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Palo Alto [Anglais] [Broché]

James Franco
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
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Description de l'ouvrage

4 juin 2011
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.
--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

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Palo Alto + Actors Anonymous + A California Childhood
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Descriptions du produit

Extrait

Palo Alto

Halloween


Ten years ago, my sophomore year in high school, I killed a woman on Halloween.

I had been drinking at Ed Sales’s house all afternoon, which I wasn’t supposed to be doing because I was on probation. The probation rules said I was only allowed to drive to school and then right back home after school was out. But it was six months since I’d been arrested for being a minor under the influence, and my parents had become lax about the driving rules. On that Halloween Tuesday, instead of going home, I took some friends over to Ed’s and we all got drunk.

His father was a mathematics professor at Stanford and his mother was a nurse, and neither of them came home until at least six but usually seven. His professor father had a great liquor cabinet. I had my first drink there when I was thirteen, and in the three years since then we had been taking from his cupboard and putting water back into the bottles. We could never get much from any one bottle because it would be too obvious; so we would take a little from all the bottles and mix everything into a punch like the bums did in Cannery Row. I like that we did that, I liked thinking that we were like Mack and the boys, even though the punch tasted horrible. We’d usually mix it with grape juice, but it wouldn’t help much.

We were all sitting in the backyard on a little picnic table that you might find at a park. His dad probably took it from the dump. He was always doing weird stuff like that to save money. Ed did it too, like scraping the mold off old bread and then eating it. His dad was a mathematics professor who smoked a pipe, every night. His teeth were yellow and crooked and horrible. Ed had a little pipe and he smoked tobacco with his dad at night. Ed was half Korean and half white because his mother was Korean and his dad was white from Gary, Indiana.

Outside, we were smoking weed in Ed’s little tobacco pipe. We were all planning on going to Alice Wolfe’s house later for the Halloween party, and we were getting ourselves revved up. I picked a fight with Nick Dobbs. I had seen him hanging around my girlfriend, Susan, and I didn’t like it. I spotted them a couple times laughing in the corner of the library at school. I probably wouldn’t have cared if he had been just one of those theater dorks that she was always planning events with, but he wasn’t. He was a handsome skateboarder, and I had enough of the alcohol punch in me to start something.

“I heard you and Susan did acid. Why did you give my girlfriend acid?”

“She wanted it.”

His eyes actually looked worried. It was not the reaction I was expecting. I suddenly felt powerful and a little bad for him at the same time. I probably couldn’t have asked for a better reaction because I really wasn’t a fighter, and this way, because he looked scared, I had beat him without having to fight him. I didn’t like to see people intimidated, but this guilt made me turn meaner because I told him to apologize, and when he did, I demanded that he say it louder so that everyone could hear. I was pushing it a little and I could see him consider just taking a swing at me, but he apologized again slightly louder. Jack spoke up.

“What the fuck do you care, Ryan? She does acid and other drugs all the time, with all of us.”

Well, I didn’t like that. Funny how new facts pop up and make you doubt that there’s any goodness in life. Everyone pretends to be normal and be your friend, but underneath, everyone is living some other life you don’t know about, and if only we had a camera on us at all times, we could go and watch each other’s tapes and find out what each of us was really like. But then you’d have to watch girls go poo and boys trying to go down on themselves.

Then Ed’s Korean mom came home. She was only about four foot ten, but we all got scared anyway. We heard the front door close inside the house, and Ed said, “My mom’s home!” And we grabbed most of the cups and someone grabbed the punch and Ed grabbed his pipe and we all scrambled over the fence and jumped into my car. It was a Honda Accord I’d inherited from my father when things were better between us, and it was pretty small for eight people. There were two others in the front besides me and five in the back. Jack’s elbow was in my face, and when I looked in the rearview, the backseat was a jumble of arms and torsos and heads up against the ceiling. Nick wasn’t in the car. He ran off somewhere to go and cry, I guess.

I raced out of there. It wasn’t time for Alice’s party so we had to find a place to go. The sun was going down, and there were already trick-or-treaters out with their parents. Everyone started getting rambunctious. It made it hard to drive with all the yelling and Jack’s elbow in my face.

“Get that thing out of my face!”

Jack just laughed because there wasn’t much he could do with his elbow. Everyone was talking very loudly, and the people that had saved their cups were trying to drink their punch and were spilling it all over the car. Then for some reason everyone started chanting, “Fuck Alice Wolfe, fuck Alice Wolfe, fuck the Wolfe!” We didn’t know why we were saying it, at least I didn’t, but it was really funny, and some of the guys were howling and everyone was feeling good from the drinks and about the escape and about the night ahead.

For some reason I was still driving fast. As if we were racing somewhere. I guess I just wanted to get this octopus of bodies out of the car as soon as possible, but it was also more fun to drive faster, as if we were really having a crazy adventure. I used to think of these escapades around the neighborhood as good life experience.

We decided to go to Eleanor Park to lie low before the party. There was a little community garden in the back of the park where people could grow their own vegetables, and there were some picnic tables there just like the one in Ed’s backyard. We all sat down and continued what we had been doing at Ed’s house. Ed went over and started picking baby tomatoes and carrots from the garden. They were small but tasted really good, and the carrots were soft and buttery tasting. Ivan went over and started kicking a trellis down, and everyone laughed because his foot went through it.

