Bright Shiny Morning
James Frey
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Bright Shiny Morning
James Frey
512 pages
May 2008
rated 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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Though the title suggests otherwise, Bright Shiny Morning is a bleak and depressing and heartless look at the City of Angels. In it, various tales are tied together to create an austere and dim picture of L.A.

There are a 19-year-old couple fleeing from abusive parents; Mexican immigrants; a successful if highly troubled actor; down-and-out drunks living on Venice Beach; and many others, all brought together in an attempt to live and survive beneath the California sun.

Frey is a terrific storyteller and adopts a sort of Jack Kerouac-meets-Charles Bukowski approach as he eschews normal punctuation and writes in a kind of stream-of-consciousness style to tell his tale.

Just about everyone in the story succumbs to the underbelly of the city - but a few do survive, and that gives everyone hope.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Steven Rosen, 2008

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