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Palo Alto

Stories

James Franco

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

Now a “provocative” and “impressive” (Variety) film from director Gia Coppola (Francis Ford Coppola’s granddaughter)—starring Emma Roberts, James Franco, Nat Wolff, and Val Kilmer—the fiction debut from James Franco that Vogue called “compelling and gutsy.”

James Franco’s story collection traces the lives of a 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 with a realistic portrayal of a slave owner during a classroom skit—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 “spare and riveting” (O, The Oprah Magazine) stories are a compelling portrait of lives on the rough fringes of youth. Palo Alto is, “a collection of beautifully written stories” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) that “capture with perfect pitch the impossible exhilaration, the inevitable downbeatness, and the pure confusion of being an adolescent” (Elle).

Features a bonus essay by James Franco on Gia Coppola's film adaptation.

Publishers Weekly Review

Aug 30, 2010 – Given that Franco could have opted to coast by on movie star mystique, the decision to write about the suburb of his upbringing is intriguing. But the author fails to find anything remotely insightful to say in these 11 amazingly underwhelming stories. The privileged, borderline sociopathic eighth-grade consciousness into which stories like "Killing Animals" and "Tar Baby" consign us is saturated in first-wave Nintendo games and an egregiously gleeful dosage of homophobia and puerile race-baiting that is exhausting, even in a collection where the average story is 10 pages long. Still, tales like "Camp" and the above-average "American History" manage to successfully construe bad-kid amorality as authenticity, which is more than can be said of "I Could Kill Someone," one of several stories that reads like Patrick Bateman from American Psycho fell into a Catcher in the Rye remix, or the colossal misfire that constitutes "Emily," written from the point of view of a teenage girl who performs carnal acts on every page. The overall failure of this collection has nothing to do with its side project status and everything to do with its inability to grasp the same lesson lost on its gallery of high school reprobates: there is more to life than this.

Customer Reviews

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.

Palo Alto

This book was funny at times and emotional sometimes.

Palo alto review

Mr.franco has written a great collection of short story's. His literary skills are reminiscent of a young Faulkner. He has a very refreshing style. My only complaint is how he ties in each individual story's main points his consistency is so so and he could have put more content. All in all though very entertaining worth the purchase definitley.

Palo Alto
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  • $10.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Oct 19, 2010
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Seller: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
  • Print Length: 208 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings