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Forrest Gump
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About the Author

Winston Groom, author of nine books, wrote the acclaimed Vietnam War novel Better Times Than These, the prize-winning As Summers Die, and co-authored Conversations with the Enemy, which was nominated for a 1984 Pulitzer Prize. He is also the author of the No.1 New York Times bestsellers Forrest Gump and Gumpisms- The Wit and Wisdom of Forrest Gump. Mr Groom's Shrouds of Glory, an account of Confederate General John Bell Hood's decisive actions in the last great campaign of the US Civil War, was published in April, 1995. He lives in New York City and Point Clear, Alabama.

Reviews

While it seems that we have been "Gumped" to death with all of the hoopla and hype that has accompanied the Academy AwardR-winning movie version of Forrest Gump, please run out and get this audio recording of Groom's wonderful book in its unabridged state (for a review of the abridged version, see Audio Reviews, LJ 9/1/94). Though somewhat reluctant to listen to this narrative, this reviewer was delighted and surprised by the richness and true hilarity of Forrest's story. Some of the famous scenes in the movie are not in the book. Consider the meeting between Jack Kennedy and Forrest; in the book, Forrest meets with Lyndon Johnson. They compare battle scars and Forrest is delighted when Johnson invites him to watch an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies. "I never miss it, boy," Johnson drawls. Squeaky clean Forrest of Hollywood fame is not the Forrest of Groom's wonderful, imaginative satire. No, Forrest here is all-too-human, with the same selfish desires as the rest of us. Where he verges from the great mass of humanity is that he does not lie. Life seen through his eyes is poignant and hilarious. This program, read by Mark Hammer, is a real treat. Highly recommended for all libraries.‘Roxanna Herrick, Washington Univ. Lib., St. Louis

"Forrest Gump is line bred out of Voltaire and Huck Finn; its humour is wild and coarse, a satire right on the money. It is not the less honest for being so funny, for bringing the woebegone archangels of our culture and history to judgement. Anyone who doesn't read this book deserves to spend the winter in North Dakota" -- Jim Harrison
"A superbly controlled satire" * The Washington Post *
"Winston Groom has created the ideal citizen for the modern world - a perfect idiot" -- P.J. O'Rourke
"Part Candide, part Huck Finn and a whold lot of Andy Griffith, [Gump] makes his case in a voice all his own" * Los Angeles Times *

There is a joyously madcap feeling to the first half of this unusual novel, but then the absurdity gathers its own speed and begins to run dangerously amok. Groom's picaresque tale is told by an idiot, the Gump of the title, and follows his outrageous life from early stardom for Bear Bryant's Crimson Tide, through a tour in Vietnam and across the broad canvas of America during the '70s and '80s. Like most literary idiots, Forrest Gump is a lot smarter than the people he encounters. He is also no ordinary idiot. Instead, he is a mathematical idiot savant, capable of outperforming NASA's on-board computers, which is why Gump ends up on a space mission with an ape and the first woman astronauta mission that ends in the forests of New Guinea where Gump meets a Yale-tutored cannibal. All this takes place after Gump has met Lyndon Johnson and saved Chairman Mao from drowning, which is to say that this is a very broad satire. While there is much on-target humor here, Groom, author of Better Times Than These, has written better books than this. (March 7)

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