Brangelina: On the Shoulders of Giants

by |January 25, 2010

News of impending doom?

How glorious!

What timing!

– Cut from the distressing plight of thousands to shots of the glamorous couple – Brad and Angelina.

In One, Two… Go Live!’

What to think?

Thankfully, the weather-cocks of our emotional response – the gossip columnists and the pretty, unnaturally mobile faces who keep us informed via the television ‘news’  – have coordinated seamlessly, crying in unison – Think of the children!

All ethical inconsistencies have now been ironed out… well, if not ironed out, then vigorously shaken so the creases appear to be intentional… and that will do – it need only be worn once.

So, instead of devoting more time to supercouple Brangelina I thought I would use their names to promote the books which helped pave the path to their success.

As we know, a good actor is a blank slate on which a character can be written, and the success of this couple may just be due to the fact that their slates are blanker than their peers.

The Books That Made The Stars Shine

Brad’s book journey begins with a bit part in the film of Bret Easton Ellis’ novel Less Than Zero, a perfect place to begin a career.

Angelina’s book journey starts with The Bone Collector by Jeffrey Deaver, which was back in the day when she had a vial of her then beloved’s, Billy Bob Thornton’s, blood on a chain around her neck.

Brad’s next book move was in Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It, a role he liked so much he took a very similar role in the film of Jim Harrison’s Legends Of The Fall. (A movie many women remember for the horse riding scene.)

In between these two classic American tales, he was seduced by the dark side in Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire, starring opposite Tom Cruise, who played himself.

Angelina, meanwhile, dug deep, discovering the unstable soul within, appearing in Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen.

Brad Pitt took on two memoirs, Seven Years in Tibet (it felt like more than seven years) by Heinrich Harrer and Sleepers by Lorenzo Carcaterra, which leaned heavily on the plot of one of my favourites – The Count of Monte Cristo.

Appealing to the masses, Angelina accepted the role of a character, Lara Croft, from a computer game – which are the novels of the Bart Simpson generation (ie: forever ten generation); then returned to memoir with the powerful A Mighty Heart by Mariane Pearl.

In the same year she took part in the telling of Beowulf in 3-D, something that the classic text was screaming out for.

After the brilliantly disturbing Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk, Brad also went time travelling, donning the armour of Achilles, in the film of Bart’s father’s famous epic, The Iliad – Troy.

Brad rounds off his literary partnership with one of the greats of modern American writing – the glamour boy of his time – F. Scott Fitzgerald. Brad plays Benjamin Button in the film of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, whose passage from youth to old age is reversed, which signified something deep, I’m sure. However, there was controversy as the film borrowed heavily from a lesser known work – The Curious Case of Demi Moore.

Rumoured future literary collaborations include Angelina as Kay Scarpetta from Patricia Cornwell’s crime series and for Brad, it’s back to Ancient Greece for The Odyssey hopefully playing Odysseus. But who might play the patient Penelope?

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About the Contributor

While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. ​Now, as the Director of Books at, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.

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