A Million Little Pieces is a harrowing tale of drug addiction and alcohol abuse that took the publishing world by storm. The story is told from a stream-of-consciousness point of view that is often confusing to the reader, but helps reflect the distorted mental processes that are said to go on during recovery. It gained international prominence when James Frey (the author) appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show to discuss his harrowing experiences, prompting many astonished gasps from the studio audience and the book to shoot to #1 on Amazon.com.
The story was also a gigantic fabrication by the author. It turns out that many of the shocking events described in the book never actually happened, despite James Frey’s claims to the contrary. The Smoking Gun performed an investigation, out of simple curiosity more than anything else, and discovered multiple fabrications in regards to his drug experiences and criminal record. There were no mug shots to be found, no death reports for his girlfriend, and no magic beans which grew into a huge beanstalk that led to a magical cloud kingdom.
James Frey was given a chance to go back on the Oprah Winfrey show and defend himself, but upon his arrival he was savaged repeatedly. The famed daytime TV hostess tore into him for his numerous lies and distortions, stating that she was “left with the impression that the truth was not really important” and that he had betrayed his millions of readers. He was forced to slink off with his tail between his legs, and the book ended up being reclassified by the Brooklyn Public Library as ‘Fiction’. To put it simply, you don’t mess with Oprah.