Tag: Drugs

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.

 


Janis Jonevs – Doom 94 | Review

Title: Doom 94

Author: Janis Jonevs

Type: Fiction/Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 258

Rating 4.5/5

 

 

This book was fantastic for two simple reasons objectively, because it’s different, and subjectively, because it reflected my own childhood. It turns out that the Latvian city of Jelgava in the mid-nineties had a lot in common with the British town of Tamworth in the mid-2000s.

As you’ve probably guessed from that, Jonevs is a Latvian, and I actually met him at a party/networking event when I was invited to Riga to learn more about Latvian literature. This book wasn’t out at the time, at least not in English, but I’d heard enough about it to think that I was going to like it. I just didn’t expect to like it this much.

It’s basically a coming of age story, following Jonevs and his fellow metalheads as they finish up at school, discover drink, drugs and cigarettes and get into the Latvian metal scene. I hadn’t heard of most of the bands, of course, but there were mentions here and there of those that I had heard of. Kurt Cobain’s suicide plays a part in the plot and there were shoutouts for bands like My Dying Bride, Mayhem and Burzum. There was even a mention for Cynic, who are probably my favourite out of all of the heavier bands that Jonevs talked about. How Could I? and Veil of Maya in particular.

The only reason for 4.5/5 and not 5/5 is that there were a few typos.

 

 

Click here to buy Doom 94.

 


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