Author Topic: A Million Little Pieces by James Frey  (Read 5140 times)

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Offline Cleopatra2U

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A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
« on: February 22, 2004, 05:20:00 AM »
Has anyone read this book?  It's the author's memoir of the weeks he spent in Hazelden, an inpatient treatment center in Minnesota, recovering from alcohol and crack addiction.

Hazelden claims to be the world's most successful rehab.  They base this claim on the fact that 17% of their graduates do not relapse within one year after leaving treatment.  They base their program on the Twelve Steps of Alcoholic Anonymous.

James Frey never bought into the Twelve Steps, basically because he's an Atheist and does not believe in any sort of Higher Power (although he did perform what I consider to be thorough 1st, 4th, and 5th steps while he was in treatment).

Over a decade later, James Frey has never relapsed.

Some interesting passages from the book:

"If you do what the [Alcoholics Anonymous 'Big Book'] says, you will be cured.  If you follow their righteous path, that path will lead you straight to redemption.  If you join the club, you're the lucky winner of a lifelong supply of bullshit Meetings full of whining, complaining and blaming...
Near the end [of the 'Big Book'], there is a section of testimonials...  As with most testimonials like this that I've read or heard or been forced to endure, something about them strikes me as weak, hollow and empty.  Though the people in them are no longer drinking and doing drugs, they're still living with the obsession.  Though they have achieved sobriety, their lives are based on the avoidance, discussion and vilification of the chemicals they once needed and loved.  Though they function as human beings, they function because of their Meetings and their Dogma and their God.  Take away their Meetings and their Dogma and they have nothing.  Take them away and they are back where they started.  They have an addiction."

"When [a recovering alcoholic] talks of God and of his trust in his almighty male God, his eyes glaze over.  It is a glaze I know and have seen many times before, usually when someone is fucked out of their skull on strong, hard drugs.  His God has become his drug and he is high, high as a Motherfucking kite, and he rants and raves, paces back and forth, God this and God that, blah blah blah.  If I was closer to him or if I could get at him, I would punch him in the mouth just to make him shut the fuck up."

(Yes, the whole book is raw like this.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and consider it a mostly honest, often harrowing, visceral portrait of addiction and recovery.)

Although I'm not an Atheist (I'm an Agnostic), I share the author's views on AA, NA, and step-based treatment programs in general: they do not 'cure' addiction; they merely replace one dependency (drugs, alcohol) with another (meetings, God).

I left Straight for good when I realized what a sick place it was.

I went to AA for a while.

I left AA for good when I realized what a sick place it was.

I'm interested in hearing what other people think about this book and/or its authors (and my) views on step-based treatment programs.

~ Mindi M.

[ This Message was edited by: Antigen on 2004-02-22 09:00 ][ This Message was edited by: Eudora on 2006-02-25 10:01 ]
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he trouble with trouble is it starts out as fun.

Offline Cleopatra2U

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A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2004, 03:08:00 PM »
Whoever put the graphic/link in (Ginger?), thanks.  That was mighty cool of ya.  ::rocker::



[ This Message was edited by: Antigen on 2004-02-22 17:38 ]
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he trouble with trouble is it starts out as fun.

Offline Antigen

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A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2004, 08:39:00 PM »
I'll cop to that. You're welcome. :wink:

If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.
--Thomas Paine

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Offline Boston-sobah

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A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2004, 11:42:00 AM »
GOOD SUBJECT
it felt good to read this book
i was reminded alot of my time in tx in Oregon the DEA agent, organized crime figure, unorgainzed crime figures, doctors, farmers...
i fed on the people James met and interacted with, that was real that was strength
i will not forget that the program, the steps, the people that helped me and a belief in something greater (whatever it is or isn't) helped me want sobriety  
i balance my life, in and out of meetings, i go 2X a week to try and offer someone new some hope if I can and remeber where i was and where i don't want to return
not everyone is as determined as Frey, I think his outlooks and story are important helpful because i didn't get sober to hide to fear
i don't want to be dependent on meetings  but I know it took me time to love myself again
life begins in sobriety it does not end it is not a sentence
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Offline Anonymous

