1. The Backward OX
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    The Backward OX Senior Member

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    A question for voracious readers, regarding novels about people...

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by The Backward OX, Dec 15, 2009.

    Hi

    I’m considering writing a novel about a guy who, as a result of his general unworldliness, innocence and naïvete, goes through life making a rather huge mess of everything. Marriages, jobs, friendships, everything.

    Think of “Rain Man meets Forrest Gump” trying to make it in the real world, you get the idea.

    And I’m curious about whether this specific plot already exists in a novel. Comedy, drama, literary fiction, whatever.

    I suppose, if we follow the standard layout of a story, this plot would only work if others continually thwart this guy’s attempts at being successful.

    So, are there any voracious readers out there who might know of such a story, and be able to advise its title? I'd like to see how it was done, maybe get some ideas.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Firstly, before someone else says it, it doesn't matter of course if someone else has already written around the same theme as the one you are about to attempt, as your individual skill ought to be sufficient to tell it in a different way. That you are researching similar narratives however shows a commendable maturity both in terms of learning from their endeavours and also presumably from distancing yourself from the very same.

    Anyway, perhaps you could try Voltaire's novella Candide - his massively naive character bumbles his way through religion and politics, but veils a tight sarcasm / polemic in doing so. Good luck.
     
  3. Peerie Pict
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    Peerie Pict Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with Gannon about no subject matter being off limits as long as you write it in an original way. Books about anti heros/losers:

    12 Step Fandango by Chris Haslam.
    Jernigan by David Gates
    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson

    I suppose Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye would be your quintessential anti hero but he is more of a rebel than a hapless loser.
     
  4. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Isn't this the basis for many novels regardless of the genre?

    So off the top of my head I'm thinking the Bible's Book of Job :p and The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler.
     
  5. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    The Frog King by Adam Davies sounds pretty much exactly like this. It's also one of the greatest books I've read, easily the funniest.
     
  6. giskard
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    giskard New Member

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    I disagree, you could easily have everybody try and help him and he still be too much of a klutz to sort it out. Or even nobody paying him much attention at all, and him just bumbling around making an ass out of life.

    I'm thinking along the lines of Mr. Bean, who manages both of those situations spectacularly.
     
  7. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    A Friend At Midnight would be the closet thing that *I* could think of. That's by Caroline B. Cooney. However, I sugguest going to your local library, or Ebay and asking about books they may have about the subject. There's one movie I can think of... Now if only I can remember the title...
     

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