film, chris colfer, glee, struck by lightning, film/book tie in, kurt hummel, coming of age, book, LGBT, LGBTQ

Chris Colfer is: Struck By Lightning

Chris Colfer, New York Times bestselling author, Golden Globe winner 2011, GALECA winner Dorien award tv comedy award, three times winner of the People's Choice best comedy tv actor, Screen actors awards winner best ensemble and two times Teen Choice award winner. Probably most famous for his role as Kurt Hummel on Glee for all six seasons, as well as the 3d concert movie. Walking the hallways getting slushies thrown in his face every single day on-screen, or being dumpster dived by the football team for being the only openly gay kid at the school. Bottom of the social ladder, but still dishing back as much as he can with his witty come backs. Such as :Sometimes it’s hard to appreciate what a good singer you are because all I think about is shoving a sock in your mouth. Or Sorry, uh, but if I wanted to sing about Jesus I'd go to church. And the reason I don't go to church is because most churches don't think very much of gay people. Or women. Or science.

Over the seasons we watched the boy and the character growing up, dealing with all the usual teenage problems. Gay hate, depression, drinking to escape the pain, love and lack of it from his friends. Years of them never looking beneath the surface of what was wrong with him, until after his father ended up in hospital very ill. Dealing with sexual assault, and every form of bullying you can imagine. Until the later seasons where he finally gains a boyfriend, a place in NYADA and eventually a husband. The character of Kurt became the picture perfect of 'it gets better', as he went from social outcast waster, to perfect happy families. Giving love and support to millions of teenagers (gay and straight) over the world.

With Glee now turned its final page, Chris will never (and hopefully doesn't want to ever) leave Kurt Hummel behind him after giving him one of his biggest breaks. However I wonder just how many of his fans realise just how much work he has done outside of Glee? His Land Of Stories children's book series, just had the fourth book publish this month heading up a short book signing tour. Voice over in Marmaduke, Tony Chase in two episodes of Hot In Cleveland, as well as playing Kurt Hummel in The Cleveland Show (voice only). Pre production in a Noel Coward film as the title character.

Then there is Carson Phillips in Struck by Lightning, a movie/book tie in. Original book written by Chris, produced and starring in as the title character. I picked the book up thinking oh just another teen rom com nonsense. I couldn't be more wrong and I freely admit that. I found myself in the middle of a very gripping book, about a young man in high school single-handedly running the school newspaper because no one else cares to do anything about it. A boy from a broken home, his father left when he was young leaving his mother as a medicated depressed woman, constantly drunk try to cope with her loss. Carson is the lowest of the low at his school, everyone hates him. He is a smart mouthed sarcastic child, who doesn't make any friends and freely admits he is one of the only students at the school with an IQ larger than his shoe size. Even fighting with his teachers that he feels their lessons are unimaginative and uninteresting. He will do whatever it takes to escape Clover (population 9525, described as go to the corner of nothing and nowhere and make a left.) , to get to Northwestern University, become a journalist with the New York Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune and finally editor of the New Yorker.

Pressuring his guidance counselor to find out if he has been admitted or not too impatient to wait. She tells him that school newspapers just aren't enough to impress on entry forms, so he would need to start a literary magazine to be submitted as extra credit. With his only friend Malerie (later played by Rebel Wilson in the movie, better known for her role as Fat Amy in Pitch Perfect) he starts on a plan to blackmail the entire group of popular students to write for him. Using everything he has learned over the years about their shady backgrounds. Such as blackmailing the two gay boys to not release that they are gay. Anything to live his dream!

The book on its own is a very well written piece, highly enjoyable. Full of the classic 'Kurt Hummel' one liners we would expect. Leading me to believe both Carson and Kurt are based strongly on Chris's personal experiences growing up. Still young enough that being gay would have carried a huge stigma through most of his school life. Perhaps acting, writing and sarcasm helped him cope with growing up? My personal favourite line from the whole story is the following taken from when Carson is trying to get people to write for the newspaper and no one is biting.

Young people today are only interested in writing as long as it is 140 characters or less!

Working for this entertainment site, and writing myself to be published, knowing many people who 'want' to be real published authors yet never seem to do a single thing to get to that stage. They just seem to think stardom and a writing contract should be dropped in their lap with no real effort made to secure one. I have to agree wholeheartedly with Chris's comment there!

Most book to film converts leave a lot to be desired, however this one with Chris working so closely on board I have to say that it is NOT in the slightest bit a disappointment. However it manages to accent many of the pieces of the storyline the book only glazes over. Including Carson getting deeper and deeper into the lives of those around him he has hated for so long as he blackmails them. Starting to almost care about the people, to want to help them. It also adds a little extra to the ending of the story, making it more comfortable to the eye given the dark subjects covered here. For a girl who loathes anything 'chick flick' or 'teen movie' I wholeheartedly say I love this piece movie or book version. You have to get a copy of it right now! Easily available on all book/movie sites to buy.

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Sarah Beth James