TPAOL Question #31 - Back to Johnny....

by James Meek

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TPAOL Question #31 - Back to Johnny....

Unread postby Liz » Sat Mar 03, 2007 12:06 pm

Why do you think Johnny was drawn to this book?
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby Charlene » Sat Mar 03, 2007 12:21 pm

He is drawn to "different" characters...and this book is loaded with them. He kept reading because no one was ripping their shirts off in the first few pages (one of his rules of thumb so he says)...he could stretch his acting chops with either S or B roles and they were definitely "outside the norm" parts. I guess if I had to sum it up in one word...that word would be "Wierd."

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Unread postby Liz » Sat Mar 03, 2007 12:36 pm

It is definitely a different book, Charlene. And Johnny has said he is interested in why people do what they do (or something to that effect in ITAS). Well, I think we’ve spent most of this discussion trying to figure out why these characters do what they do. And I think Samarin would absolutely fascinate him.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby Endora » Sat Mar 03, 2007 1:16 pm

You'll probably think this is silly, but I did think that Johnny's history of self-harm could have given him an insight into and a sympathy with Balakov.
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Unread postby Lady Jill » Sat Mar 03, 2007 1:26 pm

Endora wrote:You'll probably think this is silly, but I did think that Johnny's history of self-harm could have given him an insight into and a sympathy with Balakov.

No, no, Endora, that makes plenty of sense. And Balahov was the character I saw Johnny in indeed, not the man eating Sam.

As for my answer to the question: At first I say "Beat's Me". . . for the whole book really seems SO DARK. . . but thinking deeper, I suppose its' Johnny's dark side that got rattled when he read it. Ah, the dark side! we all have one of those and at times that side is worth exploring.

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Unread postby gemini » Sat Mar 03, 2007 1:37 pm

It has two taboo subjects, cannibalism and castrates and Johnny always likes to push the envelope a bit.
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Unread postby Liz » Sat Mar 03, 2007 1:53 pm

Endora wrote:You'll probably think this is silly, but I did think that Johnny's history of self-harm could have given him an insight into and a sympathy with Balakov.


I don't think it is silly. It's real.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sat Mar 03, 2007 3:12 pm

It is also beautifully written and we know he admires good writing. Interesting characters with different motivations, odd subject matter, beautiful writing...sounds right up his alley!
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Unread postby dharma_bum » Sat Mar 03, 2007 4:55 pm

Will: “This is either madness or brilliance.”
Jack: “It amazing how often those two traits coincide.”

“The edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over”… HST


The fine line between genius and madness seems to always have captured his imagination. Genius is all about pushing boundaries and coloring outlside the lines, isn’t it? What happens when you go too far, when you go over the edge? Are you squandering you gifts or evolving thinking, culture, politics? Do we need supernovas to move us forward? I think Johnny has always been attracted to charismatic and volatile characters on the page and in life. Samarin is just one more.
"You can't broom out your head. You certainly can't broom out your heart. And there's a hot wire between them, and everything shows in the eyes."
—Johnny Depp

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Unread postby Liz » Sat Mar 03, 2007 6:44 pm

Very well put, Db!
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby Depputante » Sat Mar 03, 2007 6:48 pm

I agree with everything that's been said so far. :cool:
In the first couple chapters, we see the revolutionary pushing the envelope to the edge. Then comes Balashov, a second person pushing it to the edge. Then the escape from prison. All these things I think drew Johnny to the book.

However, I wonder if Johnny was disappointed in the ending or not. Just as most of us are pondering it's potence.

The charachters don't really reach new heights, unless you consider a couple of charachters deaths as a being that new height.
“The scariest enemy is from within. Allowing yourself to be limited and conform to what you're expected to conform to.”~JD

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Unread postby Red Shoes » Mon Mar 05, 2007 12:10 am

I think Johnny is drawn to characters with great depth, characters that you can't understand with just one meeting... and this book is full of those. Samarin is the most obviously "layered", I think, with his deceptions and tricks and confusing view of reality. Balashov and Anna are both very deep, layered people as well and you could know both of them for years without getting close to understanding them. Mutz, too.
"It's good to be different."

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Unread postby Linda Lee » Mon Mar 05, 2007 12:58 am

It is a well written book, with an interesting story and many charismatic characters. It will be interesting to see how it transfers to film.
Serenity is not freedom from the storm but peace within the storm. ~ Unknown

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:34 am

I hope it will make it to film one day. I'm not sure how commercial it would be but that certainly wouldn't stop Johnny from getting it made! :hope:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!


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