Bright Shiny Morning
Harper, May 2009, $15.99
They come by foot, by car, by bus or plane to Los Angeles. They are looking to start anew, looking to vanish, or just looking. They arrive from all walks of life, from all religions, and from all races. Los Angeles is a magnet as the twenty-first century melting pot city.
Amberton Parker has become a Hollywood legend living the American dream with plenty of money, a lovely wife and three children who adore him but he also has a risky side as his sexual preference is legal age young males. Two teenagers Dylan and Maddie fled abusive households hoping to make it on love. Espernaza pays for her college education by working as a maid for a rich bitch. Homeless alcoholic Old Joe skips asking passersby for loose change when he becomes a Good Samaritan trying to help a young addict.
BRIGHT SHINY MORNING feels like three novellas of life in Los Angeles that cross over each other yet somehow never quite interweave into a cohesive novel sort of as if the expressways that connect the metropolis never touch one another. Each tale is well written with real characters somewhat hyperbolized to portray aspects of a city that James Frey satirically describes as craving to become the twenty-first century number one international metropolis (in spite of NFL meaning not for Los Angeles). Fans who relish a sharp sardonic saga will want to read Mr. Frey’s lampooning of Los Angeles, a city with an identity crisis.