I’m sad about Leonard. Sweet Leonard.
I’ve been sad since I finished reading My Friend Leonard, by James Frey.
Leonard lived so close to me. He spent part of the year living in a big house that overlooked the ocean in Laguna Beach. He downsized, sold his house.
I’m not going to give too much away. That would be easy to do. But I will tell you Leonard loves art and he loves food and cigars. He’s a gangster. He’s a man trying to please his dead father. He’s got an enormous heart. He’s a former addict. He’s got a oodles of money. He’s always there for Frey.
The funniest part of the book has to do with Speedos, which are always funny anyway. That’s all I’ll say.
If you are a smoker, a coffee drinker or love to eat, you will be craving these things as you read. The book is full of instances where Leonard and company indulge in yummy food at fancy restaurants. Leonard always pays.
I can’t decide which book I liked better, Frey’s A Million Little Pieces or My Friend Leonard. I read Million over a series of days. I devoured Leonard in one sitting. I took so long to read Million because I wanted to savor it. Like any good book, finishing is like a tiny death. But finishing Leonard was something I needed to do.
If you’re not familiar with Frey, his first book is a memoir of his life as an addict. He spends the book in Hazelden, a rehab clinic in Minnesota. He leaves the book a changed man and picks up with where he left off – with Lilly – in My Friend Leonard.
It starts right away with tragedy. Frey moves through tragedy the whole book. He keeps a bottle of Rose close by. He even goes to bars. That’s all I’ll say.
Frey writes in much the same way as he did with his first book – he has little use for punctuation, he writes run-ons (don’t we all want to write a run on sentence that goes on and on just to prove our English teachers wrong that you don’t really have to write all proper and stuff because sometimes it’s fun to express yourself in another way and how many writers have made a name for themselves by writing proper?)
Most of all, Frey has a great story to tell and that’s the basis of any good book.