In his follow-up to the critically acclaimed A California Childhood, James Franco presents a compelling portrait of the life of a young actor coming into his own in Hollywood. Told in an absorbing array of literary styles and art forms—from short stories and poems to personal snapshots, paintings and self-portraits—Hollywood Dreaming brilliantly pieces together the youth of a seemingly familiar actor, playfully blurring the line between reality and fiction. The escapades of a jaded Hollywood insider counter a series of inter-connected stories about a boy named Shrimp and the hopeful young actor he becomes. Each piece of the story, whether visual or textual, thoughtfully peels away another layer of the book’s protagonist, whose character unfolds like a Russian nesting doll. Ultimately, the collage that James Franco creates becomes a fascinating caricature of himself, a performance on the page that is equal parts provocative, funny, and emotional.