A Million Little Pieces by James Frey

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A Million Little Pieces by James Frey Main Characters: James, Leonard, Lilly, Miles, Hank Setting: A Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation facility Main theme: How a person deals with drug and alcohol addiction while in an institution Summary Chapter 1-5: The book opens with the narrator, James, waking up on an airplane. He is bleeding, missing four teeth, and has a broken nose. He doesn't know how he got these injuries or where he is going. They tell him that a concerned friend of his contacted them and that his injuries were the result of a fall down a fire escape. James has no recollection of this. James's parents and brother drive him to a rehabilitation clinic. James has three roommates—Larry, Warren, and John. James believes that it's better if no one gets too close to him, since he views himself as a destructive, damaging force with very little to contribute to anyone's life. He is convinced that believing in AA is just exchanging one addiction for another. He embarks on his journey in rehab, always thinking at anytime that he will be leaving because rehab is ‘not for him'. Not a good start seeing how badly he needs some kind of help. Summary Chapter 6-10: James's brother Bob and two friends, Julie and Kirk, come to visit him at the clinic. They bring him presents: cigarettes, chocolate, clothes, and books. They watch some football together and then go for a walk in the woods, where they meet Lilly and her grandmother. Bob, Julie, and Kirk urge James to try and get better and give him a list of people who have asked about him. Lilly is a girl that James meets in the clinic although he has little to no contact with her besides fleeting visits that they chance every here and there. The next day James's new job is making coffee for the group, a clear sign that he has progressed and moved further up the clinic ladder. James's psychology test results reveal that he is highly intelligent and angry and has low self-esteem. Joanne, (his therapist) tries to convince him to accept the Twelve Step program, which is solely accountable for the success rate of the facility, but James refuses. Summary Chapter 11-15: Joanne and James talk about the Twelve Step program. James still refuses to follow it. He hints that he does not like churches and priests.
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