Palo Alto: Stories

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Now a “provocative” and “impressive” (Variety) film from director Gia Coppola (Francis Ford Coppola’s granddaughter)—starring Emma Roberts, James Franco, Nat Wolff, and Val Kilmer—the fiction debut from James Franco that Vogue called “compelling and gutsy.”

James Franco’s story collection traces the lives of a 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 with a realistic portrayal of a slave owner during a classroom skit—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 “spare and riveting” (O, The Oprah Magazine) stories are a compelling portrait of lives on the rough fringes of youth. Palo Alto is, “a collection of beautifully written stories” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) that “capture with perfect pitch the impossible exhilaration, the inevitable downbeatness, and the pure confusion of being an adolescent” (Elle).

Features a bonus essay by James Franco on Gia Coppola's film adaptation.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Oct 19, 2010
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Pages
208
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ISBN
9781439175729
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Coming of Age
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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"If you care about the short story, you should read this book, and watch a master at work.”
--Neil Gaiman

“Peter Straub brilliantly defies and blurs literary genres.” —LORRIE MOORE

A MONUMENTAL COLLECTION OF SHORT FICTION FROM ACCLAIMED MASTER OF HORROR AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR PETER STRAUB

An American icon renowned for his bestselling novels, Peter Straub displays his full and stunning range in this crowning collection. He has consistently subverted the boundaries of genre for years, transcending horror and suspense to unlock the dark, unsettling, and troubling dissonances that exist on the edges of our perception. Straub’s fiction cracks the foundation of reality and opens our eyes to an unblinking experience of true horror, told in his inimitable and lush style with skill, wit, and impeccable craft.
     With uncanny precision, Straub writes of the city and of the Midwest, of the depraved and of the righteous, of the working class and of the wealthy—nothing and no one is safe from the ever-present darkness that he understands so well. “Blue Rose” follows the cycles of violence and power through the most innocent among us, leading to a conclusion that is audacious and devastating. In the darkly satirical masterpiece “Mr. Clubb and Mr. Cuff,” a stern estate lawyer known as the Deacon hires a pair of “Private Detectives Extraordinaire” to investigate and seek revenge on his unfaithful wife. “The Ballad of Ballard and Sandrine” follows a man and his much younger lover as they explore their decadent and increasingly sinister fantasies aboard a luxurious yacht on the remotest stretch of the Amazon River. 
     Interior Darkness brings together sixteen stories from twenty-five years of dazzling excellence. It is a thrilling, highly entertaining, and terrifying testament to the prodigious talent of Peter Straub.
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In his rave on the cover of The New York Times Book Review, Jess Walter praised Wayne’s writing for its “feats of unlikely virtuosity” and the boy at its center as “a being of true longing and depth, and…a devastating weapon of cultural criticism…You’d have to be made of triple platinum not to ache for Jonny Valentine.”

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