A Segmented Read – Tim G

by capreviewroom

    Bright Shiny Morning is the third book by the controversial author James Frey.  It is a book focusing on four
major plot lines that run parallel to each other in the city  of Las Angeles.  All of these stories focus on characters
who are facing their own conflicts, whether homelessness, or a star’s hidden homosexual exploits.  Though a good read, Frey clutters the book with too many segue into Las Angeles facts that read more like filler.
    Bright Shiny Morning tells the stories of people who come from very removed facets of life from one another. 
There’s Old Man Joe, a homeless man in love with cheap Chablis; Esperanza, a young Mexican girl trying to earn the money to go to school, as well as face her own insecurity.  There is also Maddie and Dylan, two runaway teens trying to start a life together; as well as Amberton, a movie star running a fake life to cover for his hidden sexuality.  These stories do not cross, however they do illustrate the different levels of life in LA.  However, this can also be a fault in the book.  It may be far too many pages until you see a return into a character that you’d like to continue reading about.
    The book also finds itself being to cluttered.  Frey will interject small stories of arbitrary characters into the
book between major characters.  This becomes especially frustrating as the book tries to reach its climaxes, and is
distracted by non-essential facts about LA.  As well, the book finds itself in limbo between fiction and non-fiction.  Some sections in the book give random facts about LA.  This is fine if you are interested in such things, however it will frequently try to add a narrative to them.  This is disconcerting considering James Frey’s past dramatizing of facts in his earlier work A Million  Little Pieces.
    Bright Shiny Morning is a good read, however it over-complicates itself.  It is very full-filling to read the four
major plots find their conclusions, but it adds to much in between that drags down the narrative. However, it is a decent read if your interested in this author’s work.


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