God, what IS all the hoo-ha about?! It's a book! Just read it and enjoy it, you drongos. I cannot believe all the stuff I've read about this book. The disclaimer at the start is just stupid. If I was James Frey, I'd say, go fuck yourselves then. I write you this exciting book and this is how you repay me! The book is well-written, pacey, and interesting. So he made some or a lot of it up. He changed names in it, too. Who cares? He still recovered from a horrific addiction against all the odds and lived to tell the tale (literally), so he still did more than Oprah ever did, the silly old mare, who can't even give up cakes. If you want a refund for the book I suggest you get your memory erased too because you've taken something from it, regardless, you grasping Yanks.
So yes. I finally read it, ten years after everyone else. Stylistically I really liked it: the flat delivery, the lack of speech marks, the repitition. I thought it was extremely effective and a riveting read, considering not THAT much happens in it really. It made me feel better about my own book which, whilst not autobiographical, relies heavily on you liking the narrator, because bugger all happens.
The account of his recovery, especially at the beginning with all the vomiting and dental work was completely horrific, in a good way. I liked his struggle with the 12 steps, and with God, and the fact he found his own way. His relationship with Lilly was very convincing and touching, and what happened to her was almost too much to bear. There did seem to be a surplus of genuinely good-hearted people in his book, but I was glad of that.
I thought the end was especially brilliant: from Lilly leaving onwards. It was truly shocking when he went to get her back, then his goodbye with Leonard, then going to the bar: they were all really incredible moments that made me cry (on the train- doh!). The end was awful: finding out so many of them were dead was horrible. And I don't care even if they were all fictional, it would still have hurt, because you invest in a book as a reader.
I'd recommend the book to anyone who knows someone who has a serious problem with drugs because the true horror needs to be read to be believed. And I believe it. And it's great. So fuck you, Oprah, you sanctimonious twat.