Actors Anonymous by James Franco

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Loosely structured in the extreme, the novel seems to have been written in odd moments while Franco was taking a break from his acting career—and it was probably more fun for him to write than it is for the reader to read.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

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.

 

About James Franco

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JAMES FRANCO Â is the talented, ubiquitous, popular, and provocative actor, director, author, and visual artist. His first book, the story collection Palo Alto, was published in 2010.
 
Published October 15, 2013 by Little A. 295 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Actors Anonymous
All: 4 | Positive: 0 | Negative: 4

Kirkus

Below average
on Aug 04 2013

Loosely structured in the extreme, the novel seems to have been written in odd moments while Franco was taking a break from his acting career—and it was probably more fun for him to write than it is for the reader to read.

Read Full Review of Actors Anonymous | See more reviews from Kirkus

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Hermione Hoby on Dec 13 2013

Actors Anonymous, a novel that follows 2010's short-story collection Palo Alto, is both about, and doomed by, the egregious non-anonymity of its author.

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NY Journal of Books

Below average
Reviewed by Vinton Rafe McCabe on Oct 29 2013

He tosses up ideas, fools around with the concept of Actors Anonymous as a means of connecting disparate characters...and then abandons his characters as quickly and cavalierly as Franco the Actor seems to dump college freshmen after taking their virginity. In the end, nothing is fulfilled, nothing is developed.

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LA Times

Below average
Reviewed by Heather Havrilesky on Oct 11 2013

If "Actors Anonymous" were an actual novel or a complete short-story collection, Franco might have given us more to enjoy and ponder.

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Reader Rating for Actors Anonymous
42%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 160 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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