My Life with Blondie
"Something only a true master of the written word could pull off," were the words of a reviewer, Milan Exner, after reading "My Life with Blondie."
Logline: Harley Davidson has waited 33 years to finally meet the girl of his dreams, but is it all just fantasy?
The incredible story of Harley Davidson (his name identical to the famous motorcycle) began at seventeen, when he fell in love with Blondie. She was an American teenage idol he saw on a magazine cover. For the next thirty-three years all Harley wants is to tell Blondie he loves her. Time goes by and somehow it never happens, but then one day…
…Now fifty, Harley learns that Blondie (inevitably an aging starlet) is arriving in town to perform at a local bar. She has reserved a room in The Royal Arms, the run-down hotel where Harley works as a receptionist. He is convinced his dream will finally come true.
The story takes place on the day of Blondie’s arrival, as Harley frantically prepares her room. It is intertwined with flashbacks from his past. We follow him on his journey – he has two daughters from two failed marriages and at present lives with his girlfriend in a small New England town – to Austria, Portugal, Germany and Vietnam, meeting many memorable characters on the way.
---Harley is someone with a past. An origin shrouded in mystery (his Jewish parents disappeared during the war – Harley fantasizes their tragic end with poetic playfulness), the misery of a vagabond’s life in Vienna, and a marriage to a Hungarian Communist exile named Ilona. Later as a receptionist in Frankfurt he meets his second wife, Helga, an off-and-on cabaret performer. Her parents are American (her father is stationed in Germany with the army), and Harley, along with his extended family, heads out across the pond to the New World. Like his marriage to Ilona, his marriage to Helga succumbs to his one great passion – his love for Blondie. When he flees Helga for the Vietnam War, he is perhaps the only one to return with faith unshaken in the meaning of his fight: he was fighting for Blondie! To him it was no joke.
---The witty and humorous tale of My Life With Blondie is filled with romance, black comedy, fantasy and above all, slices of everyday life. It is a story of a human being inspired by the power of love who keeps his spirit intact against all odds and circumstances.
"TOUCHED BY A BOOK" (reviewed by Mick Mykola Dementiuk)
Hey, drop everything Blondie is coming to town! That’s how Jiri Klobouk, author of My Life with Blondie, begins his comic/tragic novel about Harley Davidson, who has a thirty-three year love-infatuation with Blondie, singer/movie star and lover of his dreams, or so he thinks. Even though they’ve never met Harley now has the chance to finally come face to face with his idol, and he imagines settling down with her for the rest of their lives. But does Harley really stand a chance? And how much of this fantasy is real?
Harley Davidson, yes, that’s his name, is a man in his fifties who has had this infatuation since his teens. Since his early days in Vienna when he first saw her picture in a movie magazine, holding onto the memory through war torn Vietnam, on to Germany where he got married (for the second time), into Portugal where Blondie lived her young years, and now eking out his life but always with the dream and vision of Blondie. Oh boy is he eager and ready for her! Even Harley’s current long time girlfriend Amanda, so he tells us, is just as eager to meet her. Still, Harley claims Amanda is upset because she lost her kitten Tiger and not because Blondie is so close nearby. Well, maybe…
Harley is able to get his old job back at the Royal Arms Hotel, which he calls an old four story flop house but which Blondie is sure to visit, and in between Harley is faced with the daily problems of working in the hotel with his supervisors and fellow employees, who seem to have stepped out of a loony bin.
McCarthy, owner of the hotel, comes back from Brazil and has the handyman Melvin, who cares for the hotel, build a Brazilian rain forest in the owner’s fourth floor room. Besides the gay hotel person Jacques and the chambermaid Ella the entire staff is there. And how they run the hotel, what a farce!
Going back in time Harley was eighteen in Vienna when he got married to Ilona, an older girl whose parents had been tortured and killed by the Hungarians. Harley doesn’t care for her since he already is dreaming and waiting to meet Blondie, who he is certain he will get married to but instead he agrees with her offer of a proposal. They get married, or as another character says, Harley has a screw loose from the Vietnam War. And an old war buddy also asks, “(I)t could be a sign of some kind of mental disorder. Have you ever thought about that?”
Harley was conceived on a Harley Davidson motorcycle as his parents went tearing around Europe at the time when the Jews were being butchered by the Nazis. And Harley finds out from an old librarian his parents were bank robbers desperate to get away from the Nazis. Harley’s life is just as messed up and confused as is the stigma he lives under, being in love with that vague chimera he has never met, Blondie.
