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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars surprisingly good
I'm not going to lie, I only bought this because I'm a fan of James Franco! However I was pleasantly surprised, every short story pulled me in (some made me cry) and I couldn't put it down.
Published on 8 Feb 2011 by MBee

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty simple
James Franco potrays the adolescent life of kids in palo alto so simply, none of the short stories particularly jump out and amaze you with fantastic narrative or structure but the stories as a whole seem to wrap up nice together.

The book isn't particularly long and doesn't take very long to read. Probably just take this on holiday or a journey cause you don't...
Published on 4 Jan 2012 by Dumbleberry


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty simple, 4 Jan 2012
This review is from: Palo Alto (Paperback)
James Franco potrays the adolescent life of kids in palo alto so simply, none of the short stories particularly jump out and amaze you with fantastic narrative or structure but the stories as a whole seem to wrap up nice together.

The book isn't particularly long and doesn't take very long to read. Probably just take this on holiday or a journey cause you don't have to think too hard
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Palo Alto Book Review, 3 Jan 2012
This review is from: Palo Alto (Paperback)
this book isn't what i expected, it's very blunt and graphic, and can be upsetting/disturbing with a lot of violence and sexual abuse. each story is from a first person perspective, and are written in a naive style. i read it all the way through, but found it tough as the context was so alien to me. if you don't mind teen grime this book is a good and at times amusing read, for more demure readers- turn away now.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Well-observed vignettes of boring people = boring novel., 3 Dec 2011
By 
Lexx (Worcestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Palo Alto (Paperback)
In James Franco's defence, the various scenes in this book ARE well-observed. My first feeling was that the material felt like the back-stories an actor might invent, to flesh out a character on-screen. But despite the apparent authenticity, anyone who has spent time in suburban America, or in the company of the well-off-but-tedious, will find this a slightly numbing, and empty experience. It's like Bret Easton Ellis but without the philosophical stance, or the blood-and-guts. Franco may be a great actor, but the notion that he is also a 'Renaissance Man' on the strength of this thin work, is trying a bit too hard. That's not to say he DOESN'T have a great novel in him...but I think perhaps it's a bit early in his career to tell.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Palo Alto (Paper Back), 14 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Palo Alto (Paperback)
To be frank, I only purchased this book because I'm a fan of James Franco.

With this book, Franco captured teenage emotions in so many different ways. Some parts are uncomfortable to read, but to be fair some teenagers can be rather uncomfortable. He successfully created the setting, atmosphere and interesting stories, but these short stories don't have endings. Although some stories are uncomfortable to read they should have endings to conclude them.

This book is good for teens and early 20 year old readers.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Stick to acting - please!, 28 Mar 2011
By 
S.M. Gidley (Sidmouth, Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Palo Alto (Paperback)
It amazes me that there are three five-star reviews for this book, it really does.

I came to this like many people because I admire Franco as an actor and was interested to see if his on-screen talents transfer to the page; they don't. I really wonder how this book ever came to be published (particularly by Faber and Faber), it reads like an amateurish attempt at emulating both Ernest Hemingway and JD Salinger at the same time. It has "Get me! I have been on creative writing courses!!" scribbled all over it and - lo! - he gives the game away by saying as such in the acknowledgments and in the writer biog on the flyleaf.

My main criticism of these stories is that they are paralysingly dull. I am sure there are some people who would make the argument that this reflects the ennui of the teenage experience, but I really don't care. A couple of the stories in the second part of the book are a bit better; something actually happens in them and an attempt at developing characters is made. But I would suspect that there are readers who might not get that far.

I feel like a grumpy old woman writing this, but there are plenty of writers (who are all probably older) who deal with this subject with more poise, insight and genuine originality than Franco. He could have got away with this as a run-of-the-mill angsty screenplay shot on a shaky camera, but shoving in a bit of extra prose does not a short story collection make.

This is self-conscious twaddle which should have remained scrawled in an old exercise book.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars surprisingly good, 8 Feb 2011
This review is from: Palo Alto (Paperback)
I'm not going to lie, I only bought this because I'm a fan of James Franco! However I was pleasantly surprised, every short story pulled me in (some made me cry) and I couldn't put it down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book, 3 July 2014
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This review is from: Palo Alto (Paperback)
Loved this book. James Franco is a very vivid writer, you can clearly see the images he wants to create. While some of it is a little uncomfortable to read it fits in with the theme of the book
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4.0 out of 5 stars A brutally real capture of teenage angst., 20 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Palo Alto (Kindle Edition)
Franco has captured teenage emotions in so many different ways. At some points the writing was uncomfortable to read but made it all the more real.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good read!, 31 May 2014
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This review is from: Palo Alto (Paperback)
Good book for teens and early 20 year olds,
Kept me interested through out, full of shocking stories... Good read
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5.0 out of 5 stars interesting, 29 May 2014
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This review is from: Palo Alto (Kindle Edition)
Interesting short stories, wasn't sure where it was going...then it ended. Perhaps my fault for expecting things to come together.
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Palo Alto
Palo Alto by James Franco (Paperback - 4 Aug 2011)
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