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from the UK Daily Mail

Bright Shiny Morning

By James Frey (John Murray, £11.99)

Last updated at 6:30 PM on 19th August 2008

Following his controversial memoir, A Million Little Pieces, James Frey takes as his subject nothing less than the city of Los Angeles.

James Frey

Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey

Central to his story is a small band of differently circumstanced characters. Esperanza is a Mexican maid who pretends to be an illegal immigrant to get work as a cleaner. Amberton Parker is a movie mega-star turned stalker; while Old Man Joe is a Chablis-drinking bum living on Venice Beach and dreaming of performing a heroic deed.

A huge supporting cast includes romantic golf caddies and would-be film actors, murderous bikers and down-at-heel denizens of trailer parks. Their stories, which can be touching, tragic and occasionally repellent, are interrupted by frequent digressions about the history and development of the city, its highway system, epidemic gang culture and the birth of its film industry.

Facts, both accurate and questionable, come thick and fast. Surprisingly, these don’t disturb the relentless rhythm of a sparkling narrative, which doesn’t shrink from exposing the city’s seamier side but ultimately is a huge celebration — Frey’s ode to L.A. Never mind that Little Pieces was said to be fiction posing as fact. With Bright Shiny Morning, Frey confirms that fiction – the real McCoy – is indeed his metier.

[ click to read at the Daily Mail ]

Posted on August 19, 2008 by Editor

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