“Let’s just call this the novel”, Hollywood icon Tom Hanks tells us during a Waterstones conference as he discussed his new book The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece. The actor says that until he has a second novel, we shouldn’t refer to it as his first. Hanks unfortunately may be right on this occasion, as critics have widely panned the work. Having read and reviewed the novel for NationalWorld, there definitely seems to be areas where it falls short, but we cannot deny the veteran star’s knack for storytelling.
What is Tom Hanks’ book about?
The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece tells the story of the making of a superhero movie. The novel spans 80 years, from the inspiration and creation of the source material to the opening of the finished film. The story begins in 1947, when a troubled soldier returns home from World War II and meets his five-year-old nephew, who is a talented artist. The soldier gives the boy a comic book that he created himself, and the boy is inspired to create his own comic book characters.
The novel then jumps forward to the present day, when a commercially successful director discovers the 1970 comic book and decides to turn it into a contemporary superhero movie. The director assembles a star-studded cast and crew, and the film goes into production. The novel follows the making of the film, from the casting to the filming to the editing. Along the way, we meet a colourful cast of characters, including the troubled soldier, the talented boy, the inspired director, the pompous film star, the tireless production assistant, and countless film crew members.
There’s no doubt that storytelling is Hanks’ speciality, having been in the presence of some of the greatest narrators of our time including legendary directors Sam Mendes, Steven Spielberg, and Robert Zemeckis. And his own Oscar-winning career has spanned over five decades, making him a movie industry afficionado – so he had plenty of personal material he could draw from.
What we thought about it:
“Like his eccentric character Forrest Gump says, this book is really like a box of chocolates because you never know what you’re going to get, including a gloriously vivid tale about the magic that is movies, with characters that appear to lack the same depth as his own quirky roles.”
Read Tom Hanks book review: novel on magic behind motion pictures fails to ‘reach for the sky’ on NationalWorld.
Check out our review on Prince Harry’s book Spare.