Tag: Samey

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.

 


Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata – Death Note: Black Edition Volume IV | Review

Title: Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata

Author: Death Note: Black Edition Volume IV

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 417

Rating 3.5/5

 

 

I am still enjoying this series, but it’s starting to get samey by this point – and dare I say it, predictable? I don’t know, it’s just starting to feel a little bit as though the authors are trying to make it more complex at the expense of the actual story. Plus there was a character death that kind of bummed me out, although I kind of knew it was coming. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they turn out to not be dead.

I’ve compared Death Note to Prison Break in previous reviews, partly because each of these Black Edition bind-ups feels like a season of a TV show and partly because each individual issue ends up on a cliff hanger. It works, at least for a while, but at this point of the series the formula is starting to feel a little thin and I was kind of hoping for some extra innovation.

Still, I’m still enjoying reading through each of the different books in the series, it’s just that they went good, great, pretty good and then okay. That doesn’t fill me with much hope for the last two books in the series, but hey ho. I’m invested enough at this point that I want to see it through, and I also have a feeling that I’ve predicted a few of the twists and turns that the story is going to take.

 

 

I think another of the reasons why I gave this a 3.5/5 instead of a 4/5 or even a 4.5/5 is the fact that it’s getting hard to track who each of the death notes has belonged to. That then had the knock-on effect of making it difficult to theorise about what might happen next because there were too many different threads going on. But at the same time, I can see why that might appeal to some people.

All in all though, the series is pretty good and even though this isn’t the best installment, it’s worth reading and continuing on. There are only two more Black Editions to go now, and I will admit that I’m curious to see how it will end. I just think that at this rate, when I look back at it, it’ll be the first couple of editions that I think of. So yeah.

 

 

Click here to buy Death Note: Black Edition Volume IV.