Actors Anonymous takes place in Los Angeles, where wannabe young actors starving for fame stumble their way into the acting world. The book is based on different characters in a form of short stories.
The novel has many twists and turns, it’s understandable that not everyone is able to keep up with the dramatic pace.
In this book, James Franco blurs the line between reality and fiction, making it hard sometime to tell which is which. Merging his own stories with fiction is maybe his clever way to reveal the truth.
The truth about James Franco? The truth about the movie world? These were the inescapable questions that were hard to avoid, while I was reading the book.
The common theme of the characters is the need to be accepted and the struggle with their own darkness. All stories are open-ended, leaving the reader slightly confused and a sense of sadness of the characters’ despair.
Just when you think you got the map down, James takes you to another route. You think you going straight, he’s going zigzag. You think you finally got the gist, he’s takes a U-turn and leaves you feeling lost, again.
I have to give Franco proper recognition for how he allowed the characters to fully developed into their own skin. Even though the stories maintained short, they were dense, raw and sort of poetic.
James shines a light on the ugliness and makes us look at it, when our first instinct is to turn our heads away. Because it’s too ugly and shameful to be admitted to the world that we all have it in us, and how far some people are willing to go, just to get rid of it.
Because the way the book is written, I think it allows the reader to go back and reread it time and time again, and still discover something new and reassure the connected dots. I’m pretty sure that I have missed a few of his messages, he doesn’t put them all out on the page, you need to read between the lines.
As an experienced actor, James Franco is a master at capturing his characters in the most vulnerable, graphical and humanizing ways. He wastes no words when describing each scene in the stories, as well as the thoughts running through his characters. The paragraphs are packed with details that make your head spin sometime.
If you can keep up with him, you actually discover James is thoughtfully clever and witty in his words.
I feel the need to mention that there are quite a bit of sex in Actors Anonymous. However, these sex scenes are not meant to turn you on – they are disturbing and disgusting to say at least.
The characters in this book are disjointed, miserable people who have the strong need to become something else – if not, their lives would be pretty much dead end. The strong drive to act and to become successful is like an addiction to them. It’s like they believe when they reach to success and stardom – it’d be their salvation.
When I reached over halfway of the book, I started to get a little bored because all the stories so far seemed to describe the same type of people. Then the character called “The Actor” showed up, which in my opinion was the most confusing character in the book. Probably because it was James Franco or an extreme fictional/asshole version of himself. Franco definitely loves to screw with your mind and enjoys every bit of it. THAT good looking bastard.
Although the book is entertaining and intriguing, Actors Anonymous is heavy, dark and bizarre to read.
This isn’t part of the review, so you can skip it if you want to.
I want to say that, because how this book is structured, I’ve noticed a lot of readers’ reviews out there are based on reading the book. I have Actors Anonymous in audiobook and I think that’s why it was easier for me to follow through.
Reading can feels like too rambling at times, especially if you mind can’t keep up with the plot. Many people gave up on reading the book, because it was challenging to read.
I got the audiobook version and even before finishing it, I purchased the ebook version because I knew I want to reread it again at some point. It would be just easier to follow the stories, if I have the text while listening to it.
I always purchase books in audio, it’s time saving. I’m a very slow reader. If I like the book enough, I usually get the ebook too. And if I really love it, I’d buy the hardcover version as well, to show support.
If you’re still reading this, bravo to you and your reward: Him. In bed. You’re welcome.
I could dry hump him all day.