For Raymond Chandler, 1940s Los Angeles was a big hard-boiled city 'with no more personality than a paper cup'. James Frey dissects the same big hard-boiled city sixty years on through a relentless depiction of the hopes and shattered dreams of the many and various who move to the sprawling and diverse metropolis - a mesmerising and moving microcosm of the human condition.
Bringing to life (and to death) a selection of the multitude drawn to the city of angels, Frey populates his book with the lonely, the egotistical, the depraved and the lost in what for many is an illustration of the decay that prefigures the decline and fall of a once-great empire - the United States of America.
Trevor White and Lorelei King share the narration in a stunningly brilliant example of the art of audiobook performance, chorusing the ups and downs (mostly downs) of the characters in the novel.
Bright Shiny Morning is one of the outstanding publications of the year and will be top of my list for an audiobook award.
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