My Friend Leonard

( 206 )

Overview

Perhaps the most unconventional and literally breathtaking father-son story you'll ever read, My Friend Leonard pulls you immediately and deeply into a relationship as unusual as it is inspiring.

The father figure is Leonard, the high-living, recovering coke addict "West Coast Director of a large Italian-American finance firm" (read: mobster) who helped to keep James Frey clean in A Million Little Pieces. The son is, of course, James, damaged perhaps beyond repair by years of ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$11.49
BN.com price
(Save 28%)$16.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (166) from $1.99   
  • New (11) from $9.17   
  • Used (155) from $1.99   
My Friend Leonard

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$12.99
BN.com price

Overview

Perhaps the most unconventional and literally breathtaking father-son story you'll ever read, My Friend Leonard pulls you immediately and deeply into a relationship as unusual as it is inspiring.

The father figure is Leonard, the high-living, recovering coke addict "West Coast Director of a large Italian-American finance firm" (read: mobster) who helped to keep James Frey clean in A Million Little Pieces. The son is, of course, James, damaged perhaps beyond repair by years of crack and alcohol addiction-and by more than a few cruel tricks of fate.

James embarks on his post-rehab existence in Chicago emotionally devastated, broke, and afraid to get close to other people. But then Leonard comes back into his life, and everything changes. Leonard offers his "son" lucrative—if illegal and slightly dangerous—employment. He teaches James to enjoy life, sober, for the first time. He instructs him in the art of "living boldly," pushes him to pursue his passion for writing, and provides a watchful and supportive veil of protection under which James can get his life together. Both Leonard's and James's careers flourish…but then Leonard vanishes. When the reasons behind his mysterious absence are revealed, the book opens up in unexpected emotional ways.

My Friend Leonard showcases a brilliant and energetic young writer rising to important new challenges—displaying surprising warmth, humor, and maturity—without losing his intensity. This book proves that one of the most provocative literary voices of his generation is also one of the most emphatically human.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The title character of this book is the most unconventional father figure in recent memory. Leonard is the high-living, secretive recovering coke addict and mob hired gun who played a central role in James Frey's A Million Little Pieces. Starting where that book ended, My Friend Leonard tracks Frey and his supportive surrogate father in post-rehab and post-prison life. By turns hilarious and bittersweet, this memoir never slips into maudlin rambling.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Frey describes how he put feelings back into his life, and the effect is vivid, splashy, mesmerizing.
Newsweek
As smart as it is heartfelt, this tribute to friendship is a far sunnier book than Frey's debut.
Booklist
Another powerful read from a talented, dynamic author. (Starred Review)
Publishers Weekly
Frey achieves another stylistic coup as he develops a narrative thread begun in 2003's A Million Little Pieces. He chronicles his journey out of the terrifying darkness of addiction, and the friend he meets along the way, Leonard. A gangster, raconteur and mentor, Leonard was introduced in Pieces as one of Frey's new rehab friends. Here, he pushes Frey out into the world, pampering him one moment, giving him tough love the next. As in Pieces, Frey's style throughout is loose, untraditional yet perfectly crafted: "[Leonard] offered me his hand and said good, I'm fucked up too, and I like fucked-up people, let's sit and eat and see if we can be friends. I took his hand and I shook it and we sat down and we ate together and we became friends." There's something mesmerizing about the endless tumble of words, the nonstop spilling out of Frey's troubles and triumphs. In the hands of a less capable writer, all of this cool, tight narration might numb the reader and distance the experience. Instead, this book packs a full-body emotional wallop. Frey's eye is keen for detail: the inside of a county lockup; the flat, gray Chicago winter; an out-of-control Super Bowl party in Los Angeles; the grind of living day to day-all come alive in his sparse, powerful prose. At its core, this is an examination of a friendship. Frey's extraordinary relationship with Leonard is alive, a flesh-and-blood bond forged in the agony of rehab and sustained through honesty and trust. Agent, Kassie Evashevski at Brillstein/Grey Entertainment. (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In this follow-up to his best-selling A Million Little Pieces, which described his near-fatal descent into addiction, Frey gets out of jail and embarks on a mission to live a drug- and alcohol-free life with his new girlfriend, Lilly. Before he can reach her, however, she hangs herself over the death of her grandmother. Enter Leonard, a "father figure" mobster Frey met in rehab who gives him highly lucrative (albeit highly illegal) work, indulges him in lavish feasts and parties, and simply teaches him how to enjoy life to the fullest-without illegal substances and booze. While this memoir addresses serious issues that would ostensibly interest readers (love and loss, suicide, sexual orientation, AIDS, and criminal activity), Frey's writing style utterly fails to engage. There is no distinction between one voice and the next, which makes it difficult to tell who is speaking; the lack of sentence variation and punctuation makes for a monotone narrative so that potentially exciting or emotional events have little impact. Even the most tenacious fans of Frey's more successful first book will have trouble plowing through to the end. Not a first purchase, but prepare for demand.-Dale Raben, School Library Journal Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594481956
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/30/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 153,394
  • Product dimensions: 5.22 (w) x 8.06 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

