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My Friend Leonard

My Friend Leonard [Kindle Edition]

James Frey
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Vivid, splashy and mesmerising. (Independent)

'My Friend Leonard is dangerously addictive ... this slick memoir is narrated in the present tense, which gives it verve and an aura of authenticity'. (Tatler)

Picassos and promise, racketeering and respect ... a stark and moving tribute to a complicated but loyal goodfella (Independent on Sunday)

An extraordinary tale of life after prison with a dangerous, delightful friend (Big Issue)

He takes you inside his world of pain, and it's like a small, brightly lit cell ... Life, Frey tells us, is pretty disturbing and weird when you're out of your head. But try living it sober. (The Spectator)

When a book proves difficult to put down, you know you're on to a good thing (Irish News)

The idea of reading about the road to recovery of someone whose lifestyle I could neither condone nor understand didn't inspire me at all. WRONG!!! Within two pages all prejudice was forgotten and I immediately felt an empathy with the main character.' (Jane Eyre, Leeds)


‘A heartbreaking memoir … inspirational and essential’

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
i'm guessing most people will be coming to this book having read "a million pieces", frey's first memoir, and this book picks up where a million pieces left off with frey coming to the end of his prison sentence for his various drug and alcohol fueled activities.
but it would be wrong to assume that this is going to be more of the same. where a million pieces was a fiercely angry and often unpleasantly vivid account of frey's struggles with crack and alcohol, my friend leonard takes a lighter tone as it deals with the subjects of friendship and rebuilding and it's certainly no worse for the change of emphasis.
frey still has a great turn of phrase, a enormously readable style and critically, a story to tell. as the title suggests, at the centre of the book are his friendship with fellow addict and west coast mob boss leonard who he met in rehab, but it also takes in frey's relationship with his girlfriend from rehab lily, and his attempts to assemble some sort of adult life following a decade of alcohol and drug abuse that started in his teens.
one thing that concerned me a little about this book as i started reading was that the last couple of pages of a million little pieces summarise what happens to most of the characters frey meets in rehab, leonard and, in particular, lilly included. yet ultimately that does not massively detract from what happens in this book. this is a book not about what finally happens but about how everyone gets to where they end up, and despite knowing elements of the ending it's none the less powerful - as with great newspaper journalism the headline only whets your appetite for the full story.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars *!^"*££^$*$*($(%) 20 Jun 2006
After reading the final page of "A Million Little Pieces" I thought, how is he going to top that?! After starting to read "My Friend Loenard" and becoming addicted to James & his world all over again, it was obvious this book was going to be another WOW read!

I found this book even more compelling and addictive and lovable than his first. The twists it takes are shocking, yet you feel a sympathy and love for the characters still.

I have enjoyed my journey through James' world and I thank him for allowing me in.

There is however one disappointment with this book. In the final pages of "A Million Little Pieces" we learn about what happens after and that spoils it a little when reading "My Friend Leonard" as you know what's going to happen. However, the way in which James writes, makes up for this disappointment.

When's the third?!?!?!?!?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny, warm and inspiring 4 Jan 2010
I picked up this book with some apprehension following the issues surrounding the author's first book 'A million little pieces'. I desperately wanted to know the next stage in James Frey's life but wasn't sure if I could trust the words. In the end I tried to stop thinking it was an autobriography or a memoir and instead looked at it as a story of fiction - and it was a really good story!

The author's style of writing has been toned down from the first book - no more random capitalisations, excessive sentence/word repeats and what was left was a vivid, easy to read, almost prose like piece of work. I rooted for James and wanted the best for him, I suppose thats the natural instinct when reading any kind of 'getting out of rehab/fixing my life' books. Either way, I felt like James was a friend to me, and I really wanted him to succeed.

My most favourite character in this book (and in A million little pieces) is Leonard - his warmth, banter with Snapper, kind heart... enough reason to name a book after him!

