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Download Bright Shiny Morning Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Bright Shiny Morning, by James Frey Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (7,251 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Frey Narrator: Ben Foste Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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One of the most celebrated and controversial authors in America delivers his first novel—a sweeping chronicle of contemporary Los Angeles that is bold, exhilarating, and utterly original.

Dozens of characters pass across the reader’s sight lines—some never to be seen again—but James Frey lingers on a handful of LA’s lost souls and captures the dramatic narrative of their lives: a bright, ambitious young Mexican American woman who allows her future to be undone by a moment of searing humiliation; a supremely narcissistic action-movie star whose passion for the unattainable object of his affection nearly destroys him; a couple, both nineteen years old, who flee their suffocating hometown and struggle to survive on the fringes of the great city; and an aging Venice Beach alcoholic whose life is turned upside down when a meth-addled teenage girl shows up half-dead outside the restroom he calls home.

Throughout this strikingly powerful novel there is the relentless drumbeat of the millions of other stories that, taken as a whole, describe a city, a culture, and an age. A dazzling tour de force, Bright Shiny Morning illuminates the joys, horrors, and unexpected fortunes of life and death in Los Angeles.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An absolute triumph of a novel…Frey, a natural novelist to his fingertips, hits the deeper truths with this honest, vibrant, and tender portrait of Los Angeles and the American dream…James Frey is probably one of the finest and most important writers to have emerged in recent years.” 

    Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting

  • “A captivating urban kaleidoscope…He stepped up to the plate and hit one out of the park…A furiously good storyteller.”

    New York Times

  • “[Frey’s] ambition may have been to write the definitive novel of LA, to do for that city what Joyce did for Dublin, Dos Passos did for Manhattan, or Durrell did for Alexandria. If so, he may have succeeded; Joyce boasted that if Dublin were to disappear, it could be reconstructed from his Ulysses, and Frey could make the same claim for Bright Shiny Morning…[It] reads quickly, has great dialogue and some expertly paced dramatic moments, teaches you more about LA than you ever knew, and makes the case (posited by an artist near the end) that Los Angeles is the new New York, on its way to becoming the cultural capital of the world. Or it could all be a stinging satire of the most violent, corrupt, polluted, pretentious, money-mad place in America. Works either way.” 

    Washington Post

  • “A sprawling, ambitious novel about Los Angeles, written with all the broad-stroke energy that was so irresistible to readers in A Million Little Pieces.”

    Vanity Fair

  • “With the sheer quantity and quality of characters that pop up in this tale, Ben Foster offers a truly a magnificent performance…His voice doesn’t call attention to itself but his delivery is stellar and his interpretations are all realistic and never overplayed.” 

    Publishers Weekly (audio review)

  • “The guy has something: an energy, a drive, a relentlessness…It’s un-put-downable, a real page-turner.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Frey’s brush strokes paint a captivating portrait of contemporary Los Angeles with bold splashes…Ben Foster expertly captures the author’s compelling style with outstanding pacing…as well as humor and sarcasm…[An] insightful delivery. Foster seizes Frey’s poetic documentary with its gritty dialogue and produces an exhilarating, unforgettable experience.” 


  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A USA Today Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Caitlin | 2/17/2014

    " I read this one in hopes that it would be as quirky as Million Little Pieces and My Friend Leonard, both of which I enjoyed. I can say that while his first novel entertained me, it was not as good as I'd hoped. I loved learning many facts about Los Angeles while also reading coinciding stories of various main characters. I can get over the writing style and the sarcasm, but I would have liked to see Frey either write all of the stories about generic people in LA, or write solely about in-depth characters for the entire book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Laura Wirick | 2/15/2014

    " I thought I would have trouble getting into his writing style, but it was easy. I liked how this is a combination love letter to Los Angeles but also makes fun of it a bit. I also liked the info about the history of L.A. mixed in, and the thinly veiled stories based on real people. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Pamela Levine | 2/12/2014

    " Many different characters in this novel - interesting take on life in L.A. Very different from his 2 previous books "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Clare | 2/9/2014

    " I was so stoked to see Frey had another book out that I had to buy it ASAP. Sad fact was that it in no way lived up to his other books. It feels like such a let down when that happens. "

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About the Narrator

Ben Foster is an award-winning actor and can be seen in the films Birds of America, 3:10 to Yuma, and X-Men 3: The Last Stand, among many others. He shared the SAG Award for Best Ensemble Cast for his work on the acclaimed HBO drama Six Feet Under and garnered a Daytime Emmy for his lead performance in Showtime’s Bang Bang You’re Dead.