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A fiercely vivid collection of stories about troubled California teenagers and misfits--violent and harrowing, from the astonishingly talented actor and artist James Franco.
Palo Alto is the debut of a surprising and powerful new literary voice. Written with an immediate sense of place--claustrophobic and ominous--James Franco's collection traces the lives of an extended group of teenagers as they experiment with vices of all kinds, struggle with their families and one another, and succumb to self-destructive, often heartless nihilism. In "Lockheed" a young woman's summer--spent working a dull internship--is suddenly upended by a spectacular incident of violence at a house party. In "American History" a high school freshman attempts to impress a girl during a classroom skit with a realistic portrayal of a slave owner—only to have his feigned bigotry avenged. In "I Could Kill Someone," a lonely teenager buys a gun with the aim of killing his high school tormentor, but begins to wonder about his bully's own inner life.
These linked stories, stark, vivid, and disturbing, are a compelling portrait of lives on the rough fringes of youth.
Publishers Weekly Review
© Publishers Weekly
Captivating and gritty and grim and cringe-worthy
I read this book in just 2 days. I couldn't put it down. The stories are terrifying mostly because they all stir nauseating memories and ring too true in any former coming-of-age-student's recollections. James Franco found another artistic outlet in writing. He captures the memories of being a directionless slave to youth culture in the early to mid-ninties, which is little unaltered in comparison to today's young adults. Well done.
Worst...book...ever. I only read the entire thing because I felt it was only fair if I were going to tell people how awful it is.
This book was funny at times and emotional sometimes.