It was a simple existence, when I look back on it now. I have friends who grew up in New York City, and the stories they have from their childhoods are amazing. Full of color and culture and danger. I envy them.

At about eight we went to Alice Wolfe’s party. We had finished the punch in the park, and everyone was feeling even happier. The Wolfe chant started up again, but this time it was slurred. Now that we were close to the house, the chant began to take on meaning for me. It meant that we had little respect for Alice Wolfe and her friends. Yes, they were the prettiest, most popular girls in our class, but they weren’t that pretty. And our chant meant that we were going to dominate them. We were going to go over there and do our best to get them alone and fuck them.

We had decided to go as monkeys. We had identical monkey masks that we’d stashed in the trunk. All eight of us wore one so no one could tell us apart. At Alice’s it worked out great. It broke the ice because we could act as stupidly as we liked, and we ended up making the girls laugh a lot more than they usually did. I had a few more beers, and then I found myself talking on the back porch with Sandy Cooper.

“I know it’s you, Ryan.”

“Nooooo it’s naaaaht.” I was using a deep, doofusy kind of voice like Baloo from the Jungle Book movie.

“I’ll pretend it’s not you so if I get caught I won’t get beat up by Susan.”

“Whoooooo’s Suuusaaan?”

“Shut up, Ryan.”

I took the monkey mask off, and we made out for a bit in the backyard. Then I figured that I had better call Susan because I said I was going to. She was going to a different, less cool party with her girlfriends because they weren’t invited to Alice’s. I needed to come up with an excuse not to meet her. I told Sandy to wait, and I went inside to use the phone.

I called Susan at her house.

“Took you long enough,” she said.

“What?”

“You were supposed to call me two hours ago.”

“Sorry, we were just over at the park and there wasn’t a phone around.”

“Good excuse.”

“It’s true. So you’re still at home?”

“Yeah, we’re just getting our costumes on.”

“Who?”

“Me and Elizabeth and Jenny and Hart and Nick.”

“Nick Dobbs? What’s he doing there?”

“Putting his costume on. He and Hart are going to be the guys from A Clockwork Orange with Terry and Pete.”

“Why the fuck are you hanging out with Nick?”

“He’s my friend.”

“Yeah, getting real friendly in the library.”

I hung up the phone. I told Jack and Ed that I was leaving, and I ran out to my car. The driveway and bushes were blurry as I ran. I got the car handle in my grip and opened the door. I got in and took off toward Susan’s.

I was racing on my anger. On the righteousness of catching Nick with her. I had no clear plan for what I would do when I arrived, but I could see my fist going toward Nick’s face. I had glimpses of Hart’... --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Revue de presse

“Startling and original.”—The Economist

“[Franco] ends up perfectly mirroring the undulations of a teenage mind.”—The New York Times Book Review --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 224 pages
  • Editeur : Faber & Faber Fiction (4 juin 2011)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0571273181
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571273188
  • Dimensions du produit: 12,6 x 19,6 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 2.221 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Quatrième de couverture
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 excellent 15 septembre 2014
Par domitille
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Très bon livre, différent du film mais apporte un autre regard sur le même thème.
On se sent comme un ado dans cette ville etc...
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2 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Génial! 9 avril 2011
Par Chloe
Format:Broché
D'abord, je suis fan de James Franco. De plus je pense que les mots qu'il utile ne sont pas trop difficils. En plus, il me présente une vie exacte dans le cadre d'adolescence. Excellentes petites histoires. Je crois que la plupart sont ses expériences privéés. Pour connaître la société américaine et la culture adolescent, ce livre sera un pas mal choix!
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1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Je me régale ... 2 juillet 2012
Par Marsu
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Voilà un livre accessible pour un niveau B2 - B1 (pour les adeptes des niveaux européens, en claire pour ceux qui se débrouillent en anglais sans être des pros de la littérature). Il permet d'acquérir du vocabulaire argotique un peu cru qui change des lectures classiques que l'on fait lire aux étudiants. D'ailleurs il est plutôt réservé à de jeunes adultes (ou plus) qu'à des ados.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 étoiles sur 5  142 commentaires
134 internautes sur 161 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 What Doesn't Kill You 26 octobre 2010
Par J. Avery - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I'm pretending hunkosaurus Franco didn't write this. Moving on.

This is the stuff of every Creative Writing class you took as an undergrad. It's all Holden Caulfield crabby and Bret Easton Ellis name-droppy; gruesome with those obnoxious one-liner sentences that are meant to be profound in their brevity. The racial issues are slapped on strangely, and the tone is mushy oatmeal bland. "Killing Animals" was worth reading, but even then, it feels like Ellis fan fiction.

Now I'm pretending Franco did write them. Look my man, you have many rich and successful friends. Many of whom are writers who like you because you're a cool dude. You're also a hunk. This is working against you. If my mom wrote a book called "imma Real Gud Mama", I'd tell her she was the next Faulkner.

