A while ago I wrote a Book vs. Movie post on Forrest Gump. But I decided to give the book a review by itself as it rarely happens that I get so thoroughly disappointed. Usually it’s the movie that’s a letdown, but in this case it’s the book. So let’s check that out in detail.
Forrest Gump is an kind-hearted young man. Some people might call him slow-witted. Nevertheless he experiences many adventures and goes through life like no one else does…
Well, how do I begin. I’m not too fond of Winston Groom’s novel. First of all, his Forrest is not half as relatable and amiable as the movie version. To be honest, throughout the entire book I never really began to care for his character.
Unfortunately many of the characters are rather pale and never get any depth until the last page. Jenny for example. She pops in an out of the novel but we basically no nothing about her except for a few superficial events. Additionally, lots of characters are introduced that weren’t necessary. In almost every one of Forrest episodes someone new pops up just to be completely forgotten right after the chapter is finished.
Moreover, what really annoyed me is that the adventures Forrest goes through seem highly unlikely. I mean, even in the film the events are of course incredible but at least make more sense. In the novel it’s simply beyond anything I would willing to believe even under the very best circumstances. Let me give you an example: Forrest sets out for a space mission together with a female astronaut and a monkey. However, they crash somewhere in the jungle where they befriend an indigenous tribe. Forrest ends up playing chess with the boss preventing the tribe from eating them. At this point I really had to keep myself from throwing the book against the wall. And that wasn’t even the weirdest episode. Had Winston Groom written this with a little wink, indicating “Hey, let’s not take this seriously” it might have worked out. But the way the novel is it feels like being completely bullshitted.
I have to admit, Forrest Gump was one of the worst books I read in 2016 and I’m really surprised I actually finished it. So save yourself the time and skip this one!
Did you read the book? Let me know in the comments what you think!