Gump and Co.

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Gump & Co.
GumpAndCo.jpg
First edition
Author Winston Groom
Country United States
Language English
Publisher Pocket Books
Publication date
1995
Media type Print
Pages 242
ISBN 0-671-52170-5
Preceded by Forrest Gump (1986)
Followed by Gumpisms: The Wit and Wisdom of Forrest Gump (1994)

Gump & Co. (or Forrest Gump and Co.) is a 1995 novel by Winston Groom. It is the sequel to his novel Forrest Gump (1986), and the Academy Award-winning film Forrest Gump (1994), with Tom Hanks. It was written to chronicle Forrest's life throughout the 1980s.[1]

Plot[edit]

On the first page, Forrest Gump tells readers "Don't never let nobody make a movie of your life's story," though "Whether they get it right or wrong, it don't matter."[2]

However, the character is not an idiot savant, as in the first book, but more similar to Tom Hanks' "kind hearted imp".[3] Frequent spelling and grammar mistakes, in the text, are used as a device to indicate the character's deficient education and cognitive difficulties.[4]

The story suggests that the real-life events surrounding the film have affected Forrest's life.[5]

Synopsis[edit]

In 1980, the shrimp market has exploded, and Forrest cannot keep up with the demand. Adding to troubles is that Lt. Dan sells off his share of the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company in order to fund a swanky retirement, and labor disagreements. Forrest comes to the docks one morning to find unoccupied trawlers and is met by no one save for Bubba's father, who sadly reports to Forrest that "I am afraid to say you have been ruined". To make ends meet, Forrest takes a job as a janitor in a strip club in New Orleans. By chance one of the club's best customers is a rough football player for the New Orleans Saints known as "Snake", who used to play football for the University of Alabama alongside Forrest. Snake fears for his career as the Saints are having a horrible season, and recruits Forrest for the Saints. Forrest is unsure of playing in the NFL, citing how the players are much bigger than in college, he has lost some of his famous running ability and how "with all that gear, you look like a man from Mars or something", but agrees to do so on the basis of providing for Forrest and his ailing wife Jenny. Forrest does have a somewhat successful career in pro football, but is soon subject to the tactics of sports agents, which he has no knowledge or care about. However, in the middle of one game Jenny has died. Forrest says he cannot be at the next game in order to deliver the eulogy at her funeral, to which he is cut from the Saints after the management believes it to be a holdout tactic. Once again unemployed, Forrest sells encyclopedias door-to-door, under a questionable man known as "Slim". Little Forrest points out the encyclopedias are inacurrate, but when Forrest points that out to Slim, he is told just to make sales, not check for verification. Forrest comes across a manor owned by the Hopewells upon his sales route. The wife is looking to have an affair with Forrest while the husband is wrapped in his work in research and development. When told to help himself to anything in the kitchen, Forrest sees cans of Coca-Cola but they do not taste like what he is used to, causing Forrest to experiment with different foods to better the recipe. This gets noticed by Mr. Hopewell, but Forrest cannot remember the ingredients added, which causes Forrest to get a new job in Coke's research and development. This proves tiring as Forrest is hounded day and night to recreate the formula. Jenny's ghost appears, telling Forrest this job is not for him as he is simply be used for his bosses to climb the promotional ladder, and his original concoction was a fluke. Forrest decides to feign rediscovering the formula to their satisfaction, and the premiere of New Coke is a gala event in Atlanta, Georgia. People aweingly admire the formula until one little boy says it is awful, inciting an angry displeased crowd. Forrest escapes the fracas by jumping aboard a train in the switchyard, which he rides out into the country. Forrest and his son get a job at a pig farm owned by Mr. McVicker. Little Forrest notes how pig feed can get expensive and recommends using something that no one else wants; garbage. Forrest takes note of how much garbage a nearby army base produces and offers to remove it. To his suprise, the base's command sergeant major is a black man who served with Forrest and Bubba in Vietnam, known as Sergeant Kranz. The pig feed idea soon becomes a means of solving the energy crisis by using pig dung as power, with Little Forrest helping a team of engineers to build the world's first pig power plant. However, on the day of the ribbon cutting, the power plant suffers a "meltdown" of sorts when an explosion leaves the audience covered in dung. Forrest escapes by himself, hopping another train to Washington DC. He is visited again by Jenny's ghost, where he admits the meltdown was due to his failure to pay attention to detail and check the regulator valves. Jenny says that Forrest will have to swallow his pride and admit to Little Forrest that he has messed up, but Forrest protests it may make him a bad parent to do so. Once at Union Station in Washington, Forrest sees a homeless, handicapped man, whom says he is Lt. Dan, who had fallen in with those who took advantage of him and absconded with his retirement money, leaving him bankrupt. On top of that, Dan has become half-blind. Forrest, not wishing to see Dan homeless, says they will work something out. Forrest soon meets with a Marine colonel who recruits Forrest into a clandestine mission to Iran. The mission is discovered, and everyone disavows responsibility save for Forrest, who is jailed. Some time later, Forrest and the other prisoners are eligible for a work release program, to which they are put to work under a "religious rehabilitation" at Holy Land, a religious-based theme park, where all the attractions are based on Bible stories. Due to his size, Forrest is cast as Goliath in a daily reenactment of the famous fight, but he finds the work harmful as he is constantly hit with rocks from the guy who plays David, and "keeps muttering about Jodie Foster". Finally deciding he has had enough, Forrest one day takes matters into his own hand; throwing his rival across the arena. In doing so, he accidentally causes the park's circuitry to go haywire, resulting in mayhem and the reverend to be exposed having an affair with his secretary.

