Regular price: $17.49

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Nominated for a 2015 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album

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. "Hollywood has always been a private club," he writes. "I open the gates. I say welcome. I say, Look inside."

Told in a dizzying array of styles—from lyric essays and disarming testimonials to hilariously rambling text messages and ghostly footnotes—and loosely modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous's Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, Actors Anonymous is an intense, wild ride into the dark heart of celebrity.

©2013 James Franco (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“In Actors Anonymous, Franco performs an auto-celebrity roast that is at once mordantly funny, maddening and provocative...a kind of intellectual companion piece to his role in This is the End.” ( USA Today)
"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)
“Compelling…entertaining and insightful…genuinely funny.” ( The Daily Beast)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    27
  • 4 Stars
    30
  • 3 Stars
    41
  • 2 Stars
    24
  • 1 Stars
    32

Performance

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    50
  • 4 Stars
    31
  • 3 Stars
    32
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    20

Story

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    24
  • 4 Stars
    17
  • 3 Stars
    43
  • 2 Stars
    23
  • 1 Stars
    39
Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Yikes!!!

Would you try another book from James Franco and/or James Franco?

Of course. Even Shakespeare wrote a few clangers.

Has Actors Anonymous turned you off from other books in this genre?

Nope. There might be a gem in there somewhere, I just haven't encountered one yet.

Did James Franco do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Were there other characters? It was all too monodull altogether.

PS: In my opinion, James Franco is an excellent actor but it would take the Holy Spirit to bring this book to life.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I respect James Franco for trying. He's very handsome.

Any additional comments?

Perhaps James Franco should take his audience more into account the next time he writes a book. Junky films are one thing - they're easy to watch and wash off, but junky books are another. They're not as forgivable. I don't like discovering that I have wasted time,effort, imagination, and understanding into worthless, self-absorbed crap that ultimately takes me for a fool. No, thank you.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Justin
  • NEW PORT RICHEY, FLORIDA, United States
  • 11-22-13

Anonymous

Where does Actors Anonymous rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Really explores darker themes then I'm used to hearing, bold too.

Who was your favorite character and why?

James franco really spoke from the heart with emotion and charisma. I really respect him as an actor and a filmmaker

Have you listened to any of James Franco’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

this one was a first aside from his film

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

I couldn't even finish.

What disappointed you about Actors Anonymous?

It was boring, actually. I thought it would be a fascinating insight into the mind of an actor or Hollywood, but it seemed so stereotpyical, almost like what non-actors imagine the industry to be like.The scene of raping a girl from the perspective of the rapist is super disturbing, and I can't help but wonder and feel icky at the question of whether it's autobiographical.

What could James Franco have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

If there was variety in the characters, true stories, and less misogyny and racism, I might have enjoyed it more.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

James Franco comes across as so arrogant in this writing, and his voice didn't help.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Straight out of the fantasy factory.

If you could sum up Actors Anonymous in three words, what would they be?

far out there.`

What other book might you compare Actors Anonymous to and why?

unlike any other and i think thats the point

What about James Franco’s performance did you like?

he was himself

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

haha the whole book is pretty out there.
it changed me for about a week

Any additional comments?

just look inside a normal life for a kid of his situation

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Robert
  • Carlsbad, CA, United States
  • 02-19-14

Confused and uneven

This book is a series of vignettes. I'd call them short stories but they don't have proper endings. Perhaps they come together at the end to provide a proper ending but I didn't get that far so I wouldn't know.

The vignettes star different folk, but are all told in the first person. The narration is good but its the author and it sound like he's telling us stories of his life which makes for a bit of confusion when suddenly he's a girl and all.

The first couple of stories flirt with edginess and then it turned into Gay porn. If the book was good I would have continued simply out of curiosity but it wasn't really good enough and started sounding like forced edginess at that point so I put it down (or deleted it).

James Franco has potential as a writer, no doubt, but it wasn't for me.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Tnoroughly distasteful and self-absorbed

Would you try another book from James Franco and/or James Franco?

No I wouldn't read anything this self-absorbed and semi-educated author would decide to inflict on the public.

What was most disappointing about James Franco’s story?

Because of his biography, I expected a literate, informed story. This author is so self-absorbed and arrogant that I winced constantly. If these stories reflect his outlook on life, I would travel half-way around the world to avoid having to listen or read about him in the future.

Would you listen to another book narrated by James Franco?

No....

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No

7 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

It sure is something.....

Personally I found the book to be a rollercoaster entertainment wise. It would have me interested then bored, then interested, then board etc etc.

The format of the book is strange, it does have a format but it's also a mess, and I there were a few times I was pretty confused regarding the consistency of the stories.

It could simply be the artistic direction the author wishes to take it in. Just a hunch, it's all James hidden in alter egos haha. Still I did find a lot I could relate to, inner darkness, inner truths, things we keep hidden. I don't judge.

I was hoping there would be more in regards to acting though since I am also on the same path, but I'll take it for what it is.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Should have stayed anonymous

When the author is reading his own work, you generally should expect some emotion behind the presentation. Franco is a good actor with laudable credits under his belt, so the presentation her is a bit of a disappointment. The story lines are hard to follow and ultimately a bit confusing.
Is it one story? Many stories? It is hard to tell how some of the episodes go together. I suppose that may be because of the reading itself.
The story is certainly different. Unique might be a good word. Some may be drawn to the quirky story of the life and lack of success for some actors.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

amazing.

could not stop listening.
franco is a genius.
narrated perfectly, great plot, an overall outstanding book

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Eshap
  • AUSTIN, TEXAS, US
  • 01-13-15

Do not buy as an audiobook if you buy at all

As a huge James Franco fan, I was excited to listen to a book written and narrated by him. It's one thing to follow him on Instagram and love his movies, but to read one of his books was for me to get to know him more personally.

First off, this book jumps from short story to short story, with no transition via audiobook to really know where one starts and another begins. Also many of the stories have so many "different" narrators and points of view and then with James also inserting himself into the "fictional" stories as well. Or that's what it sounded like via audiobook. Still not 100 percent certain.

Although I do think the short stories were compelling, and I do feel that I know James on a deeper level, this book alludes to so many things that were above my head, and it really got way too confusing via audio to keep up on the stories which had 3+ different perspectives happening simultaneously.

Honestly unless you are true true James Franco fan, I don't think you will enjoy this. And if you are a true fan, buy the hard copy!