Million Little Pieces Essay

Million Little Pieces Essay-28
Were I in my normal frame of mind, after I gave him his beating, I would make him come back here and apologize to everyone for wasting their precious time.

(It’s catchier than the motivational abbreviation * Frey has tattooed on his own arm: FTBSITTTD, for “Fuck the bullshit, it’s time to throw down.”) Based on all the evidence, it seems Frey’s weird, macho fear of seeing himself as a “victim” led him to fabricate a life that was painful and extreme enough so as to explain the sadness and despair he felt.

Instead of a crack-binging street fighter, ostracized by both his peers and society, the Smoking Gun investigation indicates Frey was more likely a lonely, confused boy who may or may not have needed ear surgery as a child and felt distant from his parents and alienated from his peers.

Both of these stock characters—the narcissistic, pretty-boy rock star suffering from a laughable lack of self-awareness and the world-weary anti-hero who is choking on the crap society is shoving down his throat—are typical of the kind of cliché-ridden portraits that populate Frey’s book.

There’s Frey’s one true love, a woman who was, naturally, “tall and thin and long and blond like the thickest silk her eyes blue eyes Arctic eyes.” There are the small-minded, small-town cops, “fat stupid Assholes with mustaches and beer guts and badges.” There’s the book-smart, life-dumb drug counselor, a “grown-up version of a kid who spent his childhood sitting behind a computer hiding from bullies.” If a novelist wrote a book run through with these kind of straight-from-Central-Casting chestnuts, he’d be politely told to try again …

Ironically, the very abundance of its clichés has likely helped make it a runaway best seller: People, after all, like having their suspicions confirmed.

For nonaddicts, reinforces the still dangerously prevalent notion that it’s easy to spot a drug addict or an alcoholic—they’re the ones bleeding from holes in their cheeks or getting beaten down by the police or doing hard time with killers and rapists.

Or as Frey himself might put it, is a compendium of “bullshit fantasies” about a life few of its readers have experienced, one redolent with crack binges, alcohol-fueled rages, violent outbursts, self-mutilation, multiple arrests, and several deaths.

In Frey’s telling, all of this culminates with the author’s eventual self-willed recovery, which is presented as a hard-boiled inspiration for others.

In fact, as those letters do not form a word, it is only an abbreviation.

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