The man who can do everything -- or anything, really -- James Franco delivers another new book, "Actors Anonymous." (When does he sleep? Or have relationships?) The novel plays ever so smartly on the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program. You can only but love it just by picking it up in the book store. The book showcases confessions from members of a certain Actors Anonymous group, or meeting, and their higher power -- the Director.
The thirty-something wunderkind, or call him wunder-man, has done it all, from writing to acting to teaching, studying and social media-ing, too. He's also too sexy to be human, so of course anything he does will be interesting to follow -- even "General Hospital," where he had a recurring role, was worth watching with him around. And then there was the art: Interesting, to say the least. And those perfume ads all over town...
And this book is, of course, no exception. It's marvelous and personal and graphic, just the way we love Franco. He vaguely disguises himself in the roles of various characters, and so he delves into his darkness, thoughts, fantasies, hatreds and loves, and dazzling twists. The man is no Rushdie, Amis or Dickens, but he's a creative genius. The critics call it a "non-novel," but it's not meant to be a literary masterpiece; it's supposed to be glimpse into the mind and heart, and also the soul, of a great artist.
The book is experimental, and that's its cross to bear: It's not more than that, and not less than that, either. It's just a vomit, a smile, and a dance, all orchestrated by this interesting man. You feel as if Franco manages to be gay, straight, black, white, Jewish, Muslim, self-involved and humble all at once. He even has a video performing the novel. It's great to watch, because you feel like you have a personal moment with the man... well, a coffee date, at least.
Vanity Fair asked Franco whether his new book was a direct correlation to Hollywood, and he said, "No, if I'd wanted to write a book about my feelings on Hollywood, I would have just written a memoir." So this truly is a work of fiction and the world notices -- some with jealousy, and others with awe.
Little A / New Harvest