on 7 years. I would love to be a multi millionaire, quit my job and dedicate how ever much time it would take to watch every epidsode of Oprah’s show ever aired, read all of her bios and research her extensively. I’m sure I’d find “embelishments”. Noone should ever be treated the way Oprah treated Frey. God forbid all mighty Oprah be embarrased. I have no respect for her anymore and never will. Since she now has a $55 mil dollar radio deal, I’m sure she’ll be OK. With all of this negative publicity and hype, you’d think FREY was a terrorist. I loved that book and plan to read “My Friend Leonard” very soon.

  • Crystal

    am writing this in hopes that somehow somewhere James will be able to read it. James, please remember you are thought of highly by many many people, as you can obviously see from this site. I watched Oprah both times she had you on her show, and I saw Larry King when she called in. I disagree strongly with how she handled herself on the last show. I believe she could have easily made a 5 minute statement at the beginning of the show in regards to her “change-of-mind” and been done with it. I found her constant “belittling” (as this is what I saw it as) as completely unnecessary and very cruel. I fortunately have not had to experience anything you wrote of in Million Little Pieces, but still found it gripping and very revealing. I think, if not only providing inspiration to those who are in similar situations, it will also help all of us in the world to understand those people a little bit better. I have recently purchased My Friend Leonard and I very much look forward to reading it, without judgement or prejudice. I applaud you James! Please continue to write, you truly have a gift.

  • Ana

    I am reading ” a million little pieces” and i strongly like this book . Athough at certian times have diffculty reading it i believe this book helps other people understand that being an addict isnt easy. Mr Frey i absoultely love your book and i like how you are so detailed in it. i just hate how oprah just put you out there and made you look like a fool. supposley everyone likes her so why would she care. I LOVE YOUR BOOK.

  • Krystyna

    His book “A Million Little Pieces” draws you in as though you become an addict! Addicted to every word craving more.. I couldn’t put it down! James Frey is an AMAZING writer and should not be looked down upon for his work. He’s an addict it may be fabricated but it’s his reality! That is how it works for an addict. I hope you continue to write!

  • steve

    as someone sufferinging with an alcohol problem – i find his book a breath of fresh air.
    it doesn’t matter if his story is not completly true. It did somthing special for me, it made me think that there is a way out – it gave me hope!

  • shannon

    I have just finished MILLION LITTLE PIECES and catching up with all the oprah thing. I just want to say that the book was great, reminded me to some memories of my own. I was impressed with
    james and his mother,because I am a mother with a 28 yr old that has experimented with drugs and had lots of stories for me. Ive known alot of people that the caracters reminded me of, i would like james frey email also.

  • Colleen

    James, I hope this reaches you and maybe I just might be lucky enough to hear a response back (hint hint:) ).
    First of all, look at how many people admire you! Look at how many eyes you’ve captured, how many hearts you’ve touched, how many souls you have filled with LIGHT at the end of that tunnel. I want to tell you that as an addict of prescription drugs, it has NOT been easy. I too have graduated from a treatment program recently, then went through surgery (2 discs removed and replaced in my neck) and having to deal w/ a scarce amount of painkillers-it was trying as hell, that TEST: real true physical pain from the surgery vs. that NEED to rid emotional pain to ESCAPE and feel nothing. Every day was a test: do I call old doctors for refills on my morephine or lorcet, etc? No, I held on. I too deemed NA as a CRUTCH or REPLACEMENT and felt no desire to go, but simply to stay sober with my own willpower. It’s been tough, real tough, but each day I feel better and better about myself. I understood your experiences (though our addictions are different) perfectly! I mean to the T !! Everything you wrote, everything you felt, each minute that felt like a thousand, those racing thoughts (esp. during the night before bedtime), very similar to what I too have gone through and continue to bear. With my 10 years of drug-use, I’ve lost the interest and patience and ability to FOCUS and thus my daily reading went down the drain. For the first time in years, I have picked up a book, and actually read each and every page and have never felt so touched!!! So many emotions came over me that I couldn’t decide which to be most dominent. James, you are an amazingly BEAUTIFUL man!!! To go through all that you have and to come out a winner is unheard of! Truly, you have so much to be proud of!!! You deserve a huge HUG! :))
    Keep up that Positive self of yours! Never let the turkeys get you down! It IS do-able to achieve a sober life and YOU are living proof of that! :)))) I am undergoing physical therapy for my neck and will begin treatment (maybe surgery again) on my lower back, and I continue to be narcotic-free. Doctors’ have all been informed of my addiction and will not prescribe any “temptations” to me. I keep on-track and focused and yes I do: I hold on. I think of YOU each and every day (esp. those days the physical pain is high). You’re such a wonderful inspiration! I hope to see you down here in South Florida for a book signing soon.
    Thank you!!
    Love, Colleen
    [email protected]
    [email protected]