James Frey

James Frey is the author of the memoir A Million Little Pieces.

Author photo by Annelore Van Herjiwen

Biography

James Frey in his own words:

"I was born in Cleveland, Ohio. I spent most of my childhood in Ohio and Michigan, and I have also lived in Boston, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, Sao Paulo Brazil, London, Paris, Chicago, and Los Angeles. I graduated from high school in 1988 and received further education at Denison University and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1993, I was sent to the Hazelden Foundation for the treatment of cocaine addiction and alcoholism. I moved to Chicago in 1994, where I worked variety of jobs, including doorman, stockboy, and member of a janitorial crew. In 1996, I moved to Los Angeles where I worked as a screenwriter, director and producer. In 2000, I took second mortgage on my house, and spent a year writing A Million Little Pieces. It was published by Nan A. Talese/Doubleday in May of 2003 and became a New York Times bestseller, a #1 national bestseller, and an international bestseller. In 2004, I wrote My Friend Leonard, which is a sequel to A Million Little Pieces. In June of 2005, Riverhead Books published My Friend Leonard, which also became a New York Times and international bestseller. I live in New York with my wife, daughter, and two dogs."

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

Good To Know

A few fun and fascinating facts from our interview with Frey:

"I've cut my own hair since I was 18, which is probably a bad thing."

"I once worked as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny at a department store."

"I have about 15 tattoos."

"I love baseball, boxing, football, and playing with my daughter."

"I read for a couple hours a day. I surf. I love looking at art, spend tons of time in galleries."

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

On my first day in jail, a three hundred pound man named Porterhouse hit me in the back of the head with a metal tray. I was standing in line for lunch and I didn't see it coming. I went down. When I got up, I turned around and I started throwing punches. I landed two or three before I got hit again, this time in the face. I went down again. I wiped blood away from my nose and my mouth and I got up I started throwing punches again. Porterhouse put me in a headlock and started choking me. He leaned towards my ear and said I'm gonna let you go. If you keep fighting me I will fucking hurt you bad. Stay down and I will leave you alone. He let go of me, and I stayed down.

I have been here for sixty-seven days. I live in Men's Module B, which is for violent and felonious offenders. There are thirty-two cells in my module, thirty-two inmates. At any given time, there are between five and seven deputies watching us. All of us wear blue and yellow striped jumpsuits and black, rubber-soled slippers that do not have laces. When we move between rooms we walk through barred doors and metal detectors. My cell is seven feet wide and ten feet long. The walls are cement and the floor is cement and the bed is cement, the bars iron, the toilet steel. The mattress on the bed is thin, the sheets covered with grit. There is a window in my cell it is a small window that looks out onto a brick wall. The window is made of bulletproof glass and there are bars on both sides of it. It affords me the proper amount of State required sunlight. Sunlight does not help pass time, and the State is not required to provide me anything that helps pass time.

