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Breaking Blue: The Themes, Thesis, and Colors of Breaking Bad [Kindle Edition]

Pearson Moore

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Book Description

Marie is wearing black.
Your eyes grow big and you lean in closer to the television screen. Marie never wears black. Something’s up. Something important is about to happen. You pause the action, do an online search. “Aha!” You jab at the computer screen: “Black means violence.”
Your online source lists the numerous times Hank or a bad guy wears black, always with pistols or rifles or submachine guns drawn and ready. The fan site congratulates itself for recognizing good guys wear black too, but only when something nasty is going to happen.
You have goose bumps now, thrilled at the prospect of Marie Schrader wreaking havoc, pulling out a sidearm to show the bad guys who’s boss. Giddy, you jab the PLAY button on the remote.
Marie walks into the building, finds the person she wants, they sit down and talk. There are no guns. No yelling. No drama. They just talk.
“What?” you say, upset. “But the fan site says black means violence! Where is Marie’s gun? What’s going on here?” Mystified, confused, you stare at the screen and watch as two people have an orderly discussion.
You know Breaking Bad uses color symbolism and you were hoping to extract more meaning from the scene. You were right to suspect that Marie’s black blouse and slacks were significant. They are. In fact, they're crucial to the scene. Breaking Blue will help you figure it out as no other guide can.
The color symbolism of Breaking Bad is rich, consistent, and endlessly fascinating. Plumbing its depths, you gain far more enjoyment from each scene. When you can read the colors, applying the full meaning to each one, characters and events come alive in ways that otherwise escape you. Excitement builds as you sense a vibrancy that puts you in the scene, bringing immediacy and relevance to every word.
The central idea in Breaking Blue is that each one of us can build and apply our own templates to figure out Breaking Bad’s deeper meaning. Reading Breaking Blue is like putting on stereoscopic glasses: All of a sudden hidden meanings jump out at you, and a once exciting television show becomes a veritable roller coaster ride.
This is the only book you will find that explains the hundreds of disparate elements of the show: The core colors (blue, orange, yellow, green, and of course Marie's purple), all of them tied to central themes: Corruption, innocence, randomness, meaning, self-deception, Karma, and dozens of others.
No other guide makes sense of Hank's mineral collection. In fact, most commentators dismiss this critical Season Four touchstone, labeling it a dramatic misfire. Breaking Blue will show you that Hank's obsession with rocks is central to the plot, and explains the motivations of both Hank and his nemesis, Heisenberg. With Breaking Blue in hand, you will understand every nuance and amazing twist in one of the finest dramas of the 21st century.
Breaking Blue contains every word of Pearson Moore’s introduction to the series, Breaking White. But that’s just the beginning. Touching on every episode in the show’s five seasons, Breaking Blue delivers groundbreaking, at times controversial analysis of every major color and theme, providing fans with ideas to ponder for months and years to come.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4754 KB
  • Print Length: 366 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0615960308
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00I85RAZM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #532,004 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easily digested, interesting read for BB fanatics 11 Mar. 2014
By Arnel S. - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
As the Breaking Bad show ended, I was quite disappointed and I've tried to find TV substitute for it. None was found.

I was quite thrilled when I've realized there are numerous authors from all around the world dissecting BB philosophy in more or less successful way. I was introduced to Pearson's work via his 'BB intro work' called Breaking White. I've read it simultaneously with "Breaking Bad and Philosophy" and I found it quite better in several aspects than the previously mentioned 'philosophy-for-dummies' work.

Breaking Blue is direct sequel, an upgrade of Breaking White. Bear in mind you DON'T NEED to buy Breaking White if you've already bought Breaking Blue because it's included at the beginning of this book. Therefore, 12 points for this book right in the beginning - 2in1 deal, nice one.

Pearson is discussing certain aspects of BB the way they haven't been discussed before - visual impact of the show, unpredictability of color schemes, possible hidden truths behind certain objects that might not attract our attention the first time we watch the show. His language is simple, his sentences are easy to understand, but his message is clearly displaying an insane level of BB obsession. This is not just a guide, it's a spark that will make discussions with fellow fans explode.

