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James Frey didn’t even get the sports references right

A reader of this blog, Frank Paul Venis, was kind enough to send along this email, highlighting yet another set of inconsistencies in “A Million Little Pieces.” Frank has his own blog, called

Frank writes:

I read the book in December, on my sister’s recomendation. As soon as I finished the book I was extremely dubious about many things. Some sports related things I was able to check for myself. A few other issues could use some more digging.

Frey entered rehab in September of 1993, at the age of 23. Since he turned 24 on the 12th of that month he entered no later than September 11th. He stayed for six weeks, but let’s give him seven to be safe. That would put him in Hazelton from September 11th to October 29th, 1993 at the absolute latest.


On his first weekend at the rehab he and Leonard watch the Cleveland Brown play the Pittsburgh Steelers. He doesn’t offer any details of the game other than that the Browns won. Small problem. Those 2 teams did not meet that year until October 24th. And in case you’re not football fans there is no way in hell that a Browns fan would confuse the Steelers for some other team.

The fight that he describes watching on Leonard’s last night is clearly Bowe vs Holyfield 3. He doesn’t use their names but the fight is for the Heavyweight title and it is a third meeting between two fighters ultimately won by the bigger man in an 8th round knockout. Another small problem. This fight took place in 1995, two years after the “memoir” takes place.

Frank goes on to write in his email to me:

You know I once wrote a poorly edited novel based loosely on my youth. But I had the decency to publish it as a novel. Maybe I’m the sucker.