One week and 250 pages later, the only way I can can describe this book is chaotic. I’ve seen the movie before- of course, who hasn’t- and naturally there is plenty in the book that was left out. But by golly, I didn’t see any of this coming, and I’m almost at a loss for words on how to describe my thoughts.
Since the book bounces from one adventure to the next, I’m just going to outline them this way:
- Meet Forrest, the “idiot”.
- Forrest goes to a “nut school”.
- Forrest plays football for high school.
- Forrest plays football at University.
- Forrest gets drafted to the Vietnam War.
- Forrest becomes an international Ping Pong champion.
- Forrest plays Harmonica for “The Cracked Heads”.
- Forrest becomes an unwilling NASA participant.
- Forrest survives a Pygmy attack.
- Forrest becomes a pro wrestler.
- Forrest becomes a Chess champion…sort of.
- Forrest becomes a Hollywood actor.
- Forrest starts up a multi-million dollar shrimping company.
- Forrest runs for US Senate…and then doesn’t due to his past “careers”.
If you happen to decide to read this book, you’ll figure out how all these segue, but the long running gist is Forrest following the love of his life, Jenny Curan. And let me tell you, the movie Jenny and Forrest are much more G-rated than the book. And, while I’m at it comparing the book to the movie, the movie’s two famous quotes- “Run Forrest, run!” and “Momma said, life is like a box of chocolates…”- are only hinted at but never said in the novel version. Sorry folks.
All I can say is Groom made an interesting story line, but it was like he couldn’t decide what direction to take his main character, so he took him in EVERY direction. Which, the underlining moral of the story is somewhere between ‘this is what happens when you live rolling with the tide’ and ‘even with a handicap, you can do something extraordinary’ and ‘we are all a bunch of idiots’. So I guess if you want to read something quick and entertaining, crack this book. Otherwise, I suggest stick to the movie.