Anne Robinson, Karen Saxby
"Palo Alto" is the debut of a powerful new literary voice. Written with an immediacy and sense of place "Palo Alto" traces the lives of an extended group of teenagers as they experiment with vices of all kinds, struggle with their families and one another, and succumb to self-destructive, often heartless nihilism. Franco presents his characters in all their raw humanity, while at the same time providing insight into the teenage mind. In the classic American tradition of story-cycles such as Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio, "Palo Alto" presents a stark, vivid, disturbing, but, above all, compassionate portrait of lives on the rough fringes of youth.