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About James Franco

James Franco is the author of Palo Alto, a short story collection. He lives in New York City.


  1. Mervyn Kaufman says:

    Franco is obviously multi-talented, and having him contribute a story to this new series was probably important. But I felt the piece was slight, certainly in comparison with its companion. I’d like to read more of James Franco, perhaps something pithier. He writes well, but in reading this piece, I kept waiting for him to have something of significance to say. Instead he gave us the suggestion of a thriller that remains unresolved.

  2. Christian Bueno says:

    I enjoyed this piece. Great job, Mr. Franco.

  3. i wanted to read this but that stupid audio ad for that anime game kept popping up. i couldn’t find it to shut it off. you need to create an environment that encourages people to read. blaring crappy music sends them clicking off (except for cranks like me who post to complain).

  4. damn comatose

  5. Unpublished says:

    Hi James:

    It felt like you had written an incredibly touching and heart-warming story and then you went back into it and started to try and make it as jaded and cynical as possible.

    The heart of this story is contained in the mystery — is this a single/divorced dad taking his kids out? You establish this wonderfully by the one line about how he missed them. And the ending where he tells his kids how he and his mom made them with love. All that is so incredible. Really.

    But then you ruin it:

    a) by the ending about the burning bear. It was enough to have watched it burn. The main character didn’t need to transpose the bear into his thoughts at the end. That just sounds jaded for the sake of being jaded.

    b) by making the main character brush his teeth opposite of how his dad does it at the end. It would’ve been a much stronger story, if, despite everything, the main character reminds himself to do things the way his dad did it. The Yosemite trip would’ve been “worth it” in spite of the bear episode. And he would’ve learned that he came from a place of “love.”

    Your premise was exceptional and you really set up the story well. (The AA medallion touch was so perfect.) Frankly it feels like the ending just came out of nowhere, someone else. It should’ve been a much softer conclusion. That conclusion would’ve been more heart-wrenching — because we’d have been like: ah, shit, now the weekend is over and he’s going to have to go drop them with the mom.

  6. great job! love you as an actor and a writer

  7. I liked it. I think it captured the contradictions of childhood very well. It left me uneasy for awhile, a bit like a Cormac Mccarthy story.

    • No. Not even if Cormac McCarthy wrote short stories.

    • So you think this piece compares to, say, this passage?

      “The following evening as they rode up onto the western rim they lost one of the mules. It went skittering off down the canyon wall with the contents of the panniers exploding soundlessly in the hot dry air and it fell through sunlight and through shade, turning in that lonely void until it fell from sight into a sink of cold blue space that absolved it forever of memory in the mind of any living thing that was.”

  8. There should be a printable version of this

  9. I love this writing-the descriptions of the food, the interplay between the little brother and main character, It’s supposed to be slight, it’s a sketch, an impression of a vital moment before innocence is over..well done, Im buying the book!

  10. Raymond Carver much?

  11. Creative…

  12. I enjoyed it.Thank you.

  13. Forgive me for saying, but I found this story very dull and I don’t think anyone would give it a full read if it didn’t have a famous name attached.

    I don’t mean to bash. I just think it carries on at a very plodding pace, the descriptions of things are mundane (except when they’re elevated beyond the vernacular of the narrator — the waterfall is “a cataract, white and gushing, implacable”, for instance) and mostly irrelevant. I don’t get a good sense of cohesion throughout this story, and it seems more like a journal entry. When reading other short stories, I feel like the author began with the end in mind, or perhaps went through more than one draft. This one, well, on the third page there’s a typo. (“The next stop was El Capitan,.”)

    I’m not saying I’m an expert or anything, but my advice is to try and limit the descriptions to things that help move the story or set the tone. It’s okay to leave some details out, and doing so will make this feel less like a journal entry. Some of these passages — the tangent about Beatrice, or the candles in the cave, especially the bit about the different colours of puffy jackets! — need to either be more relevant or cut from the story. I’m sure the digression about leaving the Little Mermaid to duck into the Lou Diamond Philips movie is meant to indicate that our narrator is growing up and striving to find his own kind of independence from the family, a small rebellion, but it’s just laid flat by the other loose ends strewn all over this thing. I don’t know where to look for thematic significance, because there are so many scabs on knees, sugar sticking to teeth, divots like miniature cork impacts, and spicy mustards with the white wine boiled out. It doesn’t seem like very much thought has been put in to what any of it adds up to, and I feel like the writer may have been working with a minimum word count in mind.

    Loved 127 Hours, and you made a pretty good Green Goblin.


  1. [...] debut features a new short story, “Yosemite,” from James Franco. Also featured in the debut is “Saint Roger of Fox Chase,” by Sean Ennis [...]

  2. [...] link: Read James Franco’s short story “Yosemite” Add a comment var addthis_config = { username: "flavorwire" } Email to a friend [...]

  3. [...] is the Fiction Editor at The Good Men Project Magazine (where he recently published a story by James Franco), and his novella is forthcoming from Flatmancrooked. (And that’s not the only thing [...]

  4. [...] of Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying and McCarthy’s Blood Meridian. Franco has also published a new story over at the Good Men Project. When the hell does this guy [...]

  5. [...] First he’s writing fiction, now he’s producing musicals? Give it a rest, [...]

  6. [...] James Franco's "Yosemite" — The Good Men Project Magazine [...]

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