Palo Alto: Stories by James FrancoPalo Alto: Stories by James Franco

Palo Alto: Stories

byJames Franco

Paperback | May 6, 2014

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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.
Title:Palo Alto: StoriesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.4 inPublished:May 6, 2014Publisher:ScribnerLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1476778388

ISBN - 13:9781476778389

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from Just watch the film... James Franco is a wondrously talented man. He has the ability to write and express himself, however, the context of his writings were a little difficult to accept. His stories are supposed to be autobiographical, and a lot of them are almost pointless. These stories were more like an outlet for himself, specifically, to remember certain points in his own life, but as to be sold publicly, its not entirely cohesive. The film gives a bit of a better depiction, but ultimately, remains without a message as well.
Date published: 2017-10-08
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not Great I bought this book because I was curious to see what James Franco's writing was like. None of the short stories were good in my opinion and were just pointlessly gross at times.
Date published: 2016-12-14
Rated 2 out of 5 by from I once thought that he could do it all I bought this book at the height of James Franco's career. This was a time when he was acting, getting his masters, writing and fulfilling all the other obligations of an A-list actor. I was optimistic. I thought that he could do all these things and write an excellent selection of stories. I was wrong. These stories are unnecessarily violent, sexual and drug fueled. Some may say that that was the point. That they are supposed to show the nihilism of our times (I think that word was written on the jacket) Yet when all the stories follow the same pointless theme, the entire collection brutally suffers because there is no relief. It all becomes pointless.
Date published: 2014-07-24

Editorial Reviews

“[Franco] ends up perfectly mirroring the undulations of a teenage mind.”—The New York Times Book Review