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Forrest Gump – Book Review

ForrestGumpby: Groom, Winston

Publisher: Pocket Books


Cover: Paperback                                                  

reviewed by: Lynard Barnes 11/5/1994                          


Summary: Not the movie. Not drama either.                                                                     

Reprinted from Crushies Book Review, November 1994 Volume I, Issue No. 5….

Right. It was a book before it was a movie and if the movie reviews are correct, it makes a better movie. Written in first person, southern dialect, Gump is a collection of satirical social commentaries in the form of a story. It is meant to be a state of the union assessment by a person with an IQ of 70 and a simple determination to “do the right thing”

In case the assessment is missed, it is bluntly stated on page 168 when Forrest Gump and his girlfriend, Jenny Curran, discuss now mutual friend, Dan. Dan goes to the bathroom to urinate. Dan is a former army lieutenant in the Vietnam War who has had both legs amputated and moves around on a push-cart. Jenny, concerned about how Dan will negotiate his way to the toilet, is told by Gump that Dan will manage on his own. Jenny replies, as quoted by Gump, “This is where the Vietnam War has got us.” And Gump tells us, “There ain’t much disputing that either. It is a sad and sorry spectacle when a no-legged man has got to pee in his hat and then dump it over into the toilet.”

Well, I disagree. It is not a sorry spectacle. It is the sight of a man coping with life. Nothing sorry about it. If anything, it is a testimonial to what the human spirit is capable of overcoming and enduring. That Forrest Gump places himself on the outside and makes the trite observation in the first place definitely takes him out of the realm of the mere idiot. He’s more like a radio talk show host with fifty thousand megawatts of broadcasting power, time to kill and a lose spiritual center. Unfortunately, throughout the book, the Gump character never gels. And this is the problem with Forrest Gump, the book. It is missing the spirit, leaving only the victim.

The first funny moment in Gump is funny because it is original. After that moment, it starts slinging re-hash. There is the evolution of time, the change of people, places and things. There are the adventures of Gump; Gump the football player, Gump the college student, Gump the solider, Gump the ping-pong player, Gump the lover, Gump the astronaut, Gump the jungle survivor, Gump the chess player, Gump the would-be movie star, and finally, Gump the shrimp farmer. And there is the love-found, love-lost story involving Jenny Curran. But Gump never changes. Gump as Gump is Gump.

In reading Forrest Gump, you catch glimpses of an original American story. It was probably these glimpses that prompted someone (Steve Tisch and Wendy Finerman) to turn this book into a movie. Luckily, the movie does NOT follow the formula of the book.



Rainbow Conspiracy: The Greatest Cover-Up of our Time – Book Review

RainBow Conspiracyby: Brad Steiger and Sherry Hansen Steiger

Publisher:  Pinnacle Books

Copyright:  1994, ISBN: [1575663635]

Type:  Paperback

reviewed by: Lynard Barnes, November 5, 1994

Summary: And you thought you had heard everything! Try showing a receipt from Barnes and Noble to an ET. 

Reprinted from Crushies Book Review, November 1994 Volume I, Issue No. 5:


Folks, I think we have scrapped the shine off the bottom of the UFO soup bowl with this one. We are digging. So too did the authors of THE RAINBOW CONSPIRACY. If you ever have a desire to waste $4.99 and discover how vaporous the human mind can get without being truly dangerous, then you will want to read this book.

First, the great airship sightings of 1897-1898: Scores of reports of a strange cigar-shaped aerial craft, sighted mostly at dusk or late evening and reported by some of the most highly respected members of the community. The reports are found in newspapers from California to New Jersey during 1897 to 1898. Most UFO books examining the origins of UFO phenomena devote some attention to the airship sightings. They are an anomaly–UFOs but not real UFOs in the post 1947 sense. Most UFO books leave them as anomalies. This is being kind. A few of the books flatly state the case: the airship sightings were the concoction of newspaper editors with space to fill and papers to sell. But to Brad Steiger and Sherry Hansen Steiger, the sightings are the first overt manifestation of THE RAINBOW CONSPIRACY. The aliens are preparing us for theie presence.

