The modern classic that inspired the beloved movie starring Tom Hanks.
Six foot six, 242 pounds, and possessed of a scant IQ of 70, Forrest Gump is the lovable, surprisingly savvy hero of this classic comic tale. His early life may seem inauspicious, but when the University of Alabama’s football team drafts Forrest and makes him a star, it sets him on an unbelievable path that will transform him from Vietnam hero to world-class Ping-Pong player, from wrestler to entrepreneur. With a voice all his own, Forrest is telling all in a madcap romp through three decades of American history.
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.