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A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2004, 01:57:00 AM »
art you are a jerkofff
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Offline Antigen

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A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2006, 06:51:00 PM »
Quote
Smoking Gun
The man who conned Oprah (well, one of them, anyway)

"Book Club" author's best-selling nonfiction memoir filled with fabrications, falsehoods, other fakery, TSG probe finds
JANUARY 8--Oprah Winfrey's been had.

Three months ago, in what the talk show host termed a "radical departure," Winfrey announced that "A Million Little Pieces," author James Frey's nonfiction memoir of his vomit-caked years as an alcoholic, drug addict, and criminal, was her latest selection for the world's most powerful book club.

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/01 ... frey1.html



Regardless of whether or not Frey credits stepcraft w/ whatever good luck he's had, he sure seems to be playing it just so, doesn't he? I mean, listen to any of the audio of his voice. He's got the accent, complete w/ inapropriate interogative inflection? Ya know?

More than that, though, is the very most basic aspect of the mindfuck; the condemnation and denouncement of one's self. Couldn't be just that he got busted w/ some weed and took a spin through Hazeldon instead of the local lockup, no! Had to be dripping w/ fresh vomit and spit and running over cops w/ needles hanging out of his arms.

Just like Lybbi's legendary $1k/dy heroin habit when she was saved from herself by the Seed at the age of 16.

Just like that other piece of outrageous fiction, the movie 13
http://www2.oprah.com/tows/pastshows/20 ... 1002.jhtml

Or the way Phil McGraw will publicly beat down, slander and humiliate a kid before a live studio audience before having their parents ship them off to some hell hole in Provo, Utah
http://www.drunkreport.com/reports/drphil.htm

Gimme a fuckin break!

At the end of the day, there is no 'cure' for drug abuse because it's not a disease. But that's ok, there is also no great hobgoblin to be cured. It's just a normal, tolerable part of human existance. Shit, it's not even all ours. Animals like to catch a buzz too.

say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile.
--Kurt Vonnegut, American author



_________________
Drug war POW  
Straight, Sarasota
`80 - `82
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Offline Anonymous

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A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2006, 10:31:00 AM »
Quote
On 2006-01-15 15:51:00, Antigen wrote:

Animals like to catch a buzz too.


Beer Brewing Monkeys of Borneo

http://drunkard.com/issues/01-05/0105-b ... onkeys.htm

Long thought the figment of sailors? over-active imaginations, recent studies have proven the existence of savvy primates who know how to make fermented brew and throw one hell of a party.

Giles Humbert III quizzes Dr. Roger Curlman, the award-winning British anthropologist who spent six months living with the drunken and savage beasts.

Modern Drunkard Magazine: Monkeys that make their own beer! Inconceivable!

Richard Curlman: Not beer, actually. That?s a long-standing misconception. It?s more of a crude sort of wine.

MDM: A particularly nasty brand of Cabernet, I should imagine.

RC: Nothing that sophisticated.

MDM: How long have they been at it?

RC: Hard to say. The first known observation by a westerner was made in 1779 by the doctor of the HMS Dorchester. He wrote at some length in his journal about drunken apes cavorting about on the beach, drunk beyond doubt.

MDM: How do they do it?

RC: It?s really quite ingenious in its simplicity. They gather up various fruits and herbs, then dump them into a group of small pot holes the rain has carved into a bed of lava rocks. They mash the fruit with sticks then let nature do the rest. The bark of the Halidonte tree growing above the holes releases a naturally occurring yeast, which mixes with the fruit mash. Six weeks and a little rainfall later and you?ve a quite potent fruit wine.

MDM: Which I imagine they bottle up in some sort of crudely fashioned rock bottles so as to let it properly age.

