James Franco and when celebrity books go horribly wrong

Posted by Jason Diamond and Tobias Carroll

Yesterday the Observer reported that Amazon had acquired James Franco’s debut novelActors Anonymous, and the universe exploded with shit talking pretty much all across the board. We aren’t sure if this is because the love affair with Franco has gone away, because Amazon is publishing it, or a combination of both.  What we do know is that James Franco still seems like a fun guy to hang out with, and we really love Freaks & Geeks, so we don’t want the book to be a disaster, but we know that the chances of Franco’s debut being anything special are pretty slim.  Not only because his short story collection, Palo Alto, was pretty bad, but as you’ll see below, it doesn’t always work out too well when celebrities publish books.

Brian Bosworth’s The Boz: Confessions of a Modern Anti-Hero

While “The Boz” was known more for his failed NFL career, he does have an IMDB page, and he deserves the title of “Poor Man’s Jean Claude Van Damme” for his work in the film Stone Cold.

In 1988, he teamed up with Sports Illustrated editor Rick Reilly to write The Boz: Confessions of a Modern Anti-Hero.  The book was a huge piece of crap even by sports autobiography standards. (Jason)

Leonard Nimoy’s Shekhina

Once upon a time Mr. Spock had a book published full of photos he took of “alluringly glamorous women — some wearing tefillin in all their naked glory — as the essence of the feminine manifestation of God struck some as revolutionary and others as salacious. (via)”  My Nana bought a copy of the book, and it has haunted his every visit to Boca Raton ever since.  (Jason)

Jewel’s A Night Without Armor

We’ve already discussed how horrible Jewel’s book of poetry was.  Less than one year later it is still totally bad.  See also: Ryan Adams.  (Jason)

Jay Leno’s If Roast Beef Could Fly

We’ve honestly never read this, and we’re not sure why we ever would unless we were high and wanted to ruin the buzz.  (Jason)

Snooki’s Confession of Guidette

It would be so easy to make fun of this book, but everybody has done that before.  What we will say is this: you know when something of absolutely zero redeeming social value comes out and there is one or two people who try to defend it for the sake of sticking up for a cause?  This was the one time that didn’t happen.  (Jason)

William Shatner’s TekWar

It’s been over twenty years since a Vol.1 editor last encountered any segment of William Shatner’s TekWar — which apparently increased to nine volumes over the years. And so it isn’t for us to say whether this series is good or bad. Instead, we’d like to point out that TekWar the books begat TekWar the television show, which in turn co-starred….William Shatner. We can’t possibly be the only ones who find this Ouroboros-esuqe scenario to be strangely reminiscent of the recent work of another actor noted for playing variations on himself…namely, one James Franco.  (Tobias)

Newt Gingrich and William R. Fortschen’s 1945

“Suddenly the pouting sex kitten gave way to Diana the Huntress.” (Though io9’s Charlie Jane Anders has a different take on the book.) (Tobias)

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