Download Palo Alto: Stories Audiobook

Palo Alto: Stories Audiobook, by James Franco Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: James Franco Narrator: James Franco, Stacey Miller Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2010 ISBN: 9781442339743
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (6 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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A fiercely vivid collection of stories about troubled California teenagers and misfits--violent and harrowing, from the astonishingly talented actor and artist James Franco.

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. In "Lockheed" a young woman's summer--spent working a dull internship--is suddenly upended by a spectacular incident of violence at a house party.  In "American History" a high school freshman attempts to impress a girl during a classroom skit with a realistic portrayal of a slave owner—only to have his feigned bigotry avenged. In "I Could Kill Someone," a lonely teenager buys a gun with the aim of killing his high school tormentor, but begins to wonder about his bully's own inner life.
These linked stories, stark, vivid, and disturbing, are a compelling portrait of lives on the rough fringes of youth. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Franco’s talent is unmistakable, his ambition profound. He has take the twin subjects of suburban Palo Alto and American adolescence and made them as scary and true as they must be. This is a book to be inhaled more than once, with delight and admiration, with unease and pure enjoyment. As a writer, he’s here to stay.” 

    Gary Shteyngart, author of Absurdistan and Super Sad True Love Story

  • “Franco sharply merges historical elements with a modern-day social commentary…perfectly mirror[s] the undulations of a teenage mind.” 

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Fascinating…It’s certainly a promising start, and the Hollywood hunk has definite talent.” 

    Guardian (London)

  • “The latter entries show a writer coming into his own. Franco does a good job of revealing a particular group of kids in a particular place, and his dialog crackles…can be likened to Bret Easton Ellis’ Less Than Zero.” 

    Library Journal

Listener Reviews

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  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Clementine | 5/7/2011

    " Although the stories in Franco's book are excellent - harrowing, compelling and interesting, the writing itself let the book down overall. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenna-leigh | 5/6/2011

    " I felt that Franco had a point to make, but didn't quite get there. It just seemed like I'd heard the stories all before. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Maggie | 4/28/2011

    " This series of short stories by actor and writer James Franco definitely has some merit; however, the writing in this novel seems stunted, as if the writer has not fully matured. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Isabella | 4/26/2011

    " Coming out of the film industry I know how hard it is to go from being an actor/ screenplay writer to being a writer...its hard to change your mind set. Over all Franco is one of the best writers/actor's/entertainers of the 21st century and this book is well worth the read! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melanie | 4/14/2011

    " I enjoyed the style of this book but felt it was very lacking in substance and closure. I don't appreciate getting involved in a characters story only to have it end ambiguously and this happens in almost every story in this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 4/6/2011

    " I have a feeling this is going to blow. But I'm doing it any ol' way. Franco will likely always get a pass from me just for Freaks and Geeks. "

About the Author

James Franco is an acclaimed actor, director, artist, writer, and narrator. His film appearances include 127 Hours, Milk, Pineapple Express, Oz the Great and Powerful, Spring Breakers, and the Spider-Man trilogy. He has written and directed several films, and his visual art has been featured in solo shows in Los Angeles and New York. His writing has appeared in Esquire, the Wall Street Journal, McSweeney’s, and other publications. He has an MFA degree in creative writing from Brooklyn College.