My life is routine. I wake up early in the morning. I brush my teeth. I sit on the floor of the cell I do not go to breakfast. I stare at a gray cement wall. I keep my legs crossed my back straight my eyes forward. I take deep breaths in and out, in and out, and I try not to move. I sit for as long as I can I sit until everything hurts I sit until everything stops hurting I sit until I lose myself in the gray wall I sit until my mind becomes as blank as the gray wall. I sit and I stare and I breathe. I sit and I stare. I breathe.

I stand in the middle of the afternoon. I use the toilet and I drink a glass of water and I smoke a cigarette. I leave my cell and I walk to the outdoor recreation area. If the weather holds, there are prisoners in the area playing basketball, lifting weights, smoking cigarettes, talking. I do not mingle with them. I do not participate in their approved activities. I walk along the perimeter of the wall until I can feel my legs again. I walk until my eyes and my mind regain some sort of focus. Until they bring me back to where I am and to what I am, which is an alcoholic and a drug addict and a criminal. If the weather is bad, the area is empty. I go outside despite the weather. I walk along the perimeter until I can feel and remember. I am what I am. I need to feel and remember.

I spend my afternoons with Porterhouse. His real is name is Antwan, but he calls himself Porterhouse because he says he's big and juicy like a fine-ass steak. Porterhouse threw his wife out the window of their seventh floor apartment when he found her in bed with another man. He took the man into a field and shot him twelve times. The first eleven shots went into the man's arms and legs. He waited thirty minutes to let the man feel the pain of the shots, pain he said was the equivalent to the pain he felt when saw the man fucking his wife. Shot number twelve went into the man's heart.

From three o'clock to six o'clock, I read to Porterhouse. I sit on my bed and he sits on the floor. He leans against the wall and he closes his eyes so he can, as he says, do some imagining. I read slowly and clearly, taking an occasional break to drink a glass of water or smoke a cigarette. In the past twelve weeks we have worked our way through Don Quixote, Leaves of Grass, and East of Eden. We are currently reading War and Peace, which is Porterhouse's favorite. He smiled at the engagement of Andrei and Natasha. He cried when Anatole betrayed her. He cheered at the battle of Borodino, and though he admired the Russian tactics, he cursed while Moscow burned. When we're not reading, he carries War and Peace around with him. He sleeps with it at night, cradles it as if it were his child. He says that if he could, he would read it again and again.

I started reading to Porterhouse the day after he hit me with the tray, my second day here. I was walking to my cell and I had a copy of Don Quixote in my hand. As I passed his cell, Porterhouse said come here, I wanna talk to you. I stopped and asked him what he wanted. He said he wanted to know why I was here and why a County Sheriff would give him three cartons of cigarettes to beat my ass. I told him that I had hit a County Sheriff with a car going five miles an hour while I was drunk and high on crack and that I had fought several others when they tried to arrest me. He asked if I had hit the man on purpose. I told him I didn't remember doing it. He laughed. I asked him why he was here and he told me. I did not offer further comment. He asked what the book was and I told him and he asked why I had it and I told him that I liked books. I offered to let him have it when I was done with it and he laughed and said I can't read motherfucker. Fucking book ain't gonna do me no good. I offered to read to him. He said he'd think about it. A couple of hours later he showed up and sat on my floor. I started reading. He has been here every day since.

At six o'clock, I walk with Porterhouse to dinner, the only meal of the day that I eat. It is usually foul, disgusting, almost inedible. The meat is mush, the bread stale, potatoes like water, vegetables hard as rock. I eat it anyway. Porterhouse eats seconds and thirds and fourths, which he takes from the trays other prisoners. He offers to get food for me, but I decline. When I am finished eating, I sit and I listen to Porterhouse talk about his upcoming trial. Like every other man in here, regardless of what they might say, Porterhouse is guilty of the crimes that he has been accused of committing. He is going to trial because until he is convicted, he will stay here, at county jail, instead of doing his time in state prison. Jail is a much easier place to live than prison. There is less violence, there are more privileges, most of the prisoners know they are getting out within the next year and want to be left alone. Once they're gone, they don't want to come back. In prison, there are gangs, rapes, drugs, murder. Most of the prisoners are in for long stretches and will most likely never be free. If they are ever free, they will be more dangerous than they were before they were imprisoned. They could give two fucks about rehabilitation, they need to survive. To survive they need to replace their humanity with savagery. Porterhouse knows this, but wants to remain human for as long as he can. A guilty verdict is coming his way, but until it does, he will stay here. He will remain a human being.

