GUMP & CO. by Winston Groom


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 An infrequently funny sequel to 1986's wildly successful (via movie) Forrest Gump. This time out, the idiot-savant/moral paragon bumbles through the history of the 1980s. Most of this contemporary Candide's pals are also back from the previous novel: The love of Gump's life, Jenny, has passed into a benevolent ghostdom; legless Lieutenant Dan has fallen on hard times; and the father of Vietnam buddy Bubba has seen Gump's shrimping operation crumble. New to the cast is Forrest's genius son, little Forrest, a sometimes sullen adolescent who drifts into the narrative from time to time to hatch brilliant moneymaking schemes. Gump briefly returns to football, saving the New Orleans Saints from a dead-end season, devises the formula for New Coke, then winds up on a hog farm in West Virginia, where little Forrest shows up with a plan for using pig feces to generate electric power. Gump screws this up, however, and is chased by an angry mob that he eludes by hopping a train, where he again meets up with Lieutenant Dan. The reunited pair take up a homeless life in Washington, until Oliver North recruits Gump to join the Iran-contra fiasco. After Gump takes the fall for North, a dissolute Wall Streeter (Ivan Boesky-like) appears and makes Gump the patsy in an insider-trading scam. From there, it's off to Berlin, where Gump starts the riot that brings down the Wall before he ends up in the middle of the Gulf War, capturing Saddam Hussein. Then it's back to Louisiana, where he and little Forrest revolutionize the oyster business. Finally, Gump crosses paths with Bill Clinton, busy peddling Arkansas real estate. Stupid is as stupid does. Guess which Oscar-winning actor Gump runs into at Elaine's? (Film rights to Paramount; author tour)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-671-52170-5
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Pocket
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1995


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