Palo Alto by James Franco

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It’s too little and far too late for this book, but it’s a promising passage. Franco is still best known as an actor...
-National Post arts


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.

About James Franco

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James Franco is an acclaimed actor, director, artist, and writer. His film appearances include "127 Hours," "Howl," "Milk," "Pineapple Express,"  and the "Spider-Man" trilogy. On television, he starred in the critically acclaimed series "Freaks and Geeks." Franco has written and directed several short films, and his visual art was featured in a solo show at the Clocktower Gallery in New York. His writing has appeared in Esquire, the Wall Street Journal, McSweeney's, and other publications. Franco has an MFA in creative writing from Brooklyn College, and is enrolled in the PhD program in literature at Yale University.
Published October 19, 2010 by Scribner. 216 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Chris Knight on Nov 12 2010

It’s too little and far too late for this book, but it’s a promising passage. Franco is still best known as an actor...

Read Full Review of Palo Alto: Stories | See more reviews from National Post arts

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