So Oprah had a hissy fit over this book. So people were put off because of some alleged fictionalization of this story. Regardless, it is excellent reading, and the author either has done a tremendous amount of research into addiction and recovery, or experienced addiction and recovery to tell this chilling story. In all reality, when one tells their side of a story, who isn't tempted to expound upon the truth a bit? Embellishment makes for good story telling. The only difficulty I had with the story is that an addict as severe as Frey could gain and maintain sobriety in as short a time as six weeks.
An amazing novel. I wasn't interested in it until after the hype about the story being partially fiction. Even with that in mind, this book was excellent; one of the few life-changing novels I've read in my life.
Frey's writing makes him one of your family members or a close friend. You want him to succeed in sobering up and you hurt when he hurts.
Truly beautiful and incredibly sad, this novel will haunt you for a long time after you've read it.
Being the wife to an addict and alcoholic(10 years sober) I really enjoyed the book. I felt like it was something I needed to read. A great insite to what getting clean "feels like".
Fiction or non-fiction, it doesn't really metter, it's still a great story.
A really good book, even though all the stuff came out later on the Oprah show ,about it also being a little bit of fiction as well as a memoir of addiction, it was still a really good book. I really couldn't have cared less if it was real or fiction...it was a riveting realistic portrayal of addiction.
This book took quite a while to suffer through. The repetition used for effect got old, pretty fast, and while a few parts of the book towards the middle and end are underline worthy (literary lines of brilliance), the book on the whole fails to inspire the reader, or leave them with a feeling of importance ("now that was a story worth telling!")...I felt as though I'd wasted half my week trying to sit through this novel. The fact that it's mostly false doesn't help either. The lack of style in writing can't make this story stand on it's own as a fictional piece of work. I can excuse stories that are embellished, but only if they're good books in the end.
Also, I've read stories of addiction before, and I know recovering addicts...James seems a bit too compliant with the clinic at first. In the first couple weeks his character is already talking about this rehab being a good thing. Addicts are reluctant. It's just fact. They want their drugs--- they need them, and they'll do anything to get out of clinic.
2 stars out of 5.