TBIMG Question #1 ~ Why This Book?

by Dr. Madhi Obeidi and Kurt Pitzer

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TBIMG Question #1 ~ Why This Book?

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:20 am

Welcome Noodlematras to a brand new discussion. :bounce:

I believe this is book #22! :-O

We will be posting our usual one question per day but feel free to answer or add thoughts to any question at any time. :writer: Ready?



Why do you think Johnny wanted to option this book for Infinitum Nihil?
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Unread postby Raven » Mon Jul 09, 2007 10:42 am

Ok I will be first.

I think this book is interesting to Infinitum Nihil because of the religion, politics and personal point of view. We also can if not identify with the war at least remember it. It is timely.
I will be curious to see how they adapt this book into a movie.
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Unread postby Endora » Mon Jul 09, 2007 10:44 am

DITHOT, that's a good question. I have to say I wondered as I tried with fluctuating success to read the book. Perhaps it's the idea of the individual, of someone following his own path, that sparked his interest? Certainly the Iraq war theme can't have brought back good memories after the press caught up on his comments as they did. But I look forward to seeing what other readers think about this one.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Jul 09, 2007 10:46 am

Thanks for getting us started, Raven and Endora. I think you have both hit on some good ideas. I'm anxious to hear what others think too. It's an interesting choice to be sure.
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Unread postby Liz » Mon Jul 09, 2007 11:32 am

Maybe it is just the subject matter that interests him and the idea of reading an account by someone who was so directly involved. But I have to admit that I am projecting here, because that is what I found interesting about it.
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Unread postby Bix » Mon Jul 09, 2007 12:07 pm

I have to admit to having trouble staying interested in this one, too, Endora. I haven't even finished it, in fact! But I did try early on to think about why Johnny chose this one.

I agree with what you have all said so far. I also think the story has the potential to be a real political thriller-type movie, what with the brilliant minds, the horrific despots, the close calls, the international travel, the smuggling and intrigue involved, etc. The terrible fearful conditions these scientists worked under - not knowing if they would even be alive the next day if they somehow made a mistake or just didn't work quickly enough would be very interesting on screen.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that I think Johnny saw this one as having great potential for all the elements of its story, rather than as a great piece of literature to be adapted to the screen.
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Unread postby ThirdArm » Mon Jul 09, 2007 12:19 pm

Like Bix, I think the book has lots of elements that make for an exciting movie. Also, it would be a way to make political statements about this very devisive conflict.

Should be fascinating to see the film and how they pulled it all together for the screen.
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Unread postby Liz » Mon Jul 09, 2007 12:30 pm

ThirdArm, I agree with you & Bix, that it could potentially make for a very exciting movie.
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Unread postby suec » Mon Jul 09, 2007 1:13 pm

I think the book has a great start: full of tension and that will lend itself well to a film adaptation. Why it was chosen, I'm not sure. Perhaps it is the narrator, who is very interesting in his own right. That ability to see things in a very single-minded way, the purity of his thoughts somehow, in his love of science, but then being placed in this impossible situation and having to reconcile survival with principles and science. It may be his character arc as he is stripped of his idealism. Perhaps it is the presentation of authority that is intriguing. Or perhaps it is the presentation of a totally different country and culture, that is rarely shown in films. But in the middle of all this is a family, innocents caught up in something much bigger than themselves. There are these graphic images of violence contrasting with the family life. But in the end, these are the things that draw me to it. I probably don't concentrate enough on the warning in the book, its message. If I were the parent of two young children, it's a message I'd want to publicise as much as possible.
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Unread postby Theresa » Mon Jul 09, 2007 1:54 pm

I agree with the points you made, suec -- the tension, the author struggling with his principles in helping create the nuclear program, the authority and despotism portrayed -- but I wonder if it was the family aspect that drew Johnny to the book. He has often mentioned the question of what a man will do to protect his family, and this book is a living example of that. A scientist who found himself in the untenable position of helping create the ultimate weapon to be put in a madman's hands in order to save his family.

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Jul 09, 2007 2:09 pm

Interesting thoughts, suec and theresa. suec, I think you should work on the screenplay!
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Unread postby rainbowsoul » Mon Jul 09, 2007 4:29 pm

I was also very curious why Johnny would option this book. I very much enjoyed it but in movie terms it would make a brilliant documentary but I am not at all sure that the story would translate well to a "conventional" for-entertainment movie. Maybe his intention IS to make a documentary?? We don't actually know anything other than the fact that Johnny and IN have optioned the book, right?

I am interested to see what others think.

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Jul 09, 2007 4:31 pm

rainbowsoul, as far as I know that is the extent of it at this time. It's just a wait and see what happens at this point.
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Unread postby suec » Mon Jul 09, 2007 5:20 pm

theresa wrote:I agree with the points you made, suec -- the tension, the author struggling with his principles in helping create the nuclear program, the authority and despotism portrayed -- but I wonder if it was the family aspect that drew Johnny to the book. He has often mentioned the question of what a man will do to protect his family, and this book is a living example of that. A scientist who found himself in the untenable position of helping create the ultimate weapon to be put in a madman's hands in order to save his family.


Good point theresa! It is quite ironic. The man who is protecting his family from a very real & imminent danger, helps to make things ultimately a great deal more dangerous for them.

rainbowsoul, that's a good idea about the documentary. The stumbling block for me with this book is in the scientific and engineering details. Others might find them fascinating though.

Screenplay, DIDHOT? What a great idea. Now that is something to fantasise about. Imagine being a writer for Johnny. :cloud9:
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Unread postby nebraska » Mon Jul 09, 2007 5:50 pm

Lots of good answers so far! :bounce: I agree that the story has all the makings of a thrilling movie, as Bix said so well. I also agree that the story on a personal level has lots of drama. I remember at one point in the story Obeidi expressed his great enthusiasm at having succeeded in some task or another, thrilled from a scientist's perspective at having achieved a goal.........only to have that enthusiasm tempered as he began to think about what his success really meant. He was constantly torn between his love of science, his love of his family, his terror and his honor.........that, too, is good material for a movie.

As I was reading the book, I was amazed at how little of this recent history I remembered. At times it was like reading a work of fiction in which the author threw in dramatic unexpected developments, like Hussein Kamel's defection! :shocked: These events need to be remembered, our past is too likely to repeat itself if we forget. Perhaps that is part of Johnny's motivation, to tell the story in a way that will seem real so we will understand and remember. Perhaps because he has two young children growing up in this crazy world. Perhaps because of, not in spite of, the puppy uproar.

The idea of a documentary is interesting. I like it!


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