A Million Little Pieces is a book by James Frey , originally sold as a memoir and later marketed as a semi-fictional novel following accusations of literary forgery. While initially promoted as a memoir, it later emerged that many of the events described in the book never happened. A badly tattered James wakes up on a commercial flight to Chicago, with injuries that he has no recollection of having sustained or of how he ended up on the plane. He is met by his parents at the airport, who take him to a rehabilitation clinic. It is revealed that James is 23 years old, and has been an alcoholic for ten years, and a crack addict for three. He is also wanted by the police in three states on several charges.
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Sam Taylor-Johnson has brought the bestseller to the big screen while bypassing the controversy that trailed it, leading Adam White to ask: why bother? It is also the least fascinating thing about A Million Little Pieces. The most captivating element of its existence is the noise that surrounds it — the accusations that it was largely faked, despite being marketed as a memoir, the literary-world war of words over its editing, and the piercing, terrifying glare of Oprah Winfrey , who elegantly destroyed Frey on live television over his apparent betrayal.
Frey was 17, addicted to a potentially lethal combination of cocaine, meth and nitrous oxide, wanted in three states on possession charges and with a face turned inside out after falling head-first down a fire escape. By the time he arrived at a Minnesota rehabilitation centre, he had four missing teeth and a hole in his cheek. Rehab proved sordid, surreal and ultimately healing, a collection of equally damaged and addicted characters providing colour and guidance to the young Frey.
A Million Little Pieces quickly emerged a hit, but it was elevated into the stratosphere by Winfrey, who endlessly promoted the book on her daytime talk show throughout the end of and helped it top The New York Times best seller list for 15 weeks in a row. He was exhausting but undeniably exciting, a Charles Bukowski for the new millennium. But there was also gloom on the horizon.
His alleged involvement in a train accident that killed two teenage girls was similarly untrue, as were many of the relationships he claimed to have developed in rehab.
Rather than continue to defend Frey, she decided to confront him in a televised special. Winfrey has always insisted that she was open about her intentions.
Frey confessed that many of the claims made by The Smoking Gun were true, and that he had falsified a number of experiences recounted in his book. When I was writing the book, instead of being as introspective as I should have been, I clung to that image.
I think you presented a false person. He was dropped by his publisher and agent, and Warner Bros abandoned the film adaptation they had been prepping Gus Van Sant was in negotiations to direct. A Vanity Fair feature additionally alleged that Frey had been directed to exaggerate his story by one of his editors at Doubleday, and that Frey had expressed unease with the marketing of A Million Little Pieces as a memoir long before it had actually been published. By the time all of this was unearthed, however, it had ceased to matter.
Frey had already become persona non grata, hounded by photographers, jeered at by the public and scorned by Winfrey. It was a scandal that, like the recent reappraisal of the rise and racism-assisted fall of Jade Goody , works as an unexpected time capsule of what constituted a pop culture crisis in the years immediately preceding Twitter.
And to Oprah Winfrey no less. This was an era, after all, in which truth was considered sacred, and the idea of a figure not being entirely truthful about something warranted public flogging. Looked at today, such a horrified and angry reaction to a lie seems almost quaint. My goal was never to create or to write a perfect journalistic standard of my life.
It was always to be as literature. I thought in doing that it was OK to take certain licences. To tell a story effectively you manipulate information I think that if stories were told always exactly as they really happened most of them would be really boring. Frey did recover somewhat, working on increasingly poorly-reviewed follow-up books all fiction, it should be noted , and setting up his own young-adult publishing company that was accused by New York Magazine in of taking advantage of aspiring student writers.
Winfrey, too, came around, revealing in that, after years of meditation, she felt she had initially been too hard on Frey in and sought his forgiveness. And does the undeniable power of A Million Little Pieces override the fact that elements of it never actually happened?
So much, in fact, that on film it feels like something is missing. Because the post-scandal Frey is compelling in a slightly more interesting way than the addict described on the page, a man who is simply frustrating and vaguely reprehensible.
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The process of research, thought and presentation meant I had to work very hard and learn new things about myself along the way. The experience is invaluable and can only help you grow as a person. Advertising inquiries should be directed to advertising lawsociety. The Law Society has a strict policy of not publishing articles in exchange for advertising. The shrink wrap used for delivery of LawTalk is 27 micron biodegradable film manufactured in New Zealand. This degrades naturally.
Author Is Kicked Out of Oprah Winfrey's Book Club
Sam Taylor-Johnson has brought the bestseller to the big screen while bypassing the controversy that trailed it, leading Adam White to ask: why bother? It is also the least fascinating thing about A Million Little Pieces. The most captivating element of its existence is the noise that surrounds it — the accusations that it was largely faked, despite being marketed as a memoir, the literary-world war of words over its editing, and the piercing, terrifying glare of Oprah Winfrey , who elegantly destroyed Frey on live television over his apparent betrayal. Frey was 17, addicted to a potentially lethal combination of cocaine, meth and nitrous oxide, wanted in three states on possession charges and with a face turned inside out after falling head-first down a fire escape.
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In an extraordinary reversal of her defense of the author whose memoir she catapulted to the top of the best-seller lists, Oprah Winfrey rebuked James Frey, the author of "A Million Little Pieces," on her television show yesterday for lying about his past and portraying the book as a truthful account of his life. Winfrey told Mr. She added: "I sat on this stage back in September and I asked you, you know, lots of questions, and what you conveyed to me and, I think, to millions of other people was that that was all true. In the three months after Ms.
The man who rewrote his life
It was the book that lived a million lives. In , James Frey was the toast of the literary world, feted for his best seller, A Million Little Pieces —a frank, unvarnished memoir about his addiction and rehabilitation. But his reign was toppled three years later by a shocking report that he had embellished certain facts about his sobriety journey. The revelation destroyed his reputation and earned him a stern interrogation from Oprah Winfrey, an early evangelist for his book. Still, the story he weaved in A Million Little Pieces has remained captivating. Rumors of a film adaptation were bandied about for years until, finally, Sam Taylor-Johnson Nowhere Boy, Fifty Shades of Grey reached out to Frey to see if she could get the rights. What transpired was a record-quick exchange.