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Publisher's Summary

"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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    284
  • 4 Stars
    145
  • 3 Stars
    48
  • 2 Stars
    20
  • 1 Stars
    15

Performance

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    85
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    42
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    11
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    5

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A Storytelling Masterpiece

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.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • BiJae
  • Molalla, OR, United States
  • 07-18-11

A wonderful story, perfectly narrated

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A book of 2 halves

For those who like myself, wasn’t a fan of the Tom Hanks movie, this audiobook might be a bit of a surprise, albeit only for the first half. I found myself quite liking Forrest Gump - his simpleminded wisdom and his forthright manner was engaging from the very beginning. Mark Hammer is the perfect narrator for Forrest, giving him just the voice I imagined it should be.
The first half of the book is excellent with plenty of humour and charm. Unfortunately the 2nd half of the book goes off into some extremely unlikely plot scenarios eg. Gump becomes an astronaut, and later communicates with an orangutan on a Pacific island. It really just stretches credibility way, WAY too far.
The first half of the book is close to 5 stars. The 2nd half however is poor, 2 stars at best.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Loved the film, disappointed in the book.

What disappointed you about Forrest Gump?

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.

Have you listened to any of Mark Hammer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

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.

Any additional comments?

Incredible movie, disappointing book. If you're looking for anything remotely resembling the film, look elsewhere.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • nina
  • MILLEDGEVILLE, GA, United States
  • 02-14-12

The best book I have every listened to

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. I watched the movie many times. The book is better

What was one of the most memorable moments of Forrest Gump?

when Forrest went to outer space with the monkey

Have you listened to any of Mark Hammer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes. I could not believe this was the same book that made the movie.

Any additional comments?

I will have to listen to the book again to make sure I didn't miss anything

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • eesti
  • Haymarket, VA, United States
  • 06-14-11

awesome book

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..

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Forrest Gump

Amazing book that a great movie is based off, but I treat them as two different entities, you might even say Two parallel universes check it out trust me you’ll love it !

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Incredible

This is without a doubt one of the best books I have ever listened to. Absolutely amazing!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

sure not the movie

It starts fine but the movie and the real book its not. Forest in the movie you respect but in the book he remains a idiot. And how does flying in a space capsule with a baboon for one day landing by a beach beside a tribe that wants to eat you fit in this

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it!

Very different story line from the movie. It was still sad because Forrest didn't get the chance to know his son like in the movie. Forrest had been a good dad and will never know. His and Jenny's story is cut short in a different way. Although I think they were even closer in the book then in the movie and Forrest seems to be more the bad influence then Jenny. Beautiful story.