L.A: City of dreams, or broken dreams?-Chris Menzies

by capreviewroom

Novelist James Frey has taken a different approach to writing this time around.  With “Bright Shiny Morning” Frey, has ventured into to a style of non-fiction that gives the reader a look at Los Angeles that they may not have seen before.  In “Bright Shiny Morning”, James Frey intertwines real facts about Los Angeles along with four different stories of people living their lives in Los Angeles.  With the unique relationship between the characters and Los Angeles, it’s as if James Frey has portrayed Los Angeles as a character itself, which really brought this story to life. One of the stories follows Maddie and Dylan who came from poor lifestyles of abuse and neglect, hoped to find a better life in Los Angeles armed with the belief that L.A is where dreams are made.  Esperanza is an intelligent, intellectual, and insecure Mexican girl whose nerves overcome her potential.  Her focus on her self-image makes her a cripple to the world of possibilities her intellect has opened up.  Amberton Parker is living the American dream. He’s a very successful movie star who seems to have everything: The perfect wife, the perfect kids, the perfect life, but also, the perfect secret.  Then there’s Old Man Joe; a homeless man whose thirst for life almost exceeds his thirst for Chablis. Pan handling up and down Los Angeles beach areas and Santa Monica Peer, Joe is staple in Los Angeles. 


James Frey has shown us four completely different stories with very similar messages.  The message he’s trying to get across is that “Life is what you make it”. We have Esperanza who is pretty and smart and has a world of potential at her doorstep, yet she is terribly insecure. Then we have Old Man Joe who has nothing, yet remains as positive as anybody in Los Angeles.  Even though Los Angeles is considered the city of dreams, it’s up to the individual to create that and that came across clear in this novel. 


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