Tag: Addiction

James Frey – A Million Little Pieces | Review

Title: A Million Little Pieces

Author: James Frey

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 518

Rating: 4.25/5

I was given this as a birthday present from someone who’d read it themselves and enjoyed it and who’d seen that it was on my ridiculously large want to readlist. I don’t actually get given books that often because more often than not, I end up resenting them because I feel as though I have to read them whether I want to or not. But as this was off my big old list, we dodged that problem.

I think I first heard about this on BookTube, although I can’t remember who was talking about it. It basically instantly went on to my wish list because it’s a non-fiction drug book and I’ve always been partial to books about drugs. I even quite like it when you get references to opium in stuff like The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy falls asleep in a field of poppies.

Because I find the subject matter interesting, I was pretty much guaranteed to like this one. However, there are some other factors that come into play too. For example, the dialogue is written without quotation marks or indeed any form of punctuation, which some people might offputting. It’s the first thing I noticed when flicking through it and that, combined with a blurb from Irvine Welsh on the back, made me think it might be a tricky read. It turns out to actually work better and to flow more smoothly like that.

I guess that’s because of the style of the book. It’s written as a sort of stream-of-consciousness memoir and reads as though Frey is just chatting to you at a bar, and so this style of punctuation is perfect. At the same time though, I’m sure it’s not quite to everyone’s tastes, and that’s okay. And besides, if you like drug stories but you can’t deal with the punctuation, there’s always the movie version, which I’ll probably watch at some point or another.

Other than that, I’m not sure that there’s much more that I can tell you. I think as long as you have an interest in the subject matter – that of a recovering addict trying to get clean – and you don’t mind dialogue when it’s oddly formatted, you’re in for a treat. I will say that he spends the majority of the book either thinking about drugs or wishing he was dead, and so it can sometimes feel a little samey, but that can’t really be helped due to the subject matter and you have to respect the honesty.

Overall then, I’d definitely recommend this one, especially if you have an interest in drug and addiction memoirs. Otherwise, if you’re worried about trigger warnings or if it just makes you unhappy to read about stuff like this then maybe give it a miss. You’d be missing out on a good read, but it’s also a difficult one that can be quite confrontational too. As for me, I’m glad that I read it. A good gift!

Learn more about A Million Little Pieces.

 


Gillian Flynn – Sharp Objects | Review

Title: Sharp Objects

Author: Gillian Flynn

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 328

Rating: 3.5*/5

 

Gillian Flynn - Sharp Objects

Gillian Flynn – Sharp Objects

 

This is Gillian Flynn’s debut novel, but it’s the third of her books that I’ve picked it up and I’d probably put it somewhere towards the middle. It felt like a generic thriller, but it did also have its fair share of characterisation and I actually got vibes of Stephen King when I was reading it. It also got really, really dark, and there are trigger warnings here for everything from child abuse and the murder of kids to self-harm and addiction.

The main character here isn’t particularly likeable either, but then she’s had a rough upbringing and so you can’t really blame her for it. She also makes some poor decisions throughout the book that kind of annoyed me, but I didn’t find it to be too much of a problem. It wasn’t like Gone Girl where I just hated all of the characters and was disappointed that nothing bad happened to them. Here, I wasn’t too bothered about who did what and why and just let the story wash over me, and I think that’s the best way to approach it.

Next up for me will be Dark Places, but only because it’s the only Gillian Flynn book that I haven’t read. She seems like the kind of author who I’ll keep on reading just to see what she’s coming up with. Objectively speaking, I think she’s a pretty good writer. It’s just that her stories don’t always connect with me. I also think that she has a habit of using twist after twist, to the point at which you kind of know that another one is always coming. I somehow predicted the twist and then the other twist that came after that, but I only guessed there’d be a second because there always is with Flynn.

Still, it was a’ight. I’m glad I ticked it off.

 

Gillian Flynn

Gillian Flynn

 

Click here to buy Sharp Objects.