The bibliography of Eli: 10 other books that Eli could carry around

While watching The Book of Eli, I was dismayed to learn that the mysterious book that Eli carries around is kind of obvious--a Bible. It is the MacGuffin of the movie, the chief thing that everyone is interested in. Why not some other piece of writing instead? Here are 10 books that (who knows?) might have worked better:

1) Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: 101 Stories of Life, Love and Learning by Jack Canfield and others.

Always a good book for cheering up anyone in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

2) The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

Kind of an obvious choice, but Eli might have liked noting the subtle inaccuracies in McCarthy's gloomy prediction of his world. He also might have found it a bit redundant.

3) Fiasco: A History of Hollywood's Iconic Flops by James Robert Parish.

Eli might be especially interested in the public reception of Kevin Costner's The Postman.

4) The Amazon kindle

It holds up to 1500 books and it is lightweight. With most books going for only about 10$ or less on, how could Eli go wrong with that?

5) How to Be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood by William J. Mann

Who better embodied movie stardom than Elizabeth Taylor? One can easily picture Eli chuckling over Mann's account of the worldwide furor caused by Taylor scandalously frolicking around Italy with Richard Burton (even though she was married to Eddie Fisher) as he (Eli) eats rancid cat meat in an abandoned, derelict house with some dead punk who had hanged himself in the closet nearby.

6) Origami from the Heart by Florence Temko

As it says on the back of this book, "Handmade note cards are the perfect way to show the important people in your life how much they matter to you. Whether sent to friends or family, classmates or colleagues, your origami from the heart won't soon be forgotten." Admittedly, Eli doesn't seem to have many friends or family members after a cataclysmic war reduced the earth to a desert wasteland, but who knows? Eli could have sent Carnegie (Gary Oldman) an origami love card, and the sentiment might have prevented untold gunfights between the two. At any rate, if Eli carried Origami from the Heart around in his backpack, Carnegie might have been less inclined to chase after him with his hoodlum posse.

7) Happiness Is a Warm Puppy by Charles Schulz

Charles Schulz's first book. 'Nuff said.

8) The Apocalypse Reader edited by Justin Taylor

Eli would doubtless enjoy stories like "The Last Man" by Adam Nemett and "Earth's Holocaust" by Nathaniel

9) The Dude Abides by Cathleen Fasani

The Book of the Dude, in case Eli wants to learn of the Coen brothers' version of a slacker/religious figure.

10) The Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley

A reminder of Denzel Washington's earlier, better, and less ponderously mythic choice for a starring role.


Richard Bellamy said…
Very funny, FilmDr. I enjoyed your allusion to The Postman - the Heaven's Gate of post-apoco-cinema. Or maybe that was Waterworld. Ah, Kevin.

Great suggestions here for post-disaster reading. Something juicy like Valley of the Dolls might come in handy too for those lonely nights out on the gray wasteland.
Thanks, Hokahey. I hear, though, that The Book of Eli is doing well in the box office, so it has something that The Postman didn't. More action scenes? Mila Kunis? I doubt that it has much to do with the King James Bible.
Craig said…
Thanks for the laugh. I don't remember much about "The Postman" other than it being the nadir of Kevin Costner's hubris. It takes chutzpah to end a movie with your characters erecting a statue of yourself.
Thanks, Craig. I meant to invoke Costner's hubris. I was thinking of that basic movie star request: "Make me into a God," and how Washington is too talented to fall into that solipsistic trap.

Otherwise, this post is just silly, and I don't entirely know why I wrote it. In an earlier draft, I led off with Dr Seuss' One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.