Monday, September 20, 2010

He's Rich, He's Famous, He's an Actor...Does He Really Need To Be a Writer, Too?

Saw an ad in this morning's Shelf Awareness for a new collection of short stories, entitled Palo Alto, from actor James Franco.  I'm conflicted about actors publishing books of fiction.  On the one hand, there's someone like Carrie Fisher, who writes her own stuff which is funny and smart, well-written and entertaining.  On the other hand...there's pretty much everybody else.  Now, if I were to judge the book by its cover (and who doesn't?) I'd say Mr. Franco's publisher is marketing it as serious literary fiction.  Is this likely?
 
What do you think?  Are there other examples of actors writing their own novels (or short stories) and doing a better-than-serviceable job of it?  Will you read it?  


Addendum:  As always, Greg Zimmerman over at The New Dork Review of Books has posted an article on this subject which is much better than my own (and he did it first).  Thanks Greg!  I link to it here...be sure to read it; it's thoughtful, incisive, and funny.  


On an unrelated note, please remember to stop by the Reading Roundup and leave a link to your best book review or book-related post of the week.  Each week's Linky will be open from 12:01 a.m on Saturday (okay, from whatever time I get the post up on Saturday) through 11:59 p.m. the following Friday.  Let other book bloggers--and readers in general!--see what you're doing.  Check out what other book bloggers are doing. 

7 comments:

Greg Zimmerman said...

I'm intrigued to see the reviews of Franco's short stories. I think Franco is the exception to the rule in terms of working hard to try to write and publish serious literary fiction. But we'll see...

I actually posted about this celebs-writing-fiction phenomenon awhile back. Check it out, if you're interested: http://thenewdorkreviewofbooks.blogspot.com/2010/05/renaissance-or-ridiculous-when-celebs.html

Rebecca Glenn said...

Thanks Greg--you do good work! I hope you'll add a link to the Reading Roundup one of these weeks.

EnriqueFreeque said...

What about Ethan Hawke? Is he any good?

Vampires and Tofu said...

I'm willing to give his book a shot as much as anyone else's. People in the entertainment industry are usually creative in lots of areas and most writers have some other job before they get published anyway. And that's really all acting is...a job. Just my opinion =) And besides, look at Steve Martin...amazing writer!

Rebecca Glenn said...

I completely and utterly forgot about Steve Martin. He's a wonderful writer--and also, I think, another one of those highly intelligent, well-educated actors.

Tara said...

I'm interested to read James Franco's new book, but I think that's mostly because I find him HOT. Wow, what a shallow reason to want to read his book. I really enjoyed the article in New York magazine about him. Apparently, his work isn't very well received in the literary world.

Visiting you from the hop!
Taming the Bookshelf

Rob McMonigal said...

I thought Hugh Laurie's satirical suspense novel was excellent.

Stopping by from the blog hop!