Test Situations or (Ice Cream Brooklyn Beijing Hate)

A.D. Manning

Book Cover

GENRE

DRAMA

    Core Theme

    THIS IS THE STORY OF A YOUNG MAN TRYING TO UNDERSTAND LIFE AND WHERE HE FITS (AND DOESN’T) IN THE WORLD AND COME TO TERMS WITH MISTAKES HE’S MADE IN THE WAY OF FIGURING HIMSELF OUT.

    TIME PERIOD

    Contemporary

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    FIGHT CLUB

    CHARACTER LIST

    • ALEX. 27. LEAD. INTROVERT, DUBIOUS, VIOLENT, KIND, SELF-AWARE, SELF-DESTRUCTIVE.

    • MARC AND RICHARDS, 30’S, AMERICAN FRIENDS LIVING IN BEIJING;

    • ANNIE, 20’S, FLEETING LOVE INTEREST, WRITES ABOUT HIM ONLINE;

    • BRAD, 30’S, BOSS; SONGLIAN, CHINESE LOVE INTEREST; SU JIN, 20’S, NY LOVE INTEREST.

    Logline

    In Manning’s novel, a man finds himself homeless on the streets of Brooklyn as he attempts to escape his past life in Beijing.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 18-34

    Target Gender: Male Leaning

    Setting

    Beijing, China & Brooklyn, New York

    Based on a True Story

    Yes

    Publishing Details

    Status: No

    Starting Description

    To say that Alex is down on his luck is an understatement. As the story opens, he spreads his last $768 across the bed of his rented room and anticipates “bottoming out.” With a stack of monthly bills unpaid, he realizes that something needs to change.

    Ending Description

    Multiple gut-wrenching, entirely unexpected plot twists highlight Manning’s masterful skill as a storyteller. This tour de force captures the intimidating hubbub and toil of two very different cities, along with the precarious nature of urban realities. Overall, it’s an unsteadying novel.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    No

    ISBN

    Information not completed

    Mature Audience Themes

    Sexual Abuse,Nudity

    Plot - Other Elements

    Coming of Age,Meaningful Message,Twist

    Plot - Premise

    Other,Voyage and Return

    Main Character Details

    Name: Alex

    Age: 27

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Complex,Desperate,Secretive,Insecure,Naive,Lone Wolf

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Development Pitch

    This well-traveled author is a writer/director and has written several screenplays. He previously worked for Scott Rudin in New York. Although not directly, this story relates to the #MeToo era and is relevant for male readers. Although the story depicts acts of sex, it is always described in off-beat, character-driven ways. It would require a bold producer and platform to display some of the grittier/graphic aspects of sexual discovery. Not for faint of heart audiences. But also off-beat and funny in a socially awkward kind of way. Dialogue is the author's strong suit.

    Genre

    COMEDY, SUSPENSE, ROMANCE, MATURE AUDIENCE, DRAMA

    Brief

    Recently back from a work experience in Beijing where his heart (and body) was broken, Alex finds himself homeless in Brooklyn, but will only find the light in the end of the tunnel after his own self-destructive behavior takes him to his lowest point.

    Overall Rating

    EXCELLENT

    Point of View

    FIRST PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: EXCELLENT

    Characterization: GOOD

    Commerciality: GOOD

    Franchise Potential: GOOD

    Pace: EXCELLENT

    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: EXCELLENT

    Theme: GOOD

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    There isn’t a book profile page

    Draw of Story

    The quality of the narrative is staggering because it is raw, witty, and sure to attract more experienced readers as well. It is an honest, brutal and surprising narrative.

    Possible Drawbacks

    Women are only seen as objects by the protagonist – and even though that may be seen as a consequence of the protagonist’s self-confessed narcissism, it may be triggering to women readers. More acknowledgement on the part of the narrator could make it more tolerable.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    I would watch this movie because of the many layers the protagonist brings – a good person that sometimes means well but is also violent and self-destructive –, as well as the defiant way he manages to live practically for free in expensive NY.

    Fanbase Potential

    It could have a large fanbase because the plot challenges the way we tend to think about homeless people and the character is a solid antihero.

    Awards Potential

    It could have awards potential if adapted because the narrative is interesting, protagonist is layered and contradictory, and structure of the narrative is bold and ties up really well in the end.

    Envisioned Budget

    MEDIUM BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    FIGHT CLUB

    What’s New About the Story

    There are many layers into this narrative, but somehow the author seems to keep it interesting and entertaining. The structure is also layered – there is a current timeline, but author makes it clear how his memories unfold to compose the character and provide context, making everything come together in the end, when finally reveals what led him to NY. One idea to enrich the narrative would be the construction of more layered female characters.