Get some unbiased advice, sweetheart. And call me.
67 internautes sur 79 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Franco is unique, but in a totally typical way 1 octobre 2012
Par A fellow with a keyboard - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
James Franco does not want to be considered an actor. He wants to be considered a polymath and an "artist." He is enrolled in something like six highly prestigious graduate programs, including one for filmmaking, one for fiction, one for poetry, one for design, one for creative writing, and a couple for English literature. You would think this would qualify him to write a book.

But there's a problem. The planet's brightest students have to crawl over broken glass to complete one of these graduate programs. How is it possible that Franco can do six at the same time? There are several possibilities. Maybe Franco really is the second coming of Leonardo da Vinci. But here's a line from one of his short stories: "The building is beige, but the shadows make it shadow-color." So maybe not.

It's more likely that Franco is riding some sort of grotesque wave of snowballing prestige, one that attempts to shield him from his quite evident averageness. It's been said that his classmates feel protective of him. In other words, they like him, they're charmed by him, they're pleased to have him in their midst, and they want to shield him from the fact that he's in a million miles over his head.

Franco is unique, but in a totally typical way. He is the cartoonish example of the high-achieving young person who takes 15 AP classes and does 20 extracurriculars in order to look impressive and gain status and admission and acceptance. But it isn't possible to do that many things with any sort of skill or competence. The result is a book that is so vapid and soulless and contrived as to be hard to look at.
37 internautes sur 43 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Fish Bowl now 15 mars 2011
Par Leemon - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I came across the title PALO ALTO and thought it interesting since I reluctantly moved there as an early teenager and thankfully got out of there as soon as I graduated high school. When I realized it was written by James Franco, who, personally, I don't like or dislike, I was looking forward to a good read. Unfortunately, it wasn't a good read. It wasn't even an ok read. It was the same character pretending to be different characters telling different stories with the same tone and same language. It got quite boring and pointless after the 4th story. The only intriguing thing to me was that there was a lot of name dropping of places and streets in and around Palo Alto. Oh yeah, I remember the Bat Cave! Though I thought it was "The Path" where you could sneak a smoke (and catch your teacher too). I'm just a few years older than Franco and I certainly didn't experience teenage debauchery to this extent.

Palo Alto is a super wealthy and super conservative suburb full of doctors and Stanford professors. Most of the houses are enormous and expensive, half the cars are Mercedes, and the schools are exceptional because the city is loaded. A lot of teenagers became bored of being well to do and having status and high educational expectations to live up to. This didn't come across much at all in the book. These characters just seemed like average, stupid, overly sexed teenagers.

Aside from the location references, why was it even called Palo Alto?
174 internautes sur 215 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Don't Quit Your Day Job 19 octobre 2010
Par Tyler Jones - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I'm frankly shocked by the positive reviews already posted for this collection of stories by James Franco. I was hoping to avoid making the obvious statement, but I feel there's no way around it - this book never would have seen the light of day if Franco was not an actor.

I don't know much about acting, but I realize it involves inhabiting the psyche of a single person for the duration of a film. Writing however, involves probing the minds of multiple characters and keeping track of their personalities and the stories in which they are a part of. Franco may be a competent actor, but he is no writer.

These stories, averaging ten pages each, constitute some of the worst writing I've ever had the displeasure to read. Not only are they bad, they are offensive in almost every regard. If you are going to subject your audience to teenagers engaged in horrific and senseless sexual behavior and acts of violence, you better have some damn good prose to make it all seem surreal.

Franco writes in a pseudo-minimalist style that is trying to be some sort of Denis Johnson/Raymond Carver hybrid, but acheives neither. Johnson is incredibly poetic and incisive while creating characters we actually care about. Franco's bunch of degenerates have no redeeming qualities whatsoever. They are lost and hopeless, but unfortunately they are never tragic. Tragic would imply that these people are aware of how lost they are.

Take any Carver story and look at the emotion evoked by these poor wretched people just barely scraping by. This is because Carver cares about his characters, he wants to see them do what's right even though he knows they won't.

I went into this book with an open mind. I wanted to like it. I was hoping that Franco would impress me. I walked away disgusted and disappointed. If I may be so bold, he seems enamored by the "literary author" image, but lacks the chops to fully inhabit it.

Ammendment:
These quotes from other recognized literary authors sound like they've been paid to drool all over Franco's book. Who gives blurbs like these unless you've gotten money to sound this enraptured?

"Franco's talent is unmistakable, his ambition profound." "This is a book to be inhaled more than once, with delight and admiration."
--Gary Shteyngart, author of Absurdistan and Super Sad True Love Story

"Franco's intense artistry swarms all over this gripping book"
--Ben Marcus, author of Notable American Women

Intense artistry? Profound ambition?

Okay...now everyone bow down to Hollywood...all together now.
19 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 True Grunge 25 décembre 2010
Par John Halperin - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
This is moth-eaten Bret Easton Ellis, 3rd rate high-school stuff that wouldn't have been published if the author wasn't a movie star. The stories are full of adolescent violence and have no beauty, muscle, or point. Publishing them is an act of unethical self-indulgence on someone's part; everyone who bought this should get a refund!
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