He accidentally crashes the Exxon Valdez, helps destroy the Berlin Wall, and fights in Operation Desert Storm with his friend, an orangutan named Sue (who survived a NASA mission and cannibals, with Gump, in the first book).

He meets many celebrities, including Colonel Oliver North, the Ayatollah Khomeini, John Hinckley, Jim Bakker, Ivan Boesky, Ronald Reagan, Saddam Hussein, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Tom Hanks (who plays Forrest in the movie).

Throughout the book, Jenny appears to Forrest as a guardian angel, and advises him to "listen to Lieutenant Dan." Lt. Dan frequently mentions a fondness for oysters, and oystering re-vitalizes the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.

Film[edit]

A film version has been in development,[6] due to the success of the first book and film,[7] but was delayed after the September 11 attacks.[8]

A screenplay was written by Eric Roth in 2001, based on Gump and Co..

In 2007, Paramount was taking another look at the project.[9]

The proposed film was mentioned in Cecil B. Demented, a John Waters film. In Cecil, the planned sequel for the movie Forrest Gump is called Forrest Gump, Gump Again.

Reception[edit]

Larry King reportedly called it "the funniest novel I ever read".[10]

The publisher, Simon & Schuster, cite a number of positive reviews, including Patricia Holt, in the San Francisco Chronicle, saying it "is a delight".[11]

The New York Times review says that Winston Groom may have created the character of Forrest Gump, but he was a very different creature before Tom Hanks made him into an icon.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gump & Co. | Book by Winston Groom - Simon & Schuster". Books.simonandschuster.com. Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  2. ^ Groom, Winston (1996). Gump & Co. Pocket Books. p. 1. ISBN 0-671-52264-7. 
  3. ^ "Book Review: Gump & Co.". Entertainment Weekly. August 18, 1995. 
  4. ^ "Gump and Co. Summary - Winston Groom - Magill Book Reviews". Enotes.com. Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  5. ^ Delarte, Alonso (February 2004). "Movies By The Book: Forrest Gump" (PDF). Bob's Poetry Magazine: p. 24. Retrieved July 2, 2009.
  6. ^ "Gump & Co. (2013)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  7. ^ "Movies: Gump & Co.". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  8. ^ Sciretta, Peter (December 7, 2008). "9/11 Killed the Forrest Gump Sequel". /Film. Archived from the original on October 21, 2010. Retrieved October 21, 2010. 
  9. ^ Tyler, Josh (March 7, 2007). "Forrest Gump Gets A Sequel". Cinema Blend. Archived from the original on October 21, 2010. Retrieved October 21, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Gump and Co. by Winston Groom - Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists". Goodreads.com. Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  11. ^ "Gump & Co. | Book by Winston Groom - Simon & Schuster Canada". Books.simonandschuster.ca. Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  12. ^ Plunket, Robert (September 10, 1995). "If He Only Had a Brain". The New York Times.