I was thinking about the power of books in fiction - like, secret journals, diaries, and such.
In the show Supernatural, the brothers found a lot of information, help, and intrigue in their father's journal of his monster hunting exploits. I will say that it got harder to believe later that the father, who was out of the picture so early in the series, had so much information in his journal connecting to the bigger developments that happened later. As far as I remember, they didn't lean on the book so heavily that it broke the suspension of disbelief.
The Necronomicon, in the Evil Dead series, is a book printed in blood and bound in human flesh (yeeeeech!). The passages within have horrible power to open a gateway, allowing demonic monstrosities to come to our world. In some of the movies there's a recording of some seeker of dark knowledge, reading passages from the book. Just playing the recordings can be enough to rain Holy Heck down on us.
One of my favorites, that I bring up way too much, is Back to the Future Part 2. A book of sports statistics becomes a massive mcguffin when it's brought back in time to change the course of history. The bulk of that movie is about the race for that book. Oh La La, indeed!
In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, there is some wonderful stuff involving Indy's fathers “Grail Diary”. Dad was missing for part of the movie, and Indy was able to follow the information Father Henry collected over a lifetime of research. That's what's handy about a “Magic Book”: we get to learn secrets at the same time as our heroes do, because someone else did the work of amassing that knowledge.
There are probably some big ones I'm missing - I guess if I had a favorite, it would be a close tie between Back to the Future 2's Sports Almanac, and the Grail Diary from Indiana Jones.
I'm reminded of a comedic version from American Pie, that had a hidden book full of powerful sexual knowledge. Very funny stuff.
There's great power and mystique in a book, and the idea that hidden insights or answers are out there if we know where to look. When characters find the secret knowledge within, it can be quite exciting.
See you next time!
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Banes at 12:00AM, Aug. 17, 2023
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