Traumatized by the bombing of Dresden at the time he had been imprisoned, Pilgrim drifts through all events and history, sometimes deeply implicated, sometimes a witness. He is surrounded by Vonnegut's usual large cast of continuing characters (notably here the hack science fiction writer Kilgore Trout and the alien Tralfamadorians, who oversee his life and remind him constantly that there is no causation, no order, no motive to existence).
"Good book, meh narrator"
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.
WordTheatre, the short story experts, casts the perfect actors to bring great contemporary writing to life. Recorded live with many of the authors present, these nine exquisitely crafted stories explore the one topic that everyone knows something about: families. Whether through birth, adoption, or marriage, whatever the relationships, they provide rich fodder for our talented authors - at times amusing, at others, achingly painful.
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.
Ovid’s got a lot on his mind, and he pours it all into the pages of a notebook. Inspired by his namesake, he wryly records his classmates’ dramas as modern-day Roman mythology. There’s Sophie and Caleb, the Psyche and Cupid of cyber-couples; poetic Paula, who pursues filmmaker Franny like Apollo chasing Daphne; and graphic-novelist Duwayne, a Proserpina shuttling between divorced parents. Meanwhile, Ovid hides his own Olympian struggles and a disturbing secret.
"Very interesting and relatable"