Dozens of Characters in L.A

by capreviewroom

 Bright Shiny Morning is the first fictional novel written by James Frey. The story takes place in Los Angeles area in US. The novel is made up of four stories which are not related each other. There are many unique characters appear in the book. They are different in the age, gender, and occupation; for example, a movie star, a teenage couple, and even a homeless man. Frey focuses on each characters’ life to show us the shape of the city of Los Angeles.

I personally thought the novel is similar to Dead Girls written by Nancy Lee in a way that the novel presents the dark side of the city and people’s problem associated with them such as alcoholism and abuses. Dead Girls focuses on the city of Vancouver Canada, and city of Vancouver and Los Angeles is also similar in the way that many citizens are immigrants and they move in to the city with the hopes. One of the character in the story is a young Mexican-American girl who is recently moved in to  LA with her parents. As she works as a maid in the city, she realizes the reality of the life can be severe.

Throughout the story, Frey does the good job by using many characters to illustrate many stories in the book to deliver his message to the reader: the city is composed of hundreds of individuals, they are trying their best to live their life, and this fact leads to form the shape of the city. However, I personally don’t prefer to read the novel that is made up of different stories with many main/supporting characters because I feel I can’t get to know each of them deep enough. Unfortunately, Bright Shiny Morning is not an exception, Frey’s use of so many characters helped to deliver his central message, but it failed to visualize them vividly for the readers. I felt it would be much more enjoyable for me to read the story if Frey could eliminate some of the characters and focus more on the rest of the characters. In my conclusion, I would not recommend you to read Bright Shiny Morning if your taste of preferred story style is similar to mine.

-Daijiro Matsui

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