RC: I?m afraid the monkeys are neither that advanced nor patient. They merely squat down and sip the fermented mash directly from the pot holes.

MDM: Straight from the well, eh?

RC: It?s quite a ritualized process, actually. The adult males and some of the more powerful females march to the pot holes in single file, there is an almost religious solemnness to their procession. Once they arrive the alpha male will goad one of the younger males into having a taste.

MDM: That?s why he?s the alpha male.

RC: Right. The young male has a sip and the rest watch him closely. If he doesn?t keel over, the alpha male takes a drink then decides whether it?s ready or not. If it is?

MDM: They have an ?ape jape,? so to speak.

RC: So to speak. The monkeys haven?t a firm grasp of the concept of drinking in moderation. They squat and sip until they go wild, crazy, mad with it, chasing each other around, cavorting, screaming, fornicating?

MDM: Very nearly human behavior then.

RC: I guess that depends very much on which pubs you frequent.

MDM: I should say. Tell me doctor, did you drink with the monkeys?

RC: I did. But realize it took many months of bonding and gift-giving before they let me near the pot holes. They guard it jealously.

MDM: From whom?

RC: Orangutans, rival monkey tribes. When an intruder enters their territory, they abandon their sleeping area and race to the pot holes to make a ferocious stand.

MDM: Fall back to the wine cellar, eh? How extraordinarily civilized they seem! Next you?ll tell me they have a separate fork for salad.

RC: Let me provide you with an example. One evening I tried to sneak up to the pot holes to test the potency of their brew?

MDM: Ran out of medicinal alcohol, did we, doctor?

RC: My intentions were entirely professional. Anyway, though I was stealthy as a leopard, my clandestine effort was detected and a great hue and cry went up. The entire tribe chased me through the jungle for five kilometers. I holed up in a cave and kept them at bay with a sharp stick and my Zippo for three days before they let me out.

MDM: Could one adopt one of the little brutes? Or perhaps an entire family? I could find some good work for them in my backyard. What a splendid enterprise it would be! I?d bring home rotten fruit and they?d, like a industrious hive of busy bees, transform it into delectable nectar!

RC: There are laws against primate labor. Besides, as this scar will attest, they are really quite vicious. Especially after a pot hole session.

MDM: (examining a rather nasty scar) Good God! The raffish louts! I hope you gave them what for.

RC: Any display of violence on my part and I assure you the entire tribe would have descended on me with drunken glee.

MDM: But surely you realize that we, as human beings and gentlemen, must keep the little savages in their place, lest they start launching organized attacks on our liquor stocks. Imagine if the beasts got a taste of some decent sauvignon blanc. They wouldn?t be satisfied with that blasted pot-hole port anymore, I can promise you that. They?d run amok! There wouldn?t be an uncontested wine cellar in the land!

RC: There are stories of bands of drunken monkeys raiding the liquor supplies of the early colonies in Borneo.

MDM: Good God! Imagine it! One is sitting at the local, perhaps enjoying a polite snifter of brandy, when suddenly a gang of vicious and drunken monkeys storm in, leaping about and screeching savagely, clubbing patrons and carrying off bottles of good scotch. There?d be no reasoning with them!

RC: The monkeys have been on the receiving end as well. There?s a long standing legend among the locals about a group of their headhunter ancestors who raided the pot holes and took the wine back to their respective huts.

MDM: Good show! That?ll teach the evil brutes.

RC: Later that evening, however, after the headhunters had succumbed to alcohol, the monkeys attacked the village, clawing out the eyes of anyone who smelled of wine.

MDM: Hah! Why that sounds like a perfectly patent serving of neoprohibitionist propaganda. Drink wine and the monkeys will claw your eyeballs out. I?m starting to suspect you a long-standing member of the Anti-Saloon League.

RC: The who?

MDM: Dreadful organization. Best to steer clear of the topic.