After dinner I go to the payphone. I dial a number that was given to me by my Friend Leonard. The number allows me to make free long distance phone calls. I do not know where Leonard got the number, and I have never asked him. That has always been my policy with Leonard. Take what he offers, thank him for it, do not ask questions. Leonard is what I am, an Alcoholic and a Drug Addict and a Criminal. He is fifty-two years old and he lives in Las Vegas, where he oversees his organization's interests in a number of finance, entertainment and security companies. We do not discuss his business. I do not ask questions.

I always call Lilly first. Lilly with long black hair and pale skin and blue eyes like deep, clean water. Lilly whose Father deserted her and whose Mother sold Lilly's body for drugs when she was thirteen. Lilly who became crackhead and a pillpopper and hitchhiked across the country on her back so that she could escape her Mother. Lilly who has been raped and beaten and used and discarded. Lilly who is alone in the world except for me and a Grandmother who has terminal cancer. Lilly who is living in a halfway house in Chicago while she tries to stay clean and waits for me to be released from this place. Lilly who loves me. Lilly who loves me.

I dial the number. My heart starts beating faster. I know she's sitting in a phone booth waiting for my call, but my heart beats faster anyway. She picks up on the third ring. She says hello, dear boy, I say hello, dear girl. She says I miss you and I say we'll see each other soon. She asks me how I am and I tell her that I'm good. She's upset that I'm here and I don't want her to worry, I always tell her things are good. I ask her how she is and her answers vary from day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute. Sometimes she says she feels free, which is a feeling she has rarely felt but has always sought. She feels like she's getting better and healthier and can put her past behind her. Sometimes she says that she feels fine. That she is getting by and that is enough. That she's off drugs and has a roof over her head, that she's fine. Sometimes she's depressed. She feels like her Grandmother is going to die and I am going to leave her and she is going to be alone in the world, which is something she says she cannot handle. She says there are always options, she'll weigh them when the time comes to weigh them. Sometimes she feels nothing. Absolutely nothing. She doesn't talk she just breathes into the phone. I tell her to hold on, that she'll feel again, feel better again, feel free again, I tell her to hold on. She doesn't talk. She just breathes into the phone.

I met Lilly and Leonard five months ago. I was a patient at a drug and alcohol treatment center. I checked in after a ten year bout with alcoholism and a three year bout with crack addiction, which ended when I woke up on a plane after two weeks of blackness and discovered that I had knocked out my front four teeth, broken my nose my eye socket, and torn a hole in my cheek that took forty stitches to close. At the time, I was wanted in three States on drug, drunk-driving and assault charges. I didn't have a job or any money and I was nearly dead. I didn't want to go the treatment center, but I didn't have any other options. At least not options I was ready to accept.

I met Lilly on my second day. I was standing in line waiting for detoxification drugs and she was standing in front of me. She turned around and she said hello to me and I said hello to her and she asked what happened to my face and I shrugged and told her I didn't know. She laughed. I saw her and spoke to her later that day and the next and the next. The treatment center had a policy against male/female relationships. We ignored the policy. We talked to each other, slipped each other notes, met each other in the Woods that were part of the center's grounds. We helped each other and understand each other. We fell in love with each other. We are young, she is twenty four and I am twenty three, we fell in love. Neither of us had felt anything like what we felt for one another and we agreed that we would stay together and live together when we left the treatment center. We got caught with each other and we paid for the violation of the Center's rules. Lilly left the center and I went after her. I found her selling her body for crack and I brought her back. I left a week later and I came here. Lilly stayed for nine more weeks and has been at the halfway house in Chicago for a month. When I leave here, I am going to meet her. We love each other. We are going to stay with each other.