  • Danielle L

    I just finished reading the book yesterday. Before I actually got my hands on a copy, I already knew the fate of Lilly through Oprah’s webpage. I heard of the contraversy through my peers and through Oprah, I basically killed the ending for myself. So all throughout this book I knew that Lilly was going to die. It really ruined the book. And then when you’re finished, you feel so happy because he conquered all his addictions and stuff.

    then you remember: oh yeah, its full of lies.

    And you don’t know how to feel anymore.

    I blame myself for ruining it for myself, and I would of had loved the book 60x more if I didn’t know Lilly would of had died beforehand.

    And yeah, his imbellishments, I find creative.

    But Oprah has a good point, I do feel a little conned.

  • Jennifer

    As someone who is interested in writing, I think this novel is perfect. It was moving, comprehenceble and written wonderfully. I was able to look into the mind of an individual struggling with a severe addicition and the process he took to overcome it. I believe for the author to get his point/idea/story across he needed to “create” the supporting situations. My only question now is, is “My friend Leonard” along the same lines, ie. an upgraded memorior or 100% true or a work of fiction. I have only started MFL.

    Only time will tell.

  • Bernadette
  • liv

    A Million Little Pieces and My Friend Leonard were the best books i have ever read in my life. Oprah you SUCK! i love James Frey!!! Keep writing!!!

  • Rod

    the Southpark guys did a great job speaking out what’s been expressed in this blog.
    Fuck Oprah.

  • Negra

    I am in the mist of reading the book, “a million little pieces” and i must say he has been through alot and does not need the high and might queen bitch Oprah talking shit about him…everyone shits the same and bleeds the same. the book is extreamly brilliant. An addict turning a new leaf for the better, what more can we saw to this…but great job. but miss oprah who has been with a man for almost “50yrs” has to talk out her ass that she was lied to…who is she kidding is she God? who does she think she is to say such a thing to a person who is doing Great for himself. she needs to step off her high horse…and get over her fat ass!!!! if anyone is a fake liar it is her…please she has all this money and what does she do with it? Not help people like James Frey before he changed. I can’t wait to finish reading the book and get My freind Leonard.


  • Taylor
  • Becka

    James Frey, your book was great! It was suspensiful, discriptive, and a learning experience. Dispite your few additions and subtractions to your book that wern’t the whole truth, one still has to remeber that it was a good book, and the fealing shouldn’t change a whole lot, because for the most part it is a real story. It’s amazing what all you’ve gone through. Also it was very brave to go back on to the Opera show and tell the truth. Not to mention the fact that you contained your self during the interview, opera on the other hand didn’t at all, and because of that she should feel embarissed not because you you but because of herself and her actions during that interview. Just redicilous!!! Your a great writer and should keep writing, tons of people out there still love your books, and would buy them, even the ones who sopposedly dissagree with what you did. KEEP WRITING!!!

  • Crystal

    I have read a “A Million Little Pieces” and being someone who got into trouble with drugsmyself and almost lost the Love of my life to them, I think that James Freys’ book was brilliant and inspiring I enjoyed going through the emotions with him as I read. It makes no difference if things have been altered or changed because the message of the book is so POWERFUL and gives us all a little more HOPE in a otherwise dark world.
    I hope that you read this Mr Frey because your book was a blessing to me and has touched every member of my family who has read it. Including my father who is an alcoholic (his response to it was a little more bitter) but I think thats because it was close to the bone, it left him a little raw and in even more denial. You are a brilliant writer and I wish there were more people like you who would put there selves out on a limb in order to Save instead of for personal gain. You Gained the most the lives of many people and are helping many families who are dealing or have dealt with the same situation. Thanks so much for writing that book and please don’t let ANYBODY stop you from writing because you are making a difference so just ‘HOLD ON!!!!’

  • Crystal
  • Looking for help

    Ok people desperate and looking for help.
    Yeah sure James Frey told a few fibs and made a a few things but fact remains he still bet his addictions.

    His books have helped someone I love very dearly through the hard times. This person I love so much is approaching the anniverisy of being clean and it has been a real struggle and he has faced some judgements.

    I would love nothing more than to be able to contact James and kindly request he write a short note to my loved one saying well done.