RC: Right. According to the natives, the wine is supposed to have powerful aphrodisiac properties. At the same time, it is a powerful taboo to steal the wine.

MDM: A little eyeball clawing will have that effect. So, doctor, did you eventually get to tip a few with beasts?

RC: Yes. After five months of familiarization and bringing them gifts, I was allowed to march up with the gang and?

MDM: Squat and sip.

RC: Precisely.

MDM: So, how was it?

RC: Positively dreadful.

MDM: Superior to Thunderbird, I?d imagine.

RC: Thunderbird?

MDM: Rather ribald Yank wine of the fortified variety.

RC: Well, it was pretty awful. And quite potent.

MDM: Have any with you, by chance?

RC: No. Once we started drinking, no one was allowed to leave until all the wine was consumed. Anyone attempting to leave would be beaten and possibly cast out from the tribe.

MDM: Brings to mind some parties I attended at Oxford.

RC: Does, doesn?t it?

MDM: ?So how are they doing, as monkey tribes go?

RC: Remarkably well. They are probably the dominant tribe in the region, certainly the largest.

MDM: Why would that be so?

RC: A colleague of mine, Dr. Kim McCleary, sponsors the theory that, because alcohol kills weaker sperm, and most of the tribe?s fornicating occurs during pot hole sessions, they have a genetic leg up on their rivals. They also get quite a few recruits from other tribes.

MDM: I?d imagine so. Who?d want to belong to a tribe incapable of producing a simple dinner wine?

RC: Indeed. The tribe has also allowed an orangutan to join their numbers, which is almost unprecedented. The ?tang, whom I named Churchill, is very fond of the wine and acts as a bouncer of sorts when the pot hole sessions get out of hand.

MDM: ?Extraordinary! How long do these sessions last?

RC: It depends largely on how much wine they?ve made. They usually start early in the afternoon and finish up well into the morning.

MDM: I?m surprised this behavior has been allowed to continue. Hasn?t there been any attempt by some government or do-gooder group to deprive the monkeys of their fun?

RC: Not that I?m aware. What a strange idea.

MDM: ?Only a matter of time. I?m certain there is some evil old codger out there, tormented day and night by the idea of wild monkeys getting legless on cheap wine. Which brings to mind a question?do the monkeys experience hangovers?

RC: Indeed they do. When they wake up after a session they all straggle down to the stream to take cold baths and rehydrate. An hour or so later and they?re back to form.

MDM: Remarkable! My uncle has sworn by ice   baths as a cure for years! Those incredible monkeys! Savage yet undeniably savvy. Only a matter of time, I fear.

RC: For what?

MDM: For the monkeys to take over, of course. They?ve already discovered alcohol and an effective hangover cure?how long will it be before they?re putting together perfect martinis and neutron bombs?

RC: Not bloody likely.

MDM: Oh, it?s easy for you to poo-poo the possibility. They know you! They?ll probably let you stay on as some sort of turncoat interpreter. The rest of us will be forced to pick fruit or work long ugly shifts in wine factories.

RC: What an extravagant imagination you have.

MDM: They said the same thing about DePalu.

RC: Whom?

MDM: Carlos DePalu. He invented the notion that rubbing whiskey on your belly makes you more virile.

RC: How strange.

MDM: Not when you think about it. Tell me this, doctor?aren?t you afraid once the general public gets hold of this interview, surly gangs of drunkards will descend on Borneo for no better reason than to offer the monkeys strong liquor?

RC: The idea never occurred to me. I don?t believe anyone would make the?

MDM: Don?t know our readership very well, do you? They?re not just drunks, they?re ambitious drunks. It?ll become an organized pilgrimage of sorts, I imagine. Soon the drunks and the monkeys will be having great shin-digs together.   Imagine drinking with a bunch of crazed, uncivilized monkeys! Think of the depths of depravity they?ll sink to! I shudder at the very notion!

RC: I think it very unlikely.

