Picks and Pans Review: Guest Pick: Po Bronson

updated 05/05/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/05/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Bronson, the bestselling author of What Should I Do with My Life?, looks at another tale of change, A Million Little Pieces, by James Frey (Doubleday, $22.95).

This is one of the best stories of transformation I've ever read. By the time James Frey was 23, he'd been a drug and alcohol addict for 10 years. On the edge of death, he was dragged into a treatment clinic by his parents. Nine years later he gives us this dazzling memoir of his months in that clinic, where he fell in love with an ex-hooker, befriended a mobster, repaired his relationship with his parents and willed himself to get clean and sober. He earns our love one brutal page at a time.

But don't classify this book with other recovery memoirs. The gritty language is unclouded by new age fuzz. Anyone who has ever felt broken and wished for a better life will find inspiration in Frey's story. This won't be the last we'll hear of him.

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