Introduction & Overview of A Million Little Pieces

James Frey
This Study Guide consists of approximately 57 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Million Little Pieces.
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A Million Little Pieces Summary & Study Guide Description

A Million Little Pieces Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Bibliography and a Free Quiz on A Million Little Pieces by James Frey.

James Frey's book A Million Little Pieces caused a scandal in 2006. Originally published as a memoir in 2003, it was revealed on the website The Smoking Gun in January 2006 that some of the events of the book had been fictionalized, while others had been exaggerated or were altogether fabricated. More liberties with the truth came to light as others began to investigate the book and its author. At least sixteen lawsuits were filed against Frey and his publisher in the wake of the revelations.

In 2005, Frey's book was selected for Oprah Winfrey's high-profile book club on her syndicated talk show, and Frey appeared on her show in conjunction with the selection. After the truth about his "memoir" came to light, Winfrey insisted Frey return to her show where she confronted him about the deception. An apology and notes from both the author and the publisher about the controversy were added to subsequent editions of A Million Little Pieces. The book was also re-classified as fiction by a number of libraries.

One reason for the controversy over the book's veracity was the subject and nature of A Million Little Pieces. Written in first person, the narrative focuses on Frey's time in a rehab clinic for treatment for addiction to alcohol and drugs when he was twenty-three years old. In vivid detail, he describes undergoing the detox process, coming to terms with his addiction and anger, and developing a plan for long-term sobriety.

Though the book sold well before his initial appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show, sales skyrocketed after Winfrey embraced Frey and his book. A Million Little Pieces sold at least 3.5 million copies, spent time at the top of several bestseller lists, and was the second-best selling book in the United States in 2005. Millions of readers who were riveted by the account or even inspired by the author's triumph felt duped, manipulated, and angry to learn that Frey may not have been entirely honest and sincere. Winfrey, in particular, was outraged as Frey's betrayal cast suspicion on her role as a powerful champion for literature.

Frey apologized and explained his actions, admitting he had a flawed memory about certain events. He also said he believed he had creative license to change facts to better mold the story and create a dramatic arc. "The Frey affair has been a train wreck," wrote Anne-Marie O'Connor and Josh Getlin in a Los Angeles Times article in early 2006. Frey told O'Connor and Getlin, "All I wanted to do was write a book that would help people get through tough times, and I never meant for any of this to happen, and I'm sorry that it has."

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This section contains 443 words
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