MDM: One never knows, does one? Do you ever plan on going back to see the monkeys?

RC: Eventually.

MDM: Smashing! Perhaps I?ll see you there.                                        

?Interview by Giles Humbert III
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Offline AtomicAnt

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A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2006, 04:56:00 PM »
While I don't like the way Oprah capitalized on the movie, Thirteen was actually a pretty good flick. I read a movie review where the reviewer said it was too bad it was rated R, because the real audience should be teens.
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Offline Antigen

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A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2006, 06:12:00 PM »
OMG, you don't actually believe that bullshit, do you?

No synonym for God is so perfect as Beauty. Whether as seen carving the lines of the mountains with glaciers, or gathering matter into stars, or planning the movements of water, or gardening - still all is Beauty!
-- John Muir

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Offline Anonymous

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A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2006, 07:12:00 PM »
:lol: This author is on Oprah right now getting one heck of a public shaming.
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Offline Antigen

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A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2006, 02:55:00 AM »
OMFG! Oprah started his ass over!!  :eek:

sunday school: A prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.
--H. L. Mencken, American publisher

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Offline Anonymous

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A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2006, 10:03:00 AM »
Notice that she defended him on Larry King when people were accusing him of emellishing and lying about his drug use arrests but when Hazelden and the treatment industry start complaining that he lied and exaggerated about them, THEN she's all apologetic and does her live little tapdance on TV yesterday.
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Offline Antigen

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A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2006, 02:53:00 PM »
Ya just couldn't write satire this good. I'm just laughin' my ass off. Oprah got just what she wanted, a mindless mob of brainwashed sycophants ready to shell out cash, divorce their spouses, ship their kids of to toughlove hategroup gulags cause she says so.

So, now comes James Frey (why do they pronounce it fry?), the perfect little protege for her encounter group cult. Did just what she trained and groomed him to do, just like all of her other poster children for this or that; gave a good performance, furthered the agenda. And now Oprah's unhappy! She feels angry and embarrassed and betrayed, betrayed!! Oh, how could ya do it, James? We were all so fucking nice to you! You horrible, ungrateful, manipulative little junkie you!!

As de dawg chases his tail. . . .

668: The Neighbor of the Beast
--Anonymous Postman

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Offline Anonymous

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A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2006, 12:35:00 PM »
Quote
On 2004-08-06 08:51:00, artman11111 wrote:

"If you do what the [Alcoholics Anonymous 'Big Book'] says, you will be cured. If you follow their righteous path, that path will lead you straight to redemption. If you join the club, you're the lucky winner of a lifelong supply of bullshit Meetings full of whining, complaining and blaming...

Near the end [of the 'Big Book'], there is a section of testimonials... As with most testimonials like this that I've read or heard or been forced to endure, something about them strikes me as weak, hollow and empty. Though the people in them are no longer drinking and doing drugs, they're still living with the obsession. Though they have achieved sobriety, their lives are based on the avoidance, discussion and vilification of the chemicals they once needed and loved. Though they function as human beings, they function because of their Meetings and their Dogma and their God. Take away their Meetings and their Dogma and they have nothing. Take them away and they are back where they started. They have an addiction."  
<



Thou art a Stepcraft-loving buffoon.  Fuck you.  Come around my neck o' the woods and I'll force feed you cheaqp whiskey.  All Sterpcultists must go.  There is no room for the Stepcult in the future.  All you mindless, shit-eating, Bill W.-dick sucking asswipes will burn.  Yor philosophy is moronic, your intellect bankrupt, and your belief in the excrement that Bill W., "Dr" Bob, and all other Stepcraft dogma-spouting cretins is truly pathetic.  Start drinking and doing drugs again.  If it kills you, fine.  One less AA/NA zombiepolluting my world with their presence.
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Offline Anonymous

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A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2006, 01:45:00 PM »
You really should try and read past the first two sentences before posting.

:smokin:  :wave:  :grin:
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