I met Leonard three days after I met Lilly. I was sitting by myself in the cafeteria eating a bowl of oatmeal. He came to my table and accused me of calling him Gene Hackman. I didn't remember calling him Gene Hackman, which made him angry. He told me that if I called him Gene Hackman again, there was going to be a problem. I laughed at him. He did not take kindly to my laughing and he threatened me. I laughed again, called him an old man, and told him if he didn't get out of my face, I was going to beat his ass. He stared at me for a minute. I stared back. I stood up and told him to get the fuck out of my face or prepare to get his ass beat. He asked me my name and I told him. He told me his name and asked me if I was fucked-up. I said yes, Leonard, I'm fucked-up bad. He offered me his hand and said good, I'm fucked up too and I like fucked-up people. Let's sit and see if we can be friends. I took his hand and I shook it and we sat down and we ate together and we became friends.

Over the course of the following two months, which is how long I was at the treatment center, Leonard became my closest friend. When I walked out of the center shortly after finishing the process of physical detoxification, Leonard walked out after me. I told him to leave me alone, but he wouldn't do it. He followed me. I knocked him down, and he got up. I knocked him down again and he got back up again. He told me that he wasn't going to let me leave, and that if I tried, he would have me found and brought back. He told me it didn't matter how many times I left, he would have me brought the fuck back every single time. I looked into his eyes and I listened to his words. He is thirty years older than me but he is what I am, an alcoholic and a drug addict and a criminal. His eyes and words held truth. I went back to the center and I stayed at the center. I was leaving because I wanted some liquor and I wanted some crack. I stayed because of Leonard.

For whatever the reasons, and I do not know all of them, whenever I needed something or someone, Leonard was there. He watched over me and protected me. He helped me reconcile with my family. He gave me the best advice that I was given while I was at the center, which was to hold on. No matter how bad or difficult life becomes, if you hold on, hold on to whatever it is you need to hold on to, be it religion, friends, a support group, a set of steps, your own heart, if you hold on, just hold on, life will get better. He encouraged me to be with Lilly. He told me to forget about the fucking rules, that love doesn't come around that often, and when it does you gotta take it and try to keep it. After Lilly left, she needed money to come back and stay at the center. Her Grandmother didn't have any more money. She had spent what she had to put Lilly there the first time. She didn't qualify for any of the financial aid programs. I didn't tell Leonard about Lilly's problems and I didn't ask him for help. He had done enough for me.

The morning he was leaving he asked to speak to me. I went to his room and he handed me a card. It had five names and five phone numbers on it. All of them were his, he said he used different names in different places. He said call if you need anything, doesn't matter what it is or where you are, just call. I asked him why there were five numbers and five names on the card and he told me not to worry, just call if I need anything. After he gave me the card, he said he had something he wanted to talk to me about. I said fine, talk. He looked nervous, which I had never seen before. He took a deep breath. He said Kid, I have always wanted to be married and I have always wanted to have children. More specifically, I have always wanted to have a son. I have been thinking about this for a while now and I have decided that from now on, I would like you to be my son. I will watch out for you as I would if you were my real son, and I will offer you advice and help guide you through your life. When you are with me, and I plan on seeing you after we both leave here, you will be introduced as my son and you will be treated as such. In return, I ask that you keep me involved in what you are doing and allow me to take part in it. If there are ever issues with your real Father, I will insist you defer to and respect him before me and over me. I laughed and asked him if he was joking. He said that he wasn't joking, not even close. I warned him that I tended to cause a lot of problems for the people in my life, and that if he could deal with that, I'd be happy to be his son. He laughed and he hugged me. When he released me he said he wanted me to go to jail and do my time and protect myself. He said not to worry about Lilly that she was going to be taken care of, that her financial issues had been resolved, that he hoped someday she would be better. I tried to object, but he interrupted me. He said what is done is done, now say thank you. I said thank you and I started to cry. I hoped that someday she would be better.

