The City of Dreams

by capreviewroom


Bright Shiny Morning, James Frey’s third novel does an amazing job of encapsulating you into the characters lives and emotions. Within this book there are 4 stores with an eclectic group of characters that do not have any relation or connection to each other besides the fact that they all live in LA. There is Old Man Joe, a homeless alcoholic living on the streets of LA. Esperanza, the child of immigrant parents trying to make it in America. While Dylan and Maddie, a young couple left an abusive home to start fresh in LA. Lastly there’s Amberton, a gentleman who on the outside has the dream life he is rich, successful and famous. Inside though Amberton is a sad, lonely man who is having a difficult time opening up and telling the public that he is indeed a homosexual.

As seen in James Frey’s other novels like A Million Little Pieces and My Friend Leonard, the tone and style used has a tendency to leave the reader hanging as he switches to another scene, topic, or story seen in Bright Shiny Morning. Upon reading Bright Shiny Morning all the stories a large number of the main characters want to have success and happiness. Knowing that LA is a city that has a lot of successful, rich, and what may look like happiness that reside there, it lures many other people looking to achieve the same things. But as we can see with characters like Amberton being rich successful and famous has not led him to happiness at all.

I found myself enjoying this book most when it was dark, cold, and rainy outside. Although many of the stories did not hold the happy ending it made each one that much more enticing and realistic. All characters are well developed and it is easy to form a bond with almost all of them. The struggles each one is forced to face are all struggles that no matter where you live could be something you, or someone you know is going through. With many movies filmed in beautiful Las Angeles many are led to believe that life there for the everyday person will be the same. The sad truth that James Frey writes about is told in Bright Shiny Morning.



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