The actors in James Franco’s brilliant debut novel include a McDonald’s drive-thru operator who spends his shift trying on accents; an ex-child star recalling a massive beachside bacchanal; hospital volunteers and Midwestern transplants; a vampire flick starlet who discovers a cryptic book written by a famous actor gone AWOL; and the ghost of River Phoenix. Then there’s Franco himself, who prowls backstage, peering out between the lines - before taking the stage with fascinating meditations on his art, along with nightmarish tales of excess.
Palo Alto is the debut of a surprising and powerful new literary voice. Written with an immediate sense of place - claustrophobic and ominous - James Franco's collection traces the lives of an extended 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.
James Franco sits down with interviewer Annette Insdorf. Acclaimed for his work last year in 127 Hours, James Franco is one of our busiest actors, whose past performances include James Dean (Golden Globe winner), Spider-Man, Milk (Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor), Pineapple Express (Golden Globe nomination), City by the Sea, Flyboys, In the Valley of Elah and Eat Pray Love.