    Lead Characters

    Alex is a dubious and introvert character that somehow manages to stay interesting and captivating. He is violent but warm; vile but means well; self-loathing and self-forgiving at the same time.

    Uniqueness of Story

    This is a rare gem.

    Possible Formats

    Film: Studio, Indie, Streaming TV Series: Network, Cable, Limited Run / Mini-Series, Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation

    RECOMMEND

    Justification

    I recommend it because the story is original, plot is surprising, protagonist is layered and an amazing antihero. The structure of the narrative is bold, but surprisingly, author delivers it very well.

    Brief

    Recently back from a work experience in Beijing and trying to get over some of his wrongdoings, Alex finds himself homeless in Brooklyn, but will only find the light in the end of the tunnel after his own self-destructive behavior takes him to another low point.

    What We Liked

    The script of this story is original and I certainly haven’t read anything like it. Despite this, the protagonist is relatable. It is a nuanced narrative in which the antihero is both warm and violent; self-destructive and self-forgiving. Writing is also outstanding.

    Film: It would be a great adaptation for films mainly because of the main character and the link he establishes between Beijing and Brooklyn, which evidences not only the differences but the similarities between the two urban environments and how different versions of himself are looking for the same thing in the end – to be loved.

    TV: It would be a great adaptation for TV because the main character is a cool and nuanced antihero, and there are many situations to be explored in the types of life he tried to live. The patterns of the narrative may be adapted to different loglines.

    Key points: Urban thematic; layered characters; surprising plot; original story; antihero protagonist.

    Synopsis

    Alex is looking for a room to live in expensive New York while trying to shake off memories of the year he spent in China; trying to fit into a creative Brooklyn he did not seem to belong.
    He decides to share an apartment with artist Maggie while his financial situation is bad and looks for a job, but options don’t seem interesting. Even though he paid for at least one month at Maggie’s, he decides to hide himself in a church basement and have showers in a gym, becoming officially homeless.
    As Alex begins to calculate how many days he is still able to live in his current financial situation, he doesn’t seem affected and talks proudly about his lifestyle in a barbershop.
    Besides his self-destructive behavior, Alex also seems to have a crush on every girl he meets. Still sleeping in the church, Alex begins to fear being discovered, and is only able to sleep well in parks.
    Alex begins to recall his life in Beijing and his first time with a whore. He also brings to the narrative memories about books he read.
    Alex finds a job in an ice cream company – or we could also say the job found him. As he gets caught in the church he was living, he begins living in the delivery truck he works.
    More sexual memories from Beijing are added up to the context.
    There is a robbery in the company Alex works and suspects are on him, but he isn’t the one to blame. Alex goes into a date with Annie, a girl he met in a café, and she tells him she is a writer and has been writing about him, getting the attention of a considerable audience online. Alex shows Annie that he lives in the parking lot of his truck – and she is scared by his lifestyle.
    Going out with coworkers, Alex is socially awkward. Annie goes after him again and talks about her writing on him, and he asks her not to publish. She doesn’t listen.
    That day he meets a Korean girl, Su Jin, a homeless prostitute. The same day he meets her, he manages to find a place to live, driven by the idea of helping the girl. He loses sight of Su Jin but manages to find her after two weeks to offer her a place to stay. They begin living together and Alex provides for her.
    At this moment, Alex reminds the story of a relationship he had in Beijing with a woman named Songlian, her pregnancy and the miscarriage that ended up their relationship, how he envisioned a future with her to later find out she was actually married.

    Alex continues taking care of Su Jin and they get together; he also finds out that Annie got a deal to turn her blog into a series in LA.
    One day, Su Jin leaves, which he understands as a repetition from his story with Songlian. He brings along the memory of a violence he suffered in China, which made him come back to his mom’s house in Missouri.
    In NY, Alex manages to find Su Jin in a shelter but she is not thrilled to see him. He knocks down a door to talk to her and after that police is after him. In the same day, at the moment he was being unfairly accused of stealing money from his company, Alex is arrested for invading Su Jin’s shelter.
    His mom manages to transfer him from NY prison to home in Missouri until he can be freed, and Alex reveals that in the last time she housed him, it ended up with him treating her poorly and being violent against her; and we finally understand why he went to NY.
    After many therapy sessions, Alex finds strength to begin over in the fact that he is diagnosed as a narcissist.

    About The Author

    No information given about the author in the book.