When I'm done with the phone, I go back to my cell. I do two hundred push-ups and four hundred sit-ups. When I am done with the push-ups and sit-ups, I walk to the shower. Most of the Prisoners shower in the morning, so I am usually alone. I turn on the heat from multiple faucets. I sit down on the floor. The water hits me from multiple directions it hits my chest, my back, the top of my head. It hits my arms, my legs. It burns and it hurts and I sit and I take the burn and I take the hurt. Not because I like it, because I don't. I sit and I take the pain and I ignore the pain and I forget the pain because I know that pain and suffering are different things. 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. I have lived a life full with suffering. I have lived a life without control. I have spent twenty-three years destroying myself and everything and everyone around me. I don't want to live that way anymore. I take the pain so that I will never suffer. I take the pain to experience control. I take the pain.

I finish my shower and I go back to my cell. I sit down on the floor and I pick up a book. It is a small book a Chinese book. It is a short book and a simple book. It is a book called Tao Te Ching, written by a man named Lao Tsu. It is not known when it was written or under what conditions, nothing is known about the writer except his name. Roughly translated, the title means The Book of the Way. I open the book at random. I read whatever is in front of me. I read slowly and deliberately. There are eighty-one poems in the book. Eighty-one simple poems. They are about life and The Way of life. They say things like in thinking keep to simple, in conflict be fair, don't compare or compete, simply be yourself. They say act without doing, work without effort, think of the large as small and the many as few. They say confront the difficult while it is easy, accomplish the great one step at a time. They say let things come and let things go and live without possession and live without expectation. These poems do not need, depend, create or define. They do not see beauty or ugliness or good or bad. They do not preach or implore, they do not tell me that I'm wrong or that I'm right. They say live and let live, do not judge, take life as it comes and deal with it, everything will be okay.

The lights go out at Ten o'clock. I stand and I brush my teeth and I drink a glass of water. I lie down on the concrete bed and I stare at the ceiling. There is noise for about thirty minutes. Prisoners talk to each other, yell at each other, pray, curse themselves, curse their families, curse god. Prisoners cry. I stare at the ceiling. I wait for silence and the deep night. I wait for long hours of darkness and solitude and the simple sound of my own breath. I wait until it is quiet enough so that I can hear myself breathe. It is a beautiful sound.

I do not sleep easily. Years of drug and alcohol abuse have sabotaged my body's ability to shut itself it down. If I do sleep, I have dreams. I dream about drinking and smoking. I dream about strong, cheap wine and crack. The dreams are real, or as real as dreams can be. They are perverted visions of my former life. Alleys filled with bums drinking and fighting and vomiting I am among them. Crackheads in broken houses on their knees pulling on pipes with sunken cheeks screaming for more I among them. Tubes of glue and cans of gas and bags filled with paint I am surrounded stumbling and huffing and inhaling as much as I can as much as I can. In some of the dreams I have guns and I'm playing with the guns and I am debating whether I am going to shoot myself. I always decide that I am. In some of the dreams I am being chased by people who want to kill me. I never know who they are all I know is that they want to kill me. They always do. In some of the dreams I keep drinking and smoking until I am so drunk and so high so goddamn fucked-up that my body just stops. I know that it is stopping and I know that I am dying I don't care. I reach for the pipe and I reach for the bottle. My body is shutting down rather than suffer the continued consequences of my actions. I don't care.

When I don't sleep, I lie on my bed and I close my eyes. I think about Lilly. I think about where she is and what she's doing. One of the requirements for her residency at the halfway house is that she have a job. She works the nightshift doing laundry at the hospital where her Grandmother is dying. She washes dirty sheets and dirty towels, used gowns and stained scrubs. On her breaks, she goes to her Grandmother's room. Her Grandmother has bone cancer, and it has spread throughout her entire body. She can't move without pain and she hasn't left her bed in two months. Her doctor has said that she will be lucky to live for another month. She's on a morphine drip and she's incoherent and she doesn't know Lilly's name anymore and she doesn't remember anything about her life. Her mind has been consumed by her cancer as much as her body has been consumed by her cancer. It has overwhelmed her and there is nothing left. Just a shell of pain and morphine. Just a shell of what was once a life.

