The Screenplay-novel Manifestos

Less is more vivid

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

TRUTH MARATHON -- outline and context

[This is the opening of the outline of TRUTH MARATHON]:

TRUTH MARATHON works on several levels.

On the one hand, it's a social novel: Paul, the protagonist, works on contract. And although as an educated individual with a professional job he is supposedly a member of the middle class, in fact his life is a near-constant series of crises that result from borderline poverty and lack of job security.

His boss hates him. His apartment has rats. His father -- a genial, intellectually gifted individual diagnosed with schizophrenia (he is on medication) -- lives on welfare, spending his days conducting "research" into what he terms "some of the greatest stories never told". On top of this, Paul's mother, who many years ago divorced his father, can't seem to let the relationship go. Unfortunately, the way she expresses her concern is through nagging. The particulars of his life aside, Paul is emblematic of what so many people nowadays live through. In short, Paul is an Everyperson of 21st Century society.

But the novel is also a love story about Paul's relationship with an Korean-Canadian co-worker named Sarah. Sarah is beautiful -- no, she's extraordinarily beautiful, and the pull Paul feels toward her is irresistable. But Sarah also has the capriciousness of the beautiful, and it doesn't help that she is possibly alcoholic.

Sarah's gotten under his skin. Paul loves her ardently, without restraint. Paul has had girlfriends before. But not like this. And so, when she denies that she has a drinking problem, Paul, besotted, tries to keep up with her degree of alcohol consumption rather than bring her back to his level. And in the midst of all this, his problems with work and parents just increase.

But TRUTH MARATHON has an extra element, and that is history: at the heart of Paul's relationship with his father and also his relationship with Sarah are two of the great mysteries of the 20th Century: How could Pearl Harbor and the Korean War have happened the way they did? How could sneak attacks of such devastating magnitude not been foreseen?...

to read more, click here


Post a Comment

<< Home