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Palo Alto is a collection of linked short stories by American actor and writer James Franco. The book is named after his hometown of Palo Alto, California, and is dedicated to many of the writers he worked with at Brooklyn College. Inspired by. Start by marking “Palo Alto” as Want to Read: A fiercely vivid collection of stories about troubled California teenagers and misfits--violent and harrowing, from the astonishingly talented actor and artist James Franco. James Franco writes like every C-student in a the first year. Palo Alto: Stories [James Franco] on Story time just got better with Prime Book Box, a subscription that delivers editorially hand-picked children's.

Palo Alto Book

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Buy products related to palo alto book products and see what customers say about palo alto book products on ✓ FREE DELIVERY possible on. The book is made up of snapshots of life in Palo Alto as experienced by a series of bored, delinquent teenagers who spend most of their time. Palo Alto by James Franco, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.

Reflecting on a friend's missing tooth, one of his more existentialist characters ends up thinking "about three dimensions Because everything just focuses on me and I hate it". This is from "Jack-O" published in Esquire last year as "Just Before the Black" , which, to be fair, is the weakest story here.

The stilted prose may have more to do with his confused, semi-articulate young narrators, struggling to dredge meaning out of their directionless lives, but Franco writes so much better when he limits them to short sentences and tiny, rare fragments of insight. A miniature moon rocking on the little waves.

I always see nice images like that but I don't know what to do with them.

Whatever their limitations, however, you never feel that Franco — who went through a delinquent phase himself during his teenage years in Palo Alto — condescends to his characters.

It would be off the mark to say that he is fascinated by them as individuals. The narrative voices barely change between stories. Some are nastier or wittier or marginally more reflective than others, but that's about it. Instead, Franco seems fascinated — obsessed, even — by adolescence itself. The Proust quote at the start of the book states that, in spite of the regrets it may weigh upon us in later life, "adolescence is the only period in which we learn anything".

Through sex and stimulants and destructive behaviour amid all the idleness and uncertainty, even these trapped souls experience moments of furious, feral vitality that become alien to us in later life.

In its oddball, fragmentary way, Palo Alto feels like an authentic portrait of teenage alienation in suburban America: It's not all spiritual emptiness and fury: In the collection's best story, "I Could Kill Someone", a nerdy introvert called Teddy decides to buy a gun and murder his jock nemesis, Brent Bauchner. But Teddy's not your stereotypical high-school killer.

Topics Books The Observer. Short stories James Franco reviews. Reuse this content. Order by newest oldest recommendations. Show 25 25 50 All.

I waved. I'm very good at quarters. They were very bad, and we killed them. After a while they all looked sick. First RFK got my name and looked at my license.

Book review: 'Palo Alto' by James Franco

Then I had to hold my hand out and touch my nose while my neighbors watched. Another police cruiser slowed until it was in front of my driveway. Three separate stories, three separate narrators, one of them a female and yet they all sound the same.

Monotone can be an effective literary device, but it requires a deftness, a judiciousness and, if the gods are smiling, some gradation of humor to pull off at great length.

Without such things it becomes simply… monotonous.

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For a reader, trying to keep track of the various Teddys and Aprils, the Alices and Barrys whose lives criss-cross in a variety of ways in "Palo Alto" this is an insurmountable problem. Franco seems to grasp the literal meaning of "God is in the details"—virtually every character has his or her gene pool racially dissected and locations are rendered with GPS precision—but not the spirit. None of the characters come to life because none of them are allowed to be more than a sum of what they see and do.

Which appears to be Franco's point—that life has somehow crushed the essence out of these children. He doesn't seem interested in what particular bit of life has done the crushing.

No helicopter parents here, no parents or teachers of any kind, really. Neither are there cellphones or even very many video games; these kids don't even watch much TV.

Teen Spirit, Soured

Instead Franco is content to watch them watch themselves doing things, though he does throw in an occasional acknowledgment of family life--"My mother was holding half a green pepper. She looked so sad. The water ran in the sink"—for those of us imagining packs of orphans roaming the streets of Palo Alto. Some of what they do is quite disturbing. A girl sees the boy she was just flirting with at a party murdered; another is seduced, at 14, by her soccer coach.

One young man, driving drunk, hits and kills a pedestrian, another pimps his girlfriend and rapes her with a variety of vegetables.

If there are occasional flashes of fear or vague regret they are quickly stifled by vodka, obscenity and narrative numbness.Show 25 25 50 All. In Killing Animals, Franco deftly addresses race as some wannabe delinquents find themselves in over their heads.

She leaves the house, goes to 7-Eleven. Publishers Weekly. Aug 14, Hadrian rated it did not like it.

Chris' dad wants to spend some nice days with his sons but the boys do not really like the trip. My father would hardly notice the dent on the already beat-up car.

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Get A Copy. Utter, utter dreck.

The storyteller explains that famous authors like Faulkner and Hemingway shot animals and killed them but he and his friends just shot small animals and killed no person.

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