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James Franco Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Actors Anonymous (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Palo Alto (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Strongest of the Litter (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Directing Herbert White (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Straight James/Gay James (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

A California Childhood (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hollywood Dreaming (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

James Franco is a reputed American actor, screenwriter, filmmaker, painter, film director, college instructor, and writer. He is particularly well known for his successful acting career, having portrayed many noteworthy roles on the big screen. Franco’s character in the 2010 movie 127 Hours earned him an Academy Award nomination. Besides this, he is also famous for portraying important roles in movies like Spiderman trilogy, Pineapple Express, Spring Breakers, Eat Pray Love, The Disaster Artist, Milk, This is the End, etc. In addition to his acting career, Franco is also known to have a successful writing career. He has written several widely popular standalone books such as Palo Alto, A California Childhood, Straight James/Gay James, Actors Anonymous, Strongest Litter, Bungalow 89, etc. Franco started out by working in the television industry. Working on TV shows helped him earn his initial fame and also his first award as an actor.

Franco got his first prominent role in the comedy-drama show Freaks and Geeks in which he played the character of Daniel Desario. Even though this show short-lived, Franco’s character was highly praised and the show achieved a cult following. After this, he acted in the TV biographical film called James Dean and played the lead role. This role also helped him win a Golden Globe Award. In spite of his illustrious career in the Hollywood film industry, Franco still works in TV shows. He is currently seen in the HBO drama series called The Deuce. Franco has taken film classes at UCLA, New York University, Playhouse West, Southern California University, Palo Alto High School, and Studio 4. He has also volunteered for the charity organization called Art of Elysium.

Franco was born as James Edward Franco on April 19, 1978, in Palo Alto, California. His father, Douglas Eugene Franco, was a business owner in Silicon Valley, while his mother is a writer and actress named Betsy Lou. Franco is of the Swedish, Russian Jewish, and Portuguese descent due to the mixed ancestry of his parents. His grandmother writes and publishes young adult novels. Franco has said that his upbringing was liberal, largely secular, and academic. He spent his earlier years growing up in California along with his brothers Dave and Tom. Franco was considered a math whiz in his school days, which enabled him to work as an intern at Lockheed Martin. His father used to encourage him to study well and obtain good grades. After graduating from high school in 1996, Franco went on to study theater at CSSSA.

As a teenager, Franco was involved in underage drinking, stealing designer perfumes from department stores, drawing graffiti, etc. These actives even led to his arrest several times. Franco was even headed for juvenile detention once, but the judge spared him by giving him another chance. He recalls those days of his life as teen angst and considers himself lucky to have changed his way in time and focussed on doing things with responsibility since then. Franco was always interested in becoming a marine biologist, but he secretly wished to do acting. The fear of rejection didn’t allow him to go ahead and fulfill his wish. So, he joined UCLA for a degree in English major. Against the wishes of his parents, Franco decided to drop out after the first year and pursue acting. He enrolled himself at Playhouse West along with Robert Carnegie and started taking acting lessons.

The idea of going against his parents proved costly for him as they stopped providing him financial support. So, he had to work at McDonald’s in night-shift to support himself. Franco credits McDonald’s to bring out the actor in him as he would deal with the customers in different accents and hone his acting skills. Thereafter, acting success happened and Franco became a known face in Hollywood. It was in 2009 that he first wrote and published his debut novel called Palo Alto. He dedicated this novel to the city in California, where he grew up and to the writers that he worked with during his time at Brooklyn College. The novel is inspired by Franco’s teenage memories while growing up in Palo Alto. After the widespread success of this book, Franco continued writing along with his acting career and published several other successful books.

A popular book written by James Franco is entitled ‘Actors Anonymous’. It was released in 2013 by the New Harvest publication. The main characters or ‘actors’ featured in this brilliant novel by Franco include a drive-thru operator from McDonald’s who tries various accents throughout his shift, a former child star who recalls a huge beachside bacchanal, a starlet from a vampire flick discovering a cryptic novel penned by a popular actor gone AWOL, Midwestern transplants and hospital volunteers, River Phoenix’s ghost, and author Franco himself. Franco keeps prowling backstage and peering out in between the plots before taking hold of the central story with his fascinating art meditations. He has added some nightmarish stories of excess. The story is loosely based on the Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. It is told in an array of different styles include lyric essays, disarming testimonials, ghostly footnotes, and hilarious text messages.

Another exciting book from Franco’s career is known as ‘A California Childhood’. The Insight Editions published it in 2013. In this particular book, Franco has mentioned the treading of the line between fiction and reality by an actor, and for him, this exploration is not limited to the big screen. The description is told in the form of memoir comprising of personal snapshots, paintings, stories, sketches, and poems. In the introductory part, he has said that he spent the first 18 years of his life in a single house in Palo Alto. On one hand, he says he might have been classmates with the daughter of Steve Jobs or the grandson of the founder of Hewlett-Packard, and on the other hand, he has described that the adjacent town had the highest rate of murder in 1992. This book describes the portrait of Franco’s childhood and is told in a funny, emotional, dark way, which was well appreciated by the readers. Along with providing an exciting story, the book left the readers wondering about the boundary of art and reality in Franco’s life. The critics showered the book with great love and appreciation. They hailed the writing ability of Franco and agreed that he is as good a writer as he is an actor.

Book Series In Order » Authors » James Franco

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