Breaking Blue is insanely detailed guide through one of the best shows (if not the best) on television ever. Recommending it to someone who didn't participate in enjoyment of watching Breaking Bad would be senseless and potentially dangerous - I don't want to ruin it for you. However, if you've watched the show, then read this book and watch the show again because Moore's work rips open new set of questions to be discussed.

And please do excuse me for any grammar errors that might occur, I'm not an English native speaker.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Breaking Bad analysis I've read 31 Mar. 2014
By D. Vanduzen - Published on
I love this book! I thought Breaking Blue would continue in the same vein as Moore's book on Lost, but it went so much deeper. Pearson Moore brings together painting, rock collecting, Walt Whitman's poetry, and even the German version of Major Tom and uses all of it to make sense of every color and theme in the show. I love this book because it gives me so much to think about every time I watch an episode. If you think you understand Breaking Bad, if you think you like the show, buy this book: You'll understand and love so much more!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! 16 Mar. 2014
By wolfess - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in exploring the use of color symbolism in the series. Very well done! Digs deeper than most.
12 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting notions--if you can get past the incessant arrogance 2 Mar. 2014
By Zwiggles - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Because I enjoyed the show "Breaking Bad" immensely, I bought Mr. Moore's first book on the show, "Breaking White." I also bought several other tomes on the subject.

Simply put, if you're looking to re-experience the complex, action-packed moral thrill ride that was "Breaking Bad," I recommend "Breaking Down Breaking Bad" by Eric San Juan, also available on Amazon. That book more closely matches the show's tone.

"Breaking Blue" is more of an academic critique, and while its content is interesting, its tone is off-putting.

Author Pearson Moore relates the show to stories involving Teddy Roosevelt, Gandhi, Ernest Hemingway and his work, among others. Though his take was thought-provoking, I had to struggle to get past the man's frequent incidences of arrogance. He talks about how highly qualified he is to discuss the show, citing first and foremost his experience in the pharmaceutical industry. He uses words and phrases like "surely," "certainly," "a better than even chance," and the like, to discuss his perceptions.

Perceptions are just that: perceptions. Nothing is sure or certain about them. And one can't put odds on whether or not they're true. (Speaking of which, how did Mr. Moore calculate this "better than even chance?")

Moore gives lip service to humility with phrases like "there are no truths in these pages." The reason I call it lip service is because the academic criticisms I've read--which this book clearly purports to be--don't include sentences like that. To me it's obvious that Mr. Moore is on some level aware of how pompous he comes off. But despite these hollow phrases, Mr. Moore appears hell-bent on convincing the reader his take is the right one.

In fact, Moore has the arrogance--and to his bizarre credit, even admits to his arrogance--to say his interpretation of, for example, the symbolism of the color white in the show is more accurate than that of "Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan. To which I reply: huh? I don't know about you, but I'd trust Gilligan's take over Moore's or anyone else, and I don't appreciate Moore saying his viewpoint is more valid than Gilligan's.

And to defend his superior expertise, Moore cites repeated viewings of each episode, as well as the sales of his book on the TV show "Lost," as proof that he is a man whose opinions matter.

Mr. Moore, repeated viewings do not an expert make, and sales do not a sage make. Pet Rocks sold well; that didn't make the inventor an expert on creating pop-culture phenomenons, as his "Sand Breeding Kits" and "Red China Dirt" would attest to. The truth, which apparently is painful to you, is that you're not qualified to be anything except a viewer who is motivated to write about a show you're infatuated with. But that's OK, buddy: neither is anyone who writes a book about a TV show.

If you are motivated to write it, that's good enough for me. I'm not sure why the author is so determined to prove that his opinions should be looked it as expert ones, but it sure comes off like insecurity to me. That's apart from his mentions of a fiction book he wrote, proud references to his copyrighted graphic images (which are fine, but in no way extraordinary), and various mentions of how much he knows about making drugs.

