From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. The controversial Frey offers his first novel, a collection of stories about various individuals in Los Angeles. With the sheer quantity and quality of characters that pop up in this tale, Ben Foster offers a truly a magnificent performance. Whether portraying a teenage couple on the run, a beach-going alcoholic who lives in a restroom, or a movie star who just can't seem to get everything he wants, the 27-year-old Foster is superb. His voice doesn't call attention to itself but his delivery is stellar and his interpretations are all realistic and never overplayed. A Harper hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 14). (June)
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Two years after Freys memoir "A Million Little Pieces" was outed as part fiction, the publicly chastised writer resurfaces with a novel much of which purports to be fact. Set in a Los Angeles populated by miniature-golf moguls, ex-beauty queens, gun-shop owners, debauched child actors, meth dealers, and yoginis in thongs, this gargantuan book is seeded, Melville-like, with chapters cataloguing the citys snarled highways and quirky innovations (e.g., the worlds first video graveyard). The characters are relentlessly stock: two lovesick kids from the heartland ("nowhere anywhere everywhere"); a bulimic, closeted movie star with a "MEGAWATT!!!!!" smile; a Mexican-American maid with an abusive employer. Frey strives for incantatory but winds up with banal; when it comes to emotion, the best he can muster is "Its deep, its true, and its real real real."
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