Okay, let’s buy that for the moment.

Next the “Foo Fighters” of World War II: Allied pilots reported sighting mysterious disk-shaped objects trailing or flying alongside their B-17s during bombing missions. The sightings were numerous and there was no cause to believe anyone was fabricating anything. However, as to what the “Foo Fighters” actually were is questionable. Due to the consistent description of their behavior, there is every reason to believe the sightings were the result of some laws of light and motion-physics which eludes us. But nothing eludes the authors of THE RAINBOW CONSPIRACY. According to them, the “Foo Fighters” were developed by the Nazis with the aid of extraterrestrial intelligences (ETIs). We are left to infer that the ETIs, backed by a long tradition of hiding out in various secret societies until just the right moment, were aiding the war effort of the Nazis, who loved secret societies. The only hang-up was that when the Nazis built the “Foo Fighters” they neglected to add weapons–not a cannon, not a pistol, nothing. Not even a noise maker that went “boommm” or–especially terrifying at 15,000 feet above the earth–a little sign that flashed “Foo Boo!” as it sped away.

Finally, the Philadelphia Experiment: This experiment may or may not have taken place. Supposedly designed to make a ship invisible, according to Brad Steiger and Sherry Hansen Steiger, the experiment succeeded. But the consequences were too great for the Navy. Those sailors participating in the experiment who did not die outright had other problems. But the authors go back ten years prior to the actual experiment. In 1933, Project Rainbow was started at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton University. According to the authors, some of the scientists involved in the project, most notably Nicola Tesla (who died in 1943), had been in contact with ETIs for some time. Nicola Tesla is supposed to have arranged a meeting between President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the ETIs. The meeting took place “somewhere in the mid-Pacific” onboard the Pennsylvania in 1934. A treaty was signed. The result of the “mutual noninterference” treaty was that “our country’s sciences enjoyed a remarkable acceleration of theory and application”. What did the ETIs get out of the deal? With the Philadelphia Experiment’s use of gigantic magnetic and high voltage electric fields, they were able to trick us into unwittingly opening “a massive hole in hyperspace”. (This whole line of exposition vaguely reminds me of an episode in the Superman series when Superman, played by the ever efflorescent George Reeves, had to deal with a similar dastardly deed. Or were those the mole people trying to open a hole from the center of the earth? Yeah, it does gets confusing.)

So, there you have it. THE RAINBOW CONSPIRACY. We are surrounded by superior intelligences from other worlds, our country and the entire earth was sold-out by FDR and the Democrats for the price of an atomic bomb, a rocket engine and the formula for Teflon. Who you gonna call? Don’t call me. I’m looking for an ETI to reimburse me for the price of the book. Surely if they can wily-nilly crash flying saucers in Roswell, New Mexico they can afford $4.99 cent to maintain either my good will or my indifference.


FBN: Federal Bureau of Narcotics – Book Review

FBNby: Michael D. Leonard

Publisher: Library Publication Corporation

Copyright: 1988, ISBN: 0942677005

Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by: Lynard Barnes, November 5, 1994


Summary: A novel about illicit drug trafficking with a hint of how little men became big men.

Reprinted from Crushies Book Review, November 1994 Volume I, Issue No. 5:

A story can be driven by character, by circumstance or both. FBN, squarely fits in the latter category. The circumstance is the Southeast Asian heroin trade. FBN gives us a hint of a history rooted in the Vietnam War; of CIA agents turned lose to ply the skills of their trade for self-interest rather than national interests; of southeast Asian warlords having discovered the machinery of modern warfare, freed to apply those machines to the new art of building drug empires. From this cauldron of defeated men brutally mixed with the grandiose dreams of truly little men comes true evil.

It is in conjuring this murky atmosphere between the forces of good and evil, between right and wrong that FBN is at its best. The division is not a demarcation line but, as in real life, a twilight zone. From the shadows emerges the antagonist, from the light the protagonist. Their drama is played out in the conscience of the reader. FBN draws the reader into the struggle by telling what happens.
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