Friday, December 02, 2005


OK, I don't tell people what to do (much).

But PLEASE, do yourselves a favor. I'm not Oprah so my influence is not nearly as far reaching, but read Symptoms of Withdrawl and A Million Little Pieces.

Let me outline my reasons for each.

Symptoms of Withdrawl

The author of the book: Christopher Kennedy Lawford. Right there is reason enough because

1. He's GORGEOUS...oh yeah. (see pic at right...good genes...)

2. He gives an insiders' view on a famous family that is both loving and honest...hard to find in this day and age.

3. He shows us that a good looking man can feel quite insecure about himself and that money and connections don't always
fix everything.

4. Plus...he's a good writer. He needs to write more often. Of course, he also needs to come to my house and read me poetry
whilst holding my hand in case I swoon over his good looks (drool, drool, dribble).

A Million Little Pieces

Author: James Frey.

1. Also GORGEOUS, in a prizefighter kind of way.

2. Graphic to get his point across, not for sensation's sake.

3. Another good looking man that's insecure about Are there a lot of those guys wandering around? I'd like to help contribute to their self-esteem my house...with lubricants...anyone out there?

4. I read this book in one day. Granted, D was working at Barnes & Noble that day (full shift or close to it) so I could do it virtually uninterrupted, but was just fascinating. I'm not going to be a spoiler, but early on in the book, there's a
part where he has to go to the dentist. That's all I'm going to say. Even though I hate going to the dentist, I read this part of the book and was deeply engrossed. You have to get through that part to get the rest of the book.
If you skip this part, you won't get the rest of it. Ride the storm out.

I know that these books are about depressing subjects, and it's Christmas, and I'm supposed to be happy (according to Hallmark, Rankin Bass, and every store in America).

But you know what? These books affirm life in the midst of pushing yourself close to death. I have never been addicted to alcohol or drugs, but I have had trouble with obsessions/addictions of my own to people and other bad habits thanks to my BP and my own personal pecadillos. Every day, every minute, every second can be a challenge.

These people have made it to the other side, and whether they have a 12-Step Higher Power or just intestinal fortitude to thank for it, they did it. And I figure if they're brave enough to do it, and rip out their own soul, heart and psyche and put it in literary form, then what the hell is wrong with me that I can't just get through one day? Their experience...that's the greatest gift of all.

Also, they paint recovery with a realistic brush. They don't walk off into the sunset...they show that it's not simple, but coping with life while "anesthetized" (with whatever vice you choose) isn't a good choice either.

BTW, James Frey has also written another book called My Friend Leonard, a "sequel" of sorts to A Million Little Pieces. It is about one of his dear friends in rehab and the influence Leonard had on his life. I started it last night, and I'm going to finish it before the end of the year...this I vow.

More later...


By now, I'm assuming you all know about the "scandal" regarding this short, that there was much exaggeration on the part of the author regarding his criminal past. Oprah called in to "Larry King Live" to express her viewpoint, and basically said that the charges were irrelevant.

I can't say I don't agree with Oprah. I mean, think about it. If he had been doing all the chemical ingestion he'd been doing since age 10 and was still alive, his memory and perception might be a bit off. He may also have been prone to delusions of grandeur, or just basically skewed memories of his life because of all the dead brain cells. Sometimes, too, when you abuse drugs and booze for so long, if you can't remember the past, you just make it up.

In addition, whether or not his theory of just not using no matter what as opposed to faithfully following the 12-Step philosophy and staying away from those triggering people/places is acceptable is not my place to judge either. What works for John Doe may not work for Jane Doe.

At any rate, whether it's true or not, Frey's book is still powerful. Its prose, structure, and subject matter have obviously taken hold. I don't think he should necessarily be vilified for his words. He's trying to make his way out of his own hell, and this book had to have been as gut-wrenching to write as it was to read.

Update #2...

If you click on the phrase "Update #2", you will get the original article off of Yahoo! the meantime, here's the article in it's entirety. Interesting solution...

James Frey to Add Author's Note to Memoir
By HILLEL ITALIE, AP National Writer

Fri Jan 13, 9:39 AM ET

Future hardcover and paperback editions of James Frey's disputed memoir of addiction, "A Million Little Pieces," will include a brief author's note that refers to the content of the book, his publisher said Thursday.

Doubleday spokeswoman Alison Rich declined to offer details about the note or to comment on why it was being added. She would not say if the note was an acknowledgment often found in memoirs — but not in "A Million Little Pieces" — that names and events had been altered.

Frey has been under close scrutiny since The Smoking Gun, an investigative Web site (, posted a story last Sunday alleging the author had substantially fabricated his criminal record and other aspects of his past.

Frey has acknowledged to The Smoking Gun that he embellished parts of the book and he said so again Wednesday night on "Larry King Live," stating that alterations were common for memoirs and defending "the essential truth" of "A Million Little Pieces."

"The book is about drug addiction and alcoholism," he said. "The emotional truth is there."
Frey's book was first published in 2003 and became a sensation last fall after Oprah Winfrey selected it for her book club. On Wednesday night, Winfrey made a surprise phone call to King's show and supported Frey.

"If you're an addict whose life has been moved by this story and you feel that what James went through was able ... to help you hold on a little bit longer, and you connected to that, that is real. That is real," she said. "And it's ... irrelevant discussing, you know, what happened or did not happen to the police."

Sales have remained high for "A Million Little Pieces," which on Wednesday night topped the best seller list on

What an interesting journey...