I laughed and I cried in this book.. I never thought I would, don't you love it when a book suprises you? :)
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars After all is said and done 4 Aug 2006
James Frey is a controversial figure. His first book, a Million Little Pieces, was quietly received before word of mouth snowballed sales into thousands. The crescendo was reached by the book appearing as part of Oprah's `book club'. Millions read Frey's story of reaching rock bottom, scrabbling and scratching in the dirt before a raw, real redemption. And then success inevitably brought suspicion. Journalists took a cynical comb to the story, and decided that James Frey was a liar. His story didn't stack up. His sufferings were faked, his pains embellished and his difficulties dreamt. Now in addition to being a drug addicted, alcoholic criminal he was a lying, drug addicted, alcoholic criminal. Or worse still, he was just a liar. And for the author of a work of biographical non-fiction that is a problem.

I loved a Million Little Pieces. I loved how someone completely messed up could produce a work of such harrowing, yet moving beauty. I loved the style, how the prose was as rough and jagged and real as the author. I loved how even someone who had messed up their lives really badly could be saved. For someone suffering from his own demons it was a message I needed and absorbed. So when it seemed that the story was fake it ruined the message. The raw truth, the honesty and plunging lows had made me love the book. The revelation that it was fiction made me think twice. And so I had stayed away from My Friend Leonard, the follow up to a Million Little Pieces. It was over a year after its release before I would come to read it.

I realised that Frey's dishonesty was going to be an issue from the book by juxtaposing the `disclaimer' on the first few pages with the opening line.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant!
What a great follow on from his first book. Would definitely recommend it.
He writes so well, he draws you into his world,
Word of warning, have tissues handy at the... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Samantha O'Grady
5.0 out of 5 stars My Friend Leonard
Loved this book. It was in good conditon for the price and arrived quickly. I would recommend it as a good read.
Published 23 days ago by Vivian Charge
5.0 out of 5 stars First book I've ever cried at!
First of all, make sure you have read a million little pieces before you read this one... this book was amazing. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Jules
5.0 out of 5 stars My friend Leonard
Couldn't put this down, loved it from beginning to end. Felt every emotion James and Leonard felt. Funny and heart wrenching
Published 26 days ago by Jayne Burman
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't care if it's slightly fabricated or not.
I think I enjoyed this more than a million little pieces! I was slightly disappointed that the truth may have been altered in the first but after this, I really didn't care. Read more
Published 28 days ago by ks buchanan
2.0 out of 5 stars second hand
This is the first time I have bought a 'second hand' book but so pleased that it was exactly as described.
Published 3 months ago by Mrs Jan Byatt
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and simply brilliant
The sequel to a million little pieces and absolutely as incredible as the first. Genius. I would recommend this to anyone.
Published 4 months ago by madeleine walker
4.0 out of 5 stars I very much enjoyed reading this book
I very much enjoyed reading this book. It was well paced and very easy to read. However, I found his first book 'A million little pieces' more emotionally engaging.
Published 4 months ago by Mrs. C. Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars My Friend Leonard
A brilliant book that I couldn't put down! Such a beautiful story told in a very unique writing style. James Frey is a seriously talented writer.
Published 5 months ago by Kimj
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
This is this most amazing story to follow"a million tiny pieces" I have laughed cried an loved this book with all my heart!! Thankful James for sharing this with the world!!!
Published 6 months ago by Charlie
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Popular Highlights

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It takes a brave man to walk away, to care so much that he doesn’t care about anything else, to be willing to obey what he feels inside, to be willing to suffer the consequences of living for himself. &quote;
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Pain is the feeling. Suffering is the effect that pain inflicts. If one can endure pain, one can live without suffering. If one can learn to withstand pain, one can withstand anything. If one can learn to control pain, one can learn to control oneself. &quote;
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Every time you meet someone, make a fucking impression. Make them think you’re the hottest shit in the world. Make them think they’re gonna lose their job if they don’t give you one. Look ’em in the eye, and never look away. Be confident and calm, be fucking bold. &quote;
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