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The Donnie Darko Book: Paperback – 21 Aug 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; 1st ed. edition (21 Aug. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571221246
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571221240
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 1.2 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 57,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Few filmmakers of any age have blended the sensibilities of pop and art so effortlessly, or combined them with such a haunting tale of loss and redemption."--Andrew O'Hehir, "Salon"* "The most original and venturesome American indie I've seen this year." --J. Hoberman, "Village Voice" "[The] kind of movie that calls out not merely to be experienced but to be solved."--Roger Ebert, "Chicago Sun-Times"

From the Back Cover

The critical and audience response made Donnie Darko the cult film of the year - one whose dark ambiguities caused audiences to go back to the film again and again trying to fathom its mysteries.

This book brings its readers further into the world of Donnie Darko and its creator Richard Kelly. Contained within these pages are an in-depth interview with Richard Kelly who recounts the gestation of the film; the screenplay; photos and drawings from the film and artwork inspired by it. Donnie Darko will never surrender up all its mysteries, but this book will be an indispensable guide into its intriguing world.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By D. Cook on 13 Sept. 2005
Format: Paperback
In as far as breaks go, a film like Donnie Darko would certainly be classed as wish fulfilment for any film-maker. A top notch cast, a compelling story... How did writer/director Richard Kelly do it?

The Donnie Darko Book goes some way to offering further insight into how this modern cult classic came about. More accessible than the typical 'Making Of...' volume that often accompanies a film's release, this is a book that's suitable for both those who want to discover more about the film and those who want to know more about the journey of film-making.

Accompanied by the original shooting script and lavish artwork from the film, it is the first part of the book which unravels Kelly's journey from inspired creative to first acclaim at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival, as conveyed in the form of an interview conducted by Kevin Conroy Scott. As you read on, you can't help but get the feeling that Kelly's experiences in life have been leading up to this point. Maybe it's the influence of the film, or is it true that life mirrors art?
"In eighth grade I was asked to do a book report in science class and I picked A Brief History Of Time [by Stephen Hawkins] because I thought it had a cool title," says Kelly. "Even though I could not comprehend it, it inspired me to try... and, as a result, that book has been at the back of my mind ever since."

For fans of the film, that's one of the first series of revelations that Kelly offers into the genesis of Donnie's world, whether he directly acknowledges them as contributory or not. For those keen on the subject of story creation and film-making, there are plenty more. Kelly's influences in these areas are more down to Earth than the gurus that film enthusiasts would normally expect to turn to or study.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Trelloskilos on 6 Nov. 2003
Format: Paperback
I knew that when I got this book, that I wasn't going to get a solution, or a completion of the film. I am a big fan of the film, and I felt that despite it's open-endedness, that it was well deserving of its critical acclaim. Besides, I enjoyed putting my own theories to it and may have been disappointed if the film was spoon-fed to me.
The book is certainly a must for any fan, but not necessarily for everyone. The interview with Scriptwriter/Director Richard Kelly is certainly enjoyable and a good read, but I somehow got the feeling that it may have been lifted from a magazine article.
The bulk of the book is the original unedited script that was written for Donnie Darko. While this will be a delight to many, and while I can undeniably see the relevance of having it included here, it ultimately comes off as a major piece of filler to the book.
Of most interest was the mock-up of Roberta Sparrow's Time Travel book. This is the book's strongest selling point, and the material in it will make you want to see the film again with this new info in mind. However, the pages are scans, and fill 2/3rds of the actual page. This makes for some slightly awkward reading, and it would have been nicer to see them larger and more clearly.
Finally, the book bows out with some images and photos, a few which appeared in "Donnie Darko" and a few more which formed the advertising campaign around London, involving grafitti art.
I was hoping for something more in-depth to the film than this. While the extras are appreciated, I would have loved to see what each actor/actress made of their own characters and their own interpretation of the film, any amusing anecdotes or theories about some of the more philosophical ideas, maybe even a few more enigmatic curveballs thrown in to add some depth to the film - not necessarily an answer for the whole film itsef, but a few more interesting questions.
One for the die-hard fans only, I'm afraid!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Adam on 17 Dec. 2003
Format: Paperback
The Donnie Darko book contains an introduction by Jake Gyllenhaal, an interview with director Richard Kelly and the script itself. Also, there are photos and artwork.
The interview is particularly interesting, revealing some of the origins of the script and the struggle to get it into production. These facts are not on the DVD but still provide excellent material. The script is fantastic and can be read by itself, although accompanies the film very well.
This book is a must for all fans of the film, and contains very interesting material, but I can't help feeling that more could fit into such a book.
Very good, nevertheless.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Davies on 20 Sept. 2003
Format: Paperback
This book goes perfectly with the film, but it doesn't tell you EXACTLY what the film is about - it leaves that open. If you want to know more about the production, and how it all came around, then this is definitely the book for you!!
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This book could have been much more informative and revealing than it is. The interview with director Richard Kelly is interesting,but does not tell me a lot that is new. He seems to have some kind of obsession with the 80s,and this I found annoying and not relevant to a better understanding of the film. Being such a visually rich movie, colour photographs and a larger format would have been an improvement on this. The bulk of the book is taken up by the screenplay,and there is a section of black and white photographs (not very clear reproductions)from the film,and artwork featured in the film.
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Quite a slight 'book' on the movie, it amounts to a short but interesting interview with the director that covers the genesis of the script and production, a few images from and inspired by the film and a few pages from the imaginary book on time travel mentioned in the actual movie. The remainder of the book is taken up with the screenplay.

It felt like they were scraping the barrel to put this book together in a way, although if you were just looking for a copy of the screen play, these additional items would seem like value added content.
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