Author(s): James FreyDownload
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.
Some Reviews: 1485 in Goodreads.com
well, though the book included four stories of different people, i managed to connect between the non-consecutive pages and get each story’s point. i really did like how it talked about the different life conditions in Los Angeles. there were some “dirty scenes” as i call them but not many. it dealt with relationships and love stories generally. the thing i didn’t like most is the LA fact files that were included in the book. i felt like “we are reading the book for the stories”, otherwise we would buy a book detecting facts and information about this city. in each page there was an event that leads you to the end of the chapter or whatever they call it. the thing i really did admire a lot was the simple language Frey did use. the clear events played a vital rule in this book. how each story ended was great except of how “Dylan and Maddie”‘s story ended. it was hopeful but i expected more. i think this is what you need to know about this book, i hope you enjoy it.
When I first picked up “Bright Shiny Morning” I was riveted. As a resident of Lalaland for almost a decade, I was thrilled by the intermittent historical facts about Los Angeles and recognized many of the characters from my own experiences.
I was very drawn to the fictional characters whose journey we followed throughout the book, Amberton the movie star, Old Man Joe the homeless guy, Maddie and Dylan from the midwest, and lovely Esperanza Hernandez.
However, towards the end there came more and more random stories (fictional or not, I don’t know) that I felt were holding me up from getting to the meat of the aforementioned characters stories. It started to drag a little.
Also, way too many facts started to come up, lists and lists of Hospitals in LA, Art galleries in LA, you name it. It reminded me of Dustin Hoffman in “Rain Man”! Though I did find the facts about the countless natural disasters in the county fascinating if not a little disturbing!
Overall, I did enjoy this book and would recommend it, I guess I was just disappointed at times, because the first half of the book suggested great promise.
I’m a fan of James Frey and await his next venture.
From the reviews I have read, this book is a solid 50/50 love/hate with literary reviewers. I am definitely in the “like very much side” of this ratio. Yes, this is over the top, at times, and gives a new meaning to overkill (at times) as well. However, I found myself caring about the characters in this book and looking forward to what happens to them. I love that as a connective thread, Frey interweaves a series of short passages outlying the history of Los Angles. Read this and let me know what you think. I too was in the minority who did NOT care that James Frey lied a tad, or (a lot) in his memoir A Million Little Pieces. Sometimes a lie is the bring red splash of paint that is needed to get through a day.
This main character of this novel is the city of Los Angeles. Essentially, the book is a series of sub-stories and secondary characters that revolve around LA. I suppose it could be a bit frustrating that the crux of the novel is a bit abstract and that it might be a bit hard to digest if you have not experienced the glorious weirdness that is LA, but I really loved it.
Of all the places on the west coast, I’ve always liked LA the least. I’ve been out there quite a bit this year and I still don’t like it as much as San Diego or the bay area. I have come to love it for what it is though, a town where approx 100,000 people flock to every year with nothing but what they could fit in their car and some dreams.
This book was really unique, and quirky. I read it quickly and was entertained. When I read Frey’s so-called “memoir” a few years ago (before Oprah busted him) I hated all the characters in it. And in this book, even though there were hundreds more characters in it, I liked them all! So this revolutionary writing style of mixing together 20 or so short stories, along with a bunch of lists of factoids works really well for James Frey, though I really don’t think if I’d want to see the gimmick picked up by any other writers. And actually by the last quarter of the book I was skimming through most of his lists. Some of the characters were more compelling than others, he did a good job figuring out which ones to only give a couple paragraphs or pages to.
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