Pin It

James Franco 

Palo Alto (Simon and Schuster)

Oh James Franco and your big ambitious eyes and your sly smile. You had to fail sometime, right? No one can cut their own arm off (alright, that’s in your movie, 127 Hours, but who else would we pay to watch do that?), make visual art, write plays and screenplays, while pursuing three MFAs from different colleges. Palo Alto isn’t terrible, in fact, it’s pretty entertaining in its overwrought adolescent violence, but it suffers from being a one-note exploration of disenfranchised, bored youth. Basically, this is Raymond Carver for Kids. All 11 stories in this collection are told in pissed-off first-person, a blur of vodka, pills and punches, with little or no variation in voice, even when there’s a gender switch. Franco gets the details right, and there are many, but there’s little explanation or insight into this suburban teenage wasteland.

Support The Coast

At a time when the city needs local coverage more than ever, we’re asking for your help to support independent journalism. We are committed as always to providing free access to readers, particularly as we confront the impact of COVID-19 in Halifax and beyond.

Read more about the work we do here, or consider making a donation. Thank you for your support!

Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Get more Halifax

Our Thursday email gets you caught up with The Coast. Sign up and go deep on Halifax.

Coast Top Ten

© 2021 Coast Publishing Ltd.