"Bein' a idiot is no box of chocolates," but "at least I ain't led no hum-drum life," says Forrest Gump, the lovable, surprisingly savvy hero of this wonderful comic tale. When the University of Alabama's football team drafts Forrest and makes him a star, that's only the beginning! He flunks out - and goes on to be a Vietnam war hero, a world-class Ping-Pong player, a wrestler, and a business tycoon. He compares battle scars with Lyndon Johnson, discovers the truth about Richard Nixon, and suffers the ups and downs of true love. Now, Forrest Gump's telling all - in a madcap, screwball romp through three decades of the American landscape. It's Gump's amazing travels...and you've got to hear them to believe them.
©1996 Winston Groom (P)2011 Simon & Schuster
"Part Candide, part Huck Finn and a whole lot of Andy Griffith, [Gump] makes his case in a voice all his own.George Plimpton A wacky and funny nuthouse of a book." (Los Angeles Times)
"Broad satire with serious resonances...Gump's adventures are both hilarious and bawdy....This picaresque tale will set you guffawing." (New Woman)
"A Huckleberry Finn-type odyssey, complete with the humor-tempered irony and insight of Mark Twain. A rollicking satire, milking laughs from our sacred cows...As much fun as a box of chocolates, but far less fattening." (Pittsburgh Press)
...the scriptwriters. How they managed to turn this pile of dreck into a great movie is beyond me.
I'm normally the person who says "the book is always better!", but this is the exception that proves the rule.
Rather than a story involving a simple soul finding his way in the world and his relationships with other people (especially the love of his life), we're left with a bunch of unlikeable characters (including the lead) and a story that is 1/2 "let's laugh at the retard" (I say it that way to give an understanding of how the book makes it feel) and 1/2 "Roald Dahl book as written by a hormone-crazed 12-year-old"
Forrest was a jerk, his relationship with Jenny was more "stalker/obsessed" than sweet, his mother was a mess who cried a lot and offered nothing of note, Dan (and pretty much everyone else in the book) was better off having never met Forrest. The only halfway redeemable character in the book was Jenny, largely because she was at least normal.
The second half of the book takes a turn for the absurd. Forrest in space. Forrest in the jungle playing chess with a Yale-graduated cannibal. Forrest the pro wrestler. Forrest randomly going to towns and meeting his friends in non-sensical ways. Forrest walking around with an Orangutan friend. Forrest and the naked Raquel Welch.
I really appreciate the work that the film-makers did to make this a good movie, because this book was not good. The ONLY thing the book and movie have in common is the idea of outlandish things happening to the main character -- the movie just did it better, and in a somewhat more "realistic" way (where even though they're insane, in theory they _could_ happen)
As many of the movie viewers know, Forest is a completely lovable character. I have not seen the movie but you can't help but like a guy that starts by telling you, "It's not easy bein' an Idiot." What great humility. I enjoyed following Forest on his journey through his life, from the Nut School, to the being the football star and on to the war. You will enjoy this book as it is full of humanity and compassion as he always tries to do the right thing
Words fail to describe just how rich this story is. Mark Hammer does an AMAZING job bringing to life the story of Forrest. First thing is first. Put aside ANY notion you may have about this after seeing the movie, whether good OR bad. The movie is VERY loosely based on the book. The similarities are few and far between, and as much as I love the movie, I love the book even more.
I went through every emotion possible as I listen to the grand comedy and grand tragedy that is the life of Forrest. I'd often find myself literally laughing out loud at some of the things said and done in the book...that often come out of NOWHERE! A few minutes later I'd find myself feeling very sad at yet another twist of fate. From his interaction with Bear Bryant to being launched into space with a monkey..this book has it all and quite a lot more. Though I wanted it to keep going after it ended, I was left with a very satisfied feeling when it was completed. Again, Mark Hammer is BRILLIANT as narrator..brilliant! I consider this a 'must read' for anyone who calls themself a fan of storytelling and even classic literature. I'd give it 10 stars if I could...maybe more.
Honestly, it reads like a Curious George book. While it has it's funny moments, there really isn't any emotional depth to this book. It just drifts along with Forrest ending up in stranger and stranger situations. I got tired of it after a while and was looking forward to the end. The movie has a sort of magic to it. Beautiful scenes and genuine depth. The book is lacking that feeling nearly entirely.
I haven't heard anything else by Mark Hammer, but he did a very solid job in this book. His reading is believable and isn't distracting in any way.
Incredible movie, disappointing book. If you're looking for anything remotely resembling the film, look elsewhere.
Yes. I watched the movie many times. The book is better
when Forrest went to outer space with the monkey
Yes. I could not believe this was the same book that made the movie.
I will have to listen to the book again to make sure I didn't miss anything
Say something about yourself!
sad and awesome.. I liked it so much, I wrote essay about it for my school. Book is very different from the movie. So, in my perception, Forrest Gump in the movie represents the best of American character. Forrest Gump in the book is more of an earthy but really fictional character with fantastically good fortune and some unrealistic events in his life. He is travelling in space, for example, or saving life of Mao Zedong. It's written as an autobiography of Forrest Gump that is funny and sad in the same time due to how country and society are acknowledged through mind of autistic person. The book is much deeper and very much politically incorrect to compare to the film. The book is full of satire and sarcasm toward American bureaucracy, schools, police, army, politicians; but all of it presented in the sort of “why is that?” way, not as a straight criticism of the government or society. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish the reasons behind the things and events that happened to Forrest; because he is an idiot or because there is too much idiocy around him. But there is no manifestation of right or wrong way to be, to do, or to live in this book. His overall positive outlook and good nature, stubbornness and desire to work hard for his goals made him eventually successful and accomplished, even though he left his business, never married Jenny (she did not die like in the movie), and still travelling around the country with Lt. Dan. In my opinion, this book belongs to classical collection of the best American books and comparable with adventures of Tom Sawyer or Gulliver. You may read this book over and over and find something new, different, nostalgic or thrilling, new funny, again and again… Also, Raquel Welch must be amused with this book (read it and you will find out why... funniest part of the book). Narrator is great too..
I liked the book but it is so not like the movie I think that should be made clear. The author had thought John Goodman would play the title role not Tom Hanks. It is not sweet like the movie and almost everything that happens to the character is changed. Jenny and Lt Dan and his Momma and the things he says are completely different. I liked it but I wish someone had told me it was completely different than the movie in both events and in tone.
Love the reader
As other reviews have pointed out, the movie and the book are only loosely connected. I loved the movie and have seen it many times, so I was a bit hesitant to listen to the book. I'm glad I did. What I liked best about the book over the movie was that the characters had a bit of moral ambiguity rather than being black or white, good versus bad. This added character depth made the book version of Forrest Gump more realistic and more interesting to me.
The narrator was wonderful. I was concerned that I would be picturing Tom Hanks throughout the book, but the cadence and the dialect used by Mike Hammer worked very well and kept the movie Forrest Gump from intruding into the book Forrest Gump. The only negative comment I have is that Forrest's adventures are a bit over the top sometimes to the point of being so comical they are absurd and unbelievable. I felt the book paced very well and was the appropriate length. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone with the caveat that there is only a loose connection between the book and the movie.
If you don't want to like the main character, you don't mind constant cursing and a outlandish story, this may be for you.
The narrator has an almost drunk wheeze to his voice. He did a great job reading, but his voice and the wheeze didn't make it totally enjoyable.
Forrest Gump. I know that seems crazy but he was the worst character and became a bad person.
If you are wanting to read this book because of the movie... move on. This is a totally different feel and tone.
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