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Actors Anonymous Paperback – 17 Oct 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (17 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571311695
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571311699
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 2.3 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 65,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Part aphorism, part instruction manual, part reflection, part short story and, seemingly, part memoir, the narrative is a pastiche of forms and moods. Franco (or his alter ego) presents his ideas through anecdotes and semiplausible fictional incidents, with plenty of inside references to Hollywood actors." —Kirkus Reviews

"Subversively funny and provocatively honest, is ostensibly about acting but it's really about a society where everyone's reduced to Actors Anonymous the roles they play. The novel's many narrators fight back against these roles in truly original, often hilarious, and deeply affecting ways. So should we all." Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story

"A remarkable, visceral display of the projected voice. Blake’s assertion 'The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom' is used, brilliantly, as justification for Franco's life and also its misunderstood public/private undoing. The work gleams with aphoristic truths—'Maybe the search for the real is about playing the most roles and having the most sex.' 'It’s the snarky little fuckers that write for South Park or Family Guy and hide behind cartoons that get revered. They are honest, but honest about everyone else, not about themselves.' Franco, by contrast, uses his own body as the staging area for a quite ambitious and seriously self-deconstructive fiction. Real art, as here, is always a performative seduction."—David Shields, author of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto

"Electrifying to see a writer hold nothing back!  This shape-shifting narrative extends a reader's sense of what a novel can be, can do.  Franco plays with persona in ways that implicate a reader. The defiant humor is hard-won (including the best worst job interview ever), his take on irresponsible people is both eloquent and suitably scorching, the language is enviable: the seduction of a virgin is 'like a bullet through a birthday cake.' Franco's novel lures you in with indelible images, provocative mind games, and characters laid bare, then successfully strands you in a frightening place."—Amy Hempel

"James Franco puts on a James Franco mask and borrows formats from AA to create a fiction about the fiction of identity—especially as it pertains to actors and, by logical extension, writers. Is fame (the longing for it, the actuality of it) as entangled in the creative act as alcohol? Is acting (writing) an escape from reality or the only thing that’s real for an actor (writer)? The illusion of reality and the reality of fiction hold hands in this novel in much the way that actors (and writers) steal from their lives to enliven their characters. The novel does not merely explore acting, it enacts it. This is a lively, strange, engaging, often funny, sometimes brilliant, and utterly fearless novel."—Robert Boswell, author of Tumbledown, The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards, & The Half-Known World
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

From acclaimed Hollywood actor/director James Franco comes a brilliant new work of fiction.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kelly89 on 24 Sep 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like James, the person. He's funny and charitable. He loves his family. And I like James the man in public - he's odd in his persona which makes for somebody who sticks in your mind. I've come to expect weird things from him when it involves social interaction and the media but I'm not sure I get his vision in this book.

It reads poorly; it flits between narrative, informative text to stories and different people - and then squished somewhere in the middle is a tale of college rape and apparent lacking relations between James and his father. In all I'm not sure how to take the book - it confuses me (fact or fiction?) and disturbs me (perhaps the blurriness was an intentional social experiment?) and probably won't be one I share around as a suggested read.

As a fan of James, maybe look into it; as someone who wants to examine the human condition, it could pique your interests in a macabre way. Beyond that? Not great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ms. A. M. Christian on 14 Mar 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love you James.....but this story, though pretty well written, was kinda depressing!
At first I thought he was writing about himself....so was quite expectedly shocked when reading the date rape scene.... Soon realised he wasn't writing about his own life, but the lives of other actors. PHEW!!
It was a little confusing, flicking over from one person's life to another, and occassionally his own - but I think that's what the intention was.
I wouldn't really recommend this book, but still think it is full of promise. James can write - as well as act, direct and look like an Adonis!
I would defintely read anything else he publishes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Oolong on 3 May 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Franco currently teaches at UCLA, between movies and writing, which demonstrates the versatile nature of this young hollywood property. There's a good novel struggling to get out of this book, maybe Franco is too close to the fire to avoid getting burnt. While there are snatches of good prose in this loosely connected short stories...the overall shape of this book is garbled and at times incoherent.

Worth a read if only to take an insiders view of Hollywood from a young man who certainly has a lot of talent
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Sarah Crabtree on 14 April 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had never even heard of James Franco when my daughter pointed me towards a parody he had done of a pop video. It was brilliant, and then she reminded me that he was the actor who took the part of the guy in the hang-on-I-need-to-cut-my-hand-off-to-live movie. So it is clear that he is a man of many talents, and not afraid to flirt with controversy. As for this book, it reads well and he clearly knows his craft. I almost gave it four stars, it's just I feel that we haven't seen or read the best of this guy yet.
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By Betsy on 17 Jun 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Come on James Franco! Another great book by the delicious actor but not as good as his great smile! Would recommend this great book.
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By Katie Costie on 1 Mar 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wasn't sure what to expect when I ordered this book, I was intrigued by the author and the concept. I ended up falling under the spell of the book and struggling to put it down, dark, funny and always compelling, I highly recommend "Actors Anonymous" .
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