Palo Alto

Palo Alto


Book - 2010 | 1st Scribner hardcover ed.
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A fiercely vivid collection of stories about troubled California adolescents and misfits.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, c2010.
Edition: 1st Scribner hardcover ed.
Branch Call Number: FICTION
Characteristics: x, 197 p. ;,23 cm.


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Dec 14, 2020

“Palo Alto” the movie, has been one of my favourite movies for a long time; so of course I had to read the book the movie was based off of. These stories are a collection of memories from James Franco’s life living in Palo Alto as a teenager. These stories meant a lot to me because they are some of the few writing pieces that actually talk about a realistic experience as a teenager. James wrote about things that teenagers can actually relate to, instead of unrealistic experiences that only happen in movies. The film really brought these stories to life and made them all the more relatable. A lot of the dialogue in the film comes straight from the book, and it really just was the book coming to life right in front of you. The stories talk about life, making mistakes, not knowing what the future holds for you and so many more parts of teenage life that are almost never accurately portrayed in movies and TV. I really loved these stories because of that realness, and I hope any teen that reads them can relate and see the beauty of teenage life. @Joda of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Jan 05, 2017

Palo Alto was a great book. James Franco combined a bunch of short stories into one and used the same characters along the way. I really enjoyed this book, and sometimes I forget how great of an actor James Franco is. After reading this book I realized that this book and some of the situations in it were based off of the actor and writer, himself. I thought that it was interesting because the book itself is rough, and represents teens and their struggles living in Palo Alto. There were stories that involved children having to complete community service after being arrested, children doing drugs, and a fourteen year old dating her very own teacher! That story was my favourite. The story was basically about a girl that falls in love with her soccer coach and teacher at her high school. It was kind of gross and odd to think and read about, but it was very interesting. The book wasn't very long, and I wished it was, it was very fun to read. I would give this book a 5/5.
- @Montgomery of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Oct 03, 2016

After being left in bitter shock and a compelling interest in the movie version of Palo Alto - I absolutely loved it and Palo Alto stories does not disappoint. Palo Alto stories is a collection of stories about young kids and teenagers through the peak of childhood and adolescence. It merely displays REALISTIC events that anyone in their youth years can recognize with. Sex, drugs, alcohol, confusion, depression, boredom, are all concepts of the teenage dream that Franco slays in Palo Alto. Each story kind of leaves you on the cliff but makes you want to turn the page and read more. It is worth a read. And I advise any teenager to read this book.

Dec 29, 2015

Palo Alto is the debut novel by actor, director, screenwriter and artist James Franco. It is a collection of short stories surrounding a rotating cast of “troubled” teenagers who are vaguely based of Franco and his friends from when he used to attend Palo Alto High School. The book features twelve stories that are both oddly captivating and different. Franco’s diction is choppy and easy to follow: perfect for the teenage voices that he portrays through each story. Each story tackles a different aspect of adolescence. For example, in “Lockheed” a teenage girl recalls an incident of violence at a high school party, and in “I Could Kill Someone” a boy purchases a gun in the hopes of killing his bully, but instantly reflects on the bully’s own life. Franco’s commentary on these issues is refreshingly original, using the same humour and sometimes strange ideas that we see in his many films and art pieces. The book seems almost like a reflection of Franco’s childhood and a statement on the youth of California. These stories are simple and quick reads perfect for people who do not want to commit to an entire novel at a time.To sum up the overall tone of the novel, here a quote from the end of the book. “When you’re in high school everything can seem painful:either painfully boring or painfully disappointing. But after high school, you can look back on it and see that it was all experience, all vital life, and it can be used to make art."

carolinevig5 Mar 09, 2015

I will applaud Franco for not falling into the trap of 'coming of age'. These stories don't necessarily have happy endings, which although those can be enjoyable, these were reality. Franco is very good at giving the reader a strong sense of time and place. As a whole, I didn't find this book particularly entertaining, but it is worth reading.

gottschalk Jun 19, 2013


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