Heck, look at the man's biography above. Apparently he has written "the most exciting science fiction epic of the decade." That is, according to him.

Now, to be sure, if you can get back Mr. Moore's stunning and frequent hubris, "Breaking Blue" contains some nice insights. But I would be surprised if a great many people didn't find his tone unappealing.

Moreover, if you bought "Breaking White," you'll be disappointed to know that most, if not all, of its contents has been recycled for this book, including all the references (Roosevelt, Gandhi, Hemingway) I mentioned above. If nothing else, that should be noted as part of the sale. I felt ripped if someone should credit me for the purchase of "Breaking White."

As someone who is a Vince Gilligan fan not only for his brilliant writing, but also for his humility and well-documented spirit of inclusion among his creatives, Mr. Moore's peacock-like ego puffery hits my brain like an unpleasantly cold shower. It's really a shame, because he's got some quite interesting takes on the show.

Thing is, that's all they are: interesting takes. Whether or not he's a pharma expert, or a literary expert, or a graphic design expert, all these would ever be are interesting takes, despite how badly Mr. Moore seems to want them to be facts.

It's the same with any academic critiques like this one. No matter how accomplished the critiquer is, it's just his opinion. And there's nothing wrong with that. My goodness, even media critics who turned into filmmakers, like Francois Truffaut and Peter Bogdanovich, never came up with reasons to validate their right to have an opinion, much less spend page after page doing so as Mr. Moore does.

If you're the kind of reader for whom the messenger affects the message, avoid this book with inpunity. If you can be open-minded enough to forgive the messenger in order to enjoy some diverting messages, give it a read.

Four stars for insights; zero stars for tone.

P.S., March 11, 2014:
Someone who wrote comments on my review clued me in to the author's Facebook campaign to get someone to write positive reviews about this book. I went on his Facebook page, stunned, and interacted with the author, who claimed that my review damaged him monetarily. Immediately after our conversation, first one and then two glowing reviews magically appeared.

Look: I write reviews simply because I care about people who might not have $20 to lose on a book they're disappointed with. You, the potential customer, are what's important to me, period. To that end, consider that my review is the only Amazon verified purchase review. In other words, though I welcome dissenting opinions, I'm just not sure the other reviewers even read the book.
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read for those who want to dig deeper in Breaking Bad 10 Mar. 2014
By Shayne Bowman - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
From Mr. Chips to Scarface. This simple premise was Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan's shorthand for the transformation of cancer-stricken high school chemistry teacher Walter White into meth empire kingpin Heisenberg. The journey in between those bookends became arguably one of the best TV shows ever made.

A show as rich, textured and morally complex as Breaking Bad generates a lot of theories, some crazy and far-fetched, some incredibly insightful and revelatory. I'm the editor a Breaking Bad fan site, the Heisenberg Chronicles, and I've read nearly ever major piece of analysis there is about the AMC show. And reading some of that's almost as fun as the show itself.

I recently finished Pearson Moore's Breaking Blue and found it a fascinating read. In beginning of the book, Moore goes to great lengths to explain that his book is meant to be a starting place for discussion, something to help spur your thinking. It's not a dictation of the "correct" analysis, because there simply isn't one way to break it down.

Moore's incredibly well-read, has an extensive background in chemistry, and cut his teeth dissecting the rich mythology and symbolism of shows like LOST and Game of Thrones (you can find those books on Amazon). Clearly, he's spent countless hours researching, considering and documenting his theories on Breaking Bad. Ultimately, I'm looking forward to rewatching the show again, and looking at it through Moore's lens, measuring his theories, and creating a few of my own. I can't think of a higher compliment.

P.S. I don't understand how other reviewers here call his tone "arrogant". If he was so arrogant, wouldn't he say that his analysis is the only one that matters. I found his tone to be academic & authoritative, but at times, playful & conversational. He's clearly enthusiastic about the source material, and had fun breaking it apart and putting it back together.
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