Lilly sits by her side and holds her hand and talks to her. It doesn't matter that she doesn't understand anything, Lilly sits and holds her hand and talks with her anyway. She tells her about the halfway house she hopes that it's working she can't wait to get out. She tells her about the job it isn't so bad she's certainly done worse. She tells her about me she misses me and she wishes I were there she hopes I still love her. She tells her about the hope for a future with me and without drugs and with a sense of freedom and a sense of security. She tells her Grandmother about her fears. About loneliness she's been alone forever she doesn't want to be alone anymore. About a return to her old life she would rather die than sleep with men for money. About me she's scared that we won't survive in the World away from Institutions she's scared I'm going to leave her like everyone else in her life has always left her. About what life will be like when her Grandmother dies. She's scared because her Grandmother is the only person Lilly trusts and the only person that she is secure with and she can't imagine living without her. Sometimes Lilly can't talk anymore and she sits with her Grandmother and she holds her hand and she cries. She's scared and she can't imagine living without her. She cries.

I am leaving here in three days. I will have served my time paid my debt to society. As l lie here in bed listening to the sound of my own breathing as I lie here fighting off dreams and drifting through the deepest night, I think about what I am going to do when the steel-door slams shut behind me. I am going to Chicago. I am going to Lilly. I love her and I want to be with her. I want to be with her now and tomorrow and every day for the rest of my life. I want to sit with her, talk to her, look at her, listen to her voice, laugh with her, cry with her. I want to walk with her and hold her hand and put my arms around her and have her put her arms around me. I want to support her and have her support me. I want to stay away from drugs I can't go back and I want to help her stay away from drugs she can't go back. I want to forget about drinking and crime. I want to be a good, strong, sober man so that I can build a life. I want to build a life for me and build a life for her, a life for us together. I want to give her a Home, a place where she feels secure and free. That is what she seeks, she seeks freedom. From her past from her addictions from herself. From her loneliness. I will do anything to give it to her.

I love Lilly. I love her blue eyes and her black hair and her pale skin. I love her damaged heart. I love what lives inside of her a spirit a soul a consciousness whatever it is I love it. I want to live with it for the rest of my life. I will do anything.

I get out of here in three days.

Three more fucking days.

I lie in bed and I wait.

In the deep night.

Three.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 206 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(142)

4 Star

(39)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 206 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2007

    Great Book!

    My Friend Leonard is the sequel to James Frey¿s false memoir, A Million Little Pieces. This is the story of his life out of rehabilitation. Now, he is serving time in jail, and waiting to be released to see his girlfriend. However, when James is released things do not go as planned with his girlfriend, Lilly. Lilly, is the girl he met in rehabilitation whom he fell in love with. In rehabilitation, he had also met an old man named Leonard. Leonard and James developed a father-son bond. Since his release from jail, Leonard has been by his side and helped him financially and socially, and providing James with the necessities to live an ideal life. In this book, there is a bigger message then how he deals with alcohol and drugs, it is friendship. If you read between the lines you will realize that the message is that friends will always be friends, no matter what the situation is. In my opinion, this book will appeal to alcohol and or drug abusers as well as people who are amongst them, also anyone else who is appealed to or interested by this subject. The author, James Frey, describes the highs and lows or being sober in a society where people drink every now and then. All the heartaches and thoughts going through his mind make this book much more powerful. Without a doubt, this book is very emotional, yet there is a disadvantage in which the author got carried away with his vivid thoughts which makes it very surreal. There are very few paragraph breaks and no speech marks which reflects a lot of emotion towards the reader and makes it much more effective. Also, this book includes very harsh language, and some violent situations that I do not recommend for children under the age of 13. Because of James's debut book A Million Little Pieces, was a clear success. It caused his sequel My Friend Leonard to be popular among the readers who read his debut book. The interesting thing that the author does and not many do is that he brings some flashbacks from his debut book, which doesn¿t require for readers to read his first book in order to understand and enjoy his second book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 1, 2011

    One of the BEST books around!!