    I have not got a clue how to go about this can anyone help me please.

  • Bonnie

    James Frey is absolutely the most captivating author I have found of this time period. All of the books I am “supposed to” enjoy take me weeks to read, however, Frey’s book Million Little Pieces had me hanging on to every thought, word, and action and I didn’t want to put it down. Will Frey be speaking in the NJ/NY area? How do I contact this author to share a possibility for his next novel???????

  • Rachel

    I finished A Million Little Pieces and it was amazing. That is such a cliche word but I can not think of another. I did not read this book because of Oprah, I read it because a friend introduced it to me. I had no interest but decided I needed something to read so I picked it up and couldn’t put it down.

    As for the lies and embellishment and what not I was somewhat disappointed, not in the author. I support James Frey, and though he might have added exaggeration and lies and anything else I believe he has explained himself more than enough times. The complete basis of the book was true, it was minor details that were not made up but simply dramatized for effect.

    Perhaps he has lied but the book touched people’s hearts no matter what. I have read and only heard of 3 or 4 things proven wrong. None of which were proven as a complete lie, just altered. And as for mikie; the story did not take place in Vegas so your comment does not make much sense to me. And the book was not bullshit. The main point of the story all happened. This was a story from memory and James has said that he added dramatic features and embellishments to show his feelings and to make it more interesting, as do we all.

    It was a man admitting a life crisis and sharing it to the world. I do want to know everything that was actually true though, just because I am so interested in it and him. I can not wait to read My Friend Leonard. If anyone knows of anyway to contact Mr. Frey, such as email obviously, please let me know. Thank you.

  • Sunny

    Here is my long over due letter to the big “O”

    Dear Oprah,

    I am writing a long over due letter. I was just talking about you to a friend tonight, and I thought I would take the time to put my anger into words.

    Oprah, I started watching you when your show first began. I quit watching you after you crucified James Frey (in my opinion nothing less than a modern day lynching).

    I did buy that book based on your show last Sept. I read it in dismay. I DIDN’T believe much of what was said, ESPECIALLY the part about the dentist. I just figured you too knew some of his book was hooplah…..Oprah, I didn’t finish that book because of my disbelief, but THANKFULLY for your repeat show in Dec I did sell it on Ebay for $22.
    Then the Larry King incident occurred. THEN your show humiliating him occurred. In my TOTAL disbelief, you recanted all you had said about him. I still can’t believe that you succumbed to your ratings, and turned your back on your original feelings about it all.

    I think it’s great you love Tom C and all of them Oprah. I would however bet you all of your current earnings that when you started out you would never imagine the person you’ve turned into.

    I personally haven’t watched you since you looked into the camera and said you were sorry, and THEN turned on poor James (and his publishers). I would think you would have the intelligence to know he was lying in most of that book. Quite frankly I was embarrassed for you when you said you went to your dentist and he informed you that it was unlikely that poor James had teeth pulled in the raw.

    I don’t envy you nor the money you earn. You’ve sold out girl. That is between you and the god you profess to know so well. Spiritual leader….Nah, not in my book. No leader follows the crowd.

    Signed X viewer……

  • Bob

    his books aren’t really a biography…

  • Michelle

    I have to say that these two books, are by FAR the best two books i have ever read in my life. I am an addict of the same drug(S) and I cant even begin to tell people how dead on he is, the stubborness, the isolation, the behaviours, so many differant aspects of this novel hit me at home. James Frey, Thank you for wrighting some books that might change the way the world looks at an addict. Maybe those people that are on the streets arn’t just bums, or lazy or what ever. But real,people who have just lost themselves because of addiction, Cunning, baffling, and powerlessness, I beleive thats what we say in N/A. JAMES FREY- The Fucking man.

  • Michelle

    JAMES FREY IS THE FUCKING man! I just tried to leave a comment and it sounded so good but i dont have the time to rite it out again so i just wanna say I LOVE U thanks for helping to make the world understnd the addict a little bit better. Those arnt juts bums we see on the street those are real human beings who ended up were they are becuase of addiction. next time sombody wants to judge they should take a look in the mirror. neways had to let a little steam off some people ar ejust ignorant. JAMES LOVED BOTH UR BOOKS CAN WAIT FOR THE NEXT!

  • charlotta
  • Paula

    He’s not writing anymore memoirs, his new fiction novel “Bright Shiny Morning” will be out in early ’08.

  • Rita

    I love both books and I hope to hear more from James!!! Good for your you shame on O just who does she think she Is????

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