The actors in James Franco s brilliant debut novel include a McDonald s drive-thru operator who spends his shift trying on accents; an ex-child star recalling a massive beachside bacchanal; hospital volunteers and Midwestern transplants; a vampire flick starlet who discovers a cryptic book written by a famous actor gone AWOL; and the ghost of River Phoenix.Read more...
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Publisher: Brilliance Audio$15.66
The actors in James Franco s brilliant debut novel include a McDonald s drive-thru operator who spends his shift trying on accents; an ex-child star recalling a massive beachside bacchanal; hospital volunteers and Midwestern transplants; a vampire flick starlet who discovers a cryptic book written by a famous actor gone AWOL; and the ghost of River Phoenix. Then there s Franco himself, who prowls backstage, peering out between the lines before taking the stage with fascinating meditations on his art, along with nightmarish tales of excess. Hollywood has always been a private club, he writes. I open the gates. I say welcome. I say, "Look inside."
Told in a dizzying array of styles from lyric essays and disarming testimonials to hilariously rambling text messages and ghostly footnotes and loosely modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous s Twelve "Steps and Twelve Traditions, Actors Anonymous" is an intense, wild ride into the dark heart of celebrity."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-08-19
- Reviewer: Staff
Franco’s debut novel, following his short story collection Palo Alto, is an assemblage of chapters whose organizing factor is a parody of the Alcoholics Anonymous manual Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. Each chapter is headed by a step or a tradition, such as step three: “Turned our will and our ‘performances’ over to the Great Director.” Some chapters are first-person narratives, ostensibly by different narrators, though it’s hard not to think of the author as the sole narrator, since the tone and voice of each is identical to the others—flat, Bukowskian recitations of acting classes taken, sex had, and drugs done. Elsewhere, readers encounter uninspired maunderings about the nature of acting: “Kazan said actors acquire the look of waxed fruit.” The chapter headed “Step 4: Made a fearless and searching moral inventory of our ‘character’ ” is composed of sophomoric poems about River Phoenix. At one point, a narrator named James receives a note from a professor that says, “Stop writing.” Another chapter includes the pronouncement, “Writing sells mass produced objects.” This mass-produced object will likely appeal only to Franco’s most devoted fans, but you can’t fault a guy for trying. Agent: Richard Abate, 3 Arts Entertainment. (Oct.)