Study Guide

A Million Little Pieces Part 3, Chapter 3

By James Frey

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Part 3, Chapter 3

  • Someone kicks James awake. Looks like he fell asleep in the woods, and Ted found him before anyone else could.
  • James hurries to meet his parents.
  • There's a special visitor there today: Randall the attorney, who thinks they might be able to do something about the charges in Michigan and North Carolina, though James will probably have to serve time in Ohio.
  • James did the crime, so he's ready to plead guilty and do the time.
  • James's parents cry, and James decides to stop listening to the Fury and just be nice to them for once.
  • James apologizes: "I'm sorry. […] Truly, truly sorry" (3.3.164, 3.3.166). They hug.
  • That apology has made James work up a hunger, so he goes to eat. He notices that Lilly isn't paying attention to him.
  • Back in the family center, James tells his parents about his friends: "Some kind of Mobster." "A Federal Judge." "Crackheads and Drunks." And his sort-of girlfriend who is a "Crackhead and Pillpopper and she used to be a prostitute" (3.3.207).
  • "But don't worry, Ma, you'll like her!" We're paraphrasing, but James pretty much says that, and his mom wishes she could meet her.
  • In group therapy, the group talks about the nature of addiction—it might be genetic. However, James thinks that's a cop-out.
  • Back in the unit, the Bald Man gives a huge speech, and everyone claps and cheers as he leaves.
  • At dinner, Lilly is once again absent.
  • James has one more meeting with his parents, but only his mother is there; his dad had to make a call.
  • James and his mother talk about a few difficult instances, like when James's mother tried to punish him and he just laughed until she tried to hit him, so he grabbed her and held her until she fell down. Yeah, that happened. Or, wait, this is James Frey, so we're not sure.
  • James's dad shows up, and the family tries to get to the root of James's anger. They decide it was probably because of a really bad ear infection he had that went untreated.
  • Somehow, this ends up with James's mom apologizing to him.
  • James and his other hug, and James tries to decide if he should cave in to genetics and ear infections or be like Adele Dazeem and just let it go: "I could let it all go" (3.3.466).

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