Monday, January 09, 2006
Book Review-"A Million Little Pieces
My friends and i have been reading "A Million Little Pieces" here are some discussion questions from the book if you have read it enjoy. If you haven't its a good book, very graffic but gives incredible insight into the life of an addict. Most of us have some type of life experience with an addict of some type this might help you to be able to deal with them better or at least see them in a different light.
1. A Million Little Pieces presents some unusual formal innovations: Instead of using quotation marks, each piece of dialogue is set off on its own line with only occasional authorial indications of who is speaking; paragraphs are not indented; sentences sometimes run together without punctuation; and many passages read more like poetry than prose. How do these innovations affect the pace of the writing? How do they contribute to the book's rawness and immediacy?
It gave the book a rushed sense, when I read it I felt like I was in the frenzied mind of an addict. Especially in the beginning before he goes into rehab and during detox. It was hard to decipher at times as I’m sure going through those things its hard to decipher whats real and whats not.
2. A Million Little Pieces is a nonfiction memoir, but does it also read like a novel? How does Frey create suspense and sustain narrative tension throughout?
I think one way he carried the suspense was in the way the book was written it wasn’t written in an organized formal way it is frenzied and rushed. The story itself made you want to read it, you wanted him to beat this you wanted to see him succeed. I also agree with Kaiya on this by only giving bits and pieces of his past to make you want to know/understand him more.
3. James is frequently torn between wanting to look into his own eyes to see himself completely and being afraid of what he might find: "I want to look beneath the surface of the pale green and see what's inside of me, what's within me, what I'm hiding. I start to look up but I turn away." (p. 32). Why can't James look himself in the eye? Why is it important that he do so?
They say that eyes are the windows to his soul, I think he’s scared of who he really is. He says he really doesn’t remember a time where he wasn’t abusing some type of substance, now he’s suddenly not on anything. He’s never seen who he was without the chemicals and I think he’s scared of it.
4. After meeting with the Doctor (p. 93), James feels as though he's been given a death sentence and reviews his obituary in his head. He finds comfort in plotting his suicide. How does Leonard derail his plans? Were you surprised by their friendship?
I thought it was neat how the friendship developed how Leonard knew where he was coming from and just wanted to help. I think Leonard was an integral part in him getting well, he was a backbone that had been there before who would understand but not let him get away with things.
5. Consider some of the moments of kindness and compassion and genuine human connection that make the book so moving. Why do these moments have such emotional power?
These moments make it real, you can disassociate yourself from a story or a person without these moments. I think the most moving for me was when Lilly leaves the clinic and James goes to find her the care for her was so moving. Her life was so tragic his tenderness towards her was amazing. I also like the dynamic of that one counselor that didn’t get along with James how he helped him find her.