More than 300 fascinating stories of the real people behind iconic fictional charactersfrom the neighborhood suicide who inspired Tolstoy to write Anna Karenina to the X-Men characters inspired by MLK and Malcolm X
"Why waste time with this insignificant and irrelevant part of the book when you could be discovering the story of who JD from Scrubs was based on?" from the foreword
Did you know that the inspiration for Rocky Balboa once lost at wrestling to Andre the Giant? That Ali G was actually based on a real, white, middle-class Jamaican-accented hip hop DJ? Or that most of the main characters in To Kill a Mockingbird were inspired by Harper Lee's own family, neighbors, and an innocent man, Walter Lett, who was sentenced to death? Eamon Evans has tracked down extraordinary and entertaining examples of real-life people who helped inspire classic novels, movies, and television. Find out who the basis was for Lois Lane, AbFab's Eddie Monsoon, the Simpsons' Mr. Burns, Charlie Brown, Will and Grace, Porgy and Bess, Professor Snape, Boogie Nights' Dirk Diggler, Betty Boop, Sally Bowles, Dr. Strangelove, and many other iconic characters.
Eamon Evans is a Melbourne-based author who has spent all his working life writing for the online and print media. He has written four books: Small Talk, The Godfather Was A Girl, Lord Sandwich And The Pants Man and Grand Slams Of Tennis.
His work has appeared in the SUNDAY HERALD SUN, the ADELAIDE ADVERTISER, the AUSTRALIAN BOOK REVIEW, the SUNDAY TIMES and the COURIER-MAIL.
Online, he has been an in-house writer for Big Pond Sport, SBS, ArtsHub, the Weekly Book Newsletter and the electronic bulletin of the International Federation of Arts Council and Culture Agencies.
A good book to dip in and out of when you just want to spend a quick half an hour reading. Interesting where some of the characters have come from, and others were fairly obvious and well known already. The author is very sarcastic about various films and books, which I feel sometimes spoils the character he is explaining but then other times enhances the story behind the inspiration. Although the chapters do split the characters into some sort of order, the actual chapters themselves don’t have any conceivable order which I feel might make it easier to read (maybe alphabetised or in chronological order of when the character first appeared?). Overall, it was ok to waste a few hours and I found some of the stories behind famous characters interesting.
Good for reading on a plane, or for the coffee table. The author has a sharp sense of humour, and there is a good range, from the classics we all know about to some lesser-known, and more recent. I liked the quote from the guy JD from Scrubs was apparently based on - 'I distinctly remember our conversation. He said: "JD, if you would entrust me with all of your mistakes, misadventures and gaffes during your residency, I promise no-one will know it was you." So I did. Bill promptly named the main character after me. Then he sent the NBC press corps and USA Today over to interview me about what a bumbling intern I was. So much for anonymity.'
This book isn't complicated or deep, but it's full of interesting facts about historical figures. Sometimes the inspiration for characters was a bit stretched or banal, but a lot of times I learned something new. This would make a good "bathroom reading" book.