James Frey: Bright Shiny Morning

As I’ve mentioned before, I listen to book podcasts on occasion. B&N has one in particular with James Frey where he talks about the memoir mistake, his writing ability, and most importantly his May 2008 release, Bright Shiny Morning. I searched for a few excerpts from the book, even laughed at the hater reviews on Amazon. But the excerpt heard on the podcast is the one that stands out the most for me. Read it here:

Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey – Screaming, he could hear her screaming as he pulled into the driveway. He ran into the house her mother was dragging her along the floor by her hair. Clumps of it were missing. There were scratches on her face. There were bruises on her neck. He pulled her away and when her mother tried to stop him he hit her mother, she tried again he hit her mother harder. Mother stopped trying.

He picked her up and carried her to his truck, a reliable old American pickup with a mattress in the back and a camper shell over the bed. He set her in the passenger seat carefully set her and he covered her with his jacket. She was sobbing bleeding it wasn’t the first time it would be the last. He got into the driver’s seat, started the engine, pulled out as he pulled out Mother came to the door with a hammer and watched them drive away, didn’t move, didn’t say a word, just stood in the door holding a hammer, her daughter’s blood beneath her fingernails, her daughter’s hair still caught in her clothes and hands.

They lived in a small town in an eastern state it was nowhere anywhere everywhere, a small American town full of alcohol, abuse and religion. He worked in an auto-body shop and she worked as a clerk at a gas station and they were going to get married and buy a house and try to be better people than their parents. They had dreams but they called them dreams because they were unrelated to reality, they were a distant unknown, an impossibility, they would never come true.

He went back to his parents’ house they were in a bar down the street. He locked the doors of the truck and kissed her and told her she would be fine and he walked into the house. He went to the bathroom and got aspirin and Band-Aids, he went into his room and pulled a video game case from out of the drawer. The case held every cent he had $2,100 he had saved for their wedding. He took it out and put it in his pocket he grabbed some clothes and he walked out. He got in the truck she had stopped crying. She looked at him and she spoke.

What are we doing?

We’re leaving.

Where we going?

California.

We can’t just up and go to California.

Yes, we can.

We can’t just walk away from our lives.

We don’t have lives here. We’re just stuck. We’ll end up like everyone else, drunk and mean and miserable.

What’ll we do?

Figure it out.

We’re just gonna leave and go to California and figure it out?

Yeah, that’s what we’re gonna do.

She laughed, wiped away her tears.

This is crazy.

Staying’s crazy. Leaving’s smart. I don’t want to waste our life.

Our?

Yeah.

She smiled.

He pulled out turned west and started driving towards the glow it was thousands of miles away, he started driving towards the glow.

Keep reading, y’all!

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