October 6 Lab

Warmup Exercise: Interview

1. My version of this novel focuses on the evolution of the main character, Lionel. Throughout the novel, Lionel experiences a lot of change and I find that this aspect of the novel is what we should see as most pertinent. At first, Lionel is delicate and he loses his mentor suddenly. This causes Lionel to change, but not in the way you would think; he has a new sense of empowerment due to his new mission: finding Minna’s murderer. You can see that he starts showing a lot more confidence and self-acceptance, which by the end of the novel is the only thing he is left with and he is comfortable with this.

2. The challenges in adapting this novel is that there is a strong presence of narration, and if we are focusing on the main character’s evolution as a person, then we would tend to focus on those parts of the novel. This can be a particular aspect of this movie, which most likely be presented with the help of a narrator: Lionel. The vision is to incorporate a lot of voice-overs in this movie.

3. Lionel is such a compelling character, because he is easy to relate to. I am not saying that most people have Tourette’s, but his illness represents his main weakness, and we all have one of those. His transformation into this strong character inevitably makes us feel that we, too, are destined to much more and that we can overcome our weakness just like he did.

4. I hope people will get the idea behind my adaptation, since it represents everyone’s journey to becoming the person that they were meant to be. We all feel like an outsider at some point or another and this movie relates to those passages in our lives; showing us that we can overcome anything and that we can always grow as a person. We need to get a sense of admiration towards Lionel and not a sense of pity, which could easily be misinterpreted when adapting such a strong novel to the movie screens.


Task One: Logline

Logline: A detective with Tourette’s syndrome goes on a quest to find his mentor’s murder. As he is seeking vengeance for his best friend, the detective’s inner conflict is what leads him on the path of growth; he becomes the person he was always meant to be.

When his boss is murdered, Lionel must find the killer and seek vengeance, or else the memory of his mentor will forever be tarnished.

  1. In the end, Lionel seems to be where he started off in the novel, but what difference is now forever embedded in him?
    – he has a new sense of self-acceptance.
  2. What does his relationship with Kimmery bring to his self-growth, and what is his reaction to it?
    – he learns that it is possible for others to accept him and love him for who he really is, which makes him more accepting of his condition.
  3. The element of vengeance seems to drive Lionel into becoming this confident person, what about this aspect makes him stronger, rather than weak and angry?
    – vengeance brings some sort of calming element to Lionel; we can feel that he is not angry nor weak, because he wants to find justice for the person that “gave him life”.
  4. In the beginning of the novel, Lionel seems to be defined by his Tourette’s. In what ways does his Tourette’s is described as defining him?
    – people around him treat him like his Tourette’s defines him, rather than as his own human being and personality.
    – he is also used at his job for tasks that the others are too lazy to do but that his Tourette’s allows him to do instinctively.

Task Three

  • “Minna and I had been in a joke-telling contest since I was thirteen years old, primarily because he liked to see me try to get through without ticcing. It was rare that I could” (25)
  • “Its an itch at first. Inconsequential. But that itch is soon a torrent behind a staining dam. Noah’s flood. That itch is my whole life.” (2)
  • “tics and obsessions kept the other Minna Men amused, but also wore them out” (5)
  • “ (…) the Minna brothers are a part of me deep in my grain, deeper than mere behavior, deeper even in regret, Frank because he gave me my life and Gerard because , though I hardly knew him , I took his away “(Lethem , 310)
  • “Instead I rang the doorbell. No answer. Then four more times, for a total of five, and I stopped, startled by a sense of completeness.” (Lethem 135).
  • “I’m a guy who needs to know things, Walter, and I’m in a hurry” (133)
  • “Instead I’d woken into the realization that I was Minna’s successor and avenger, that the city shone with clues. It seemed possible I was a detective on a case.” (Lethem 132)
  • “You can walk from here, gofuckacop”. (124)
  • “remembered the name Irving, but didn’t say anything” (Lethem 94)
  • “let Danny sleep, let Gilbert wait in his cell, let Tony be missing. I’d go to the Zendo” (132)
  • “I felt a thrill at being taken so seriously. This making the rounds without Gilbert could get to be a habit. For once I was playing lead detective instead of comic – or Tourettic – relief.” (143)
  • “Disappointment had crept over me, impossible to justify or perfectly define. I suppose I’d imagined us in Kimmery’s childlike foyer, her West Side tree house, and three cats hiding. But now I understood she was rootless, alienated in this space” (Lethem 213)
  • “No, but I mean strange in a good way, too” ( 211).
  • “Kimmery leaned against me as if we were still in the cab. I didn’t need the support to stand anymore, but I didn’t stop it from happening” (Lethem 206)
  • “[Lionel] wasn’t ticcing much, for a couple of reasons. The first was Kimmery herself, still an unprecedented balm to [him] this late in the day…” (Lethem, 211)
  • ” She’s different from anyone I’ve ever met,” ( 297)
  • “the new frank Minna” (Lethem 305)

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