    I read this book in two days.. I LOVE this book and honestly think its one of the best i have read in a long time! I really wish this series would continue on!!! I felt like i was living in the story, true or false it doesnt matter! GREAT READING!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 1, 2011

    perfect

    My favorite book, you cant put it down it really touches the heart.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great book if you read it as a fiction

    The book is grea but it bring a great deal of questions about how real it can be. It is too over the top. If you agree that the book is fiction it can be a great thrilling read. Then end is kind of a let down but doesn't ruin the book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I (((heart))) this book!

    One word: AMAZING. I loved it. I LOOOOVEEEDDDD IT! Million Little Pieces was great too, but this had such a more positive feeling about it. I laughed, I cried.... I felt good at the end. Whenever I've brought up James Frey to friends and family, the first things that come out of their mouths are..."It was all lies!" But come on - the guy is an amazing writer. Can't say enough praises about this book. One of my most favorites of all time.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2013

    akatskee1@yahoo.com

    Add me!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    James Frey once again amazes me

    It's definitely a read for those of us who know James Frey's writing style. No periods, commas - really a complete lack of all English grammar rules. It's just thoughts written on pages. And it still seizes to amaze me that he can get away with that and write such great stories. Please read "A Million Little Pieces" first if you can. It's not an absolute, but it helps with background of each of the characters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    Just ok

    I liked a million little pieces a lot better, however this was still good enough to continue reading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2012

    What a piece of $#it sample...

    It was 2 freaking pages. I'm not spending 12.99 to read this fraudsters bok.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2012

    I have to admit

    When i first began reading this book, i thought it was going to be dreadful. As i continued reading i realized how brilliant it was, to go inside the mind of a drug/alcohol abuser whom became not just a very dufferent form of mobster, but a overall very different person than at the beginning of the book. I praise James Frey, and if it were an option i'd give this book six stars.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2012

    Best book ever

    This book made me cry, a lot. I reccommend this book it made me feel like i was him. I wish they made another book, to keep on going, by so far this book is the only book i ever finished and also the book "A million little peices". I might even read it over and over. This book was the best.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2012

    Anonymous

    I love this book. I read a million little pieces first amd lpved it too...dont care what oprah says....my son is an addict now in rehab in fla....hope he comes out as sensitive and caring as james frey did.. i cannot read his books fast enough...cant wait for the next one

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2012

    Another Great Book

    Like it's predecessor, this is a wonderful read. I really like the author's style of writing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 17, 2011

    _ Awesome!

    This book is my favorite book ad the second - if not best - book i have ever read.
    You gotta read it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 18, 2011

    couldn't put it down .. loved it ..

    read "a million little pieces" first and thought it was okay .. good story but morbid .. i read this one out of curiosity .. wanted to see where their friendship ended up after rehab .. i laughed .. i cried .. i loved it .. great book :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2014

    Addicting book, I was sad when I finished it.

    This is an amazing book. I loved 'A Million Little Pieces' and this picked up right where that left off. I would love to read a book about gow James' life was after this book. I would definitely recommend this book! !!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2011

    WOW

    This is an amazing, touching, comical, heart warming, book! I absolutely loved it and 'million little pieces', which must be read first. I laughed, cried, couldnt put it down, and want to read it again and again. I couldnt say a negative thing about it. Its honest, and frankly we need more of that in the world. Its about life, love, freindship, loss, and triumph. A must read that i will forever recommend to anyone i meet that enjoys a good read, a great read! It has made me proud if my life and the people in it, and motivated me to make it better and share it with as many people as possible. READ IT!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Very enjoyable.

    Lenard was a pivotal character in A Million Little Pieces, bringing a mix of essential advice, motivation, dependability, and fun. In this sequel, the reader is allowed to continue with James as he battles to make it through his time in prison away from his love Lily as well as the challenges that follow once he's released. As he look to Leonard for support, the intricacies of his one-of-a kind friend begin to surface. Throughout the experience James continues to inspires with his unbreakable will, while Leonard builds up to a shocking revelation. Prepare yourself for the journey, and don't worry, for however difficult it may seem, this duo never loses hope and neither should you.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2011

    Solid read

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Posted June 12, 2011

    Great+book

    One+of+my+all+time+favs.+I+wish+the+story+would+continue.+Loved+it%21

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 206 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)