Still, he gets married to Ilona but after five years he separates from her and marries Helga in Frankfurt, Germany, a singer who is also a little nymphet escorted by her Canadian parents. But after they have a kid Harley leaves her but she quickly gets married to another man.
For years Harley and his now-girlfriend Amanda have been seeing a psychiatrist, and Harley has high hopes for some kind of cure, but after falling in ‘love’ with Amanda it’s clear that she is as whacky as he is, apparently a bit of a nutcase, as one character says about him. Still they make a perfect couple except that he’s in love with the mystical Blondie, his stigma from the past.
This is a sad/funny, moving novel. You can’t help but think about the guys you see wandering around town, living out their lives in menial jobs, with menial relationships, that is if they have any, and just existing from day to day. Well, I suppose they do have someone to love, for better or for worse. But where is their Blondie? Is she the one that away? I hope Harley finds her in his lunacy, and with a little something thrown in just to make life a tiny bit interesting, much like in the spit and vomit of this beautiful, fantastic happy novel. Hip hip hooray! Here’s to Harley, dream on!
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Lambda Literary Awards
SCREENPLAY: (reviewed by Joshua Carroll)
The premise of obsession and love combined with dark humor and a twisted perspective is a great mix within this script. The ideas are new and fresh along with a curious humor that appears throughout the screenplay.
This sort of weird and twisted story genre has been used before to varying degrees of success. Some people like it, others don’t. As far as this script goes the people that are fans of this genre will definitely appreciate what “My Life with Blondie” has to offer.
The script is definitely original and although it has aspects of other odd obsessive films this brings new twists and fun details that keep the reader intrigued throughout. The reader always kept on their toes by the constant barrage of changing times and characters as well as reality and unreality. All of this works very well and is original.
The structure of the script is well done and makes sense. Traveling throughout the course of Harley Davidson’s life and relationships the reader is never lost when they aren’t supposed to be. The story is odd in itself and within that craziness the structure of the story is complete and well told in a well conceived three act structure.
The story is paced well with the reader always wanting to know what happens next and with the ultimate goal of knowing how it will all end. The flashbacks to Davidson’s life are refreshing because it lets the reader escape into his past as well as look into his future.
The constant travel between what is real and what isn’t also keeps the reader thinking and interested in what is to come. There are no lapses into boredom or too much happening in one particular time. The script is twisted and crazy and tries to be nothing other than what it is.
The many conflicts that Davidson has become what this story is all centered about. His encounters with Blondie, his relationships and other aspects of his life combine to make humorous and crazy conflicts that he must deal with throughout the story.
The conflict of the reader is another major aspect of the script. Should the reader believe what is going on or is it just fantasy? Why is this certain thing happening when it clearly makes no sense? The reader battles with these conflicts throughout the script and must try to make sense of them while still keeping one eye on the story itself as it unravels in whirling motions.
The writer does not try to make this work anything that it is not. It is a dark and satirical love story and the writer does a stupendous job of making that work. It is odd at points and makes little sense at others but in the end that is what this script is all about.
One especially good moment is when hotel guest Arnie Hornsby walks down among the workers while they are talking and shouts “FIFTEEN”.(pg 57). He then continues to walk up the stairs as he is “taking a walking tour of North America, Africa, New Zealand and Borneo” (pg.59). This passage was absolutely brilliant and is an example of the wonderful humor laying within the characters of the script.
The characters of the story are well built and have just enough empathy attached to them to make them believable while keeping the reader at a distance with the insanity that they carry. Each character has a niche in which they live in weirdness and it is in these little peccadilloes that the writer makes these characters what they are.
Within each character there are conflicts, intrigues and moments of confusion that make the reader feel like they both know them and have no idea who they are. This is the point of how the story is written and because of that the characters work exactly the way the story intends them to.
The dialogue of the story is the same as the character choice; it works well with what the story is after. It is odd and each character has a distinct voice that they portray throughout the script. The Frenchman, the animal lover, Davidson, Blondie and all of the rest have their own style of dialogue that separate them and make them more believable characters.
The screenplay is original and twisted. The dark and weird humor is reminiscent of “A Clockwork Orange” and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” which appeals to a specific audience who find such a genre interesting. For the specific crowd that enjoys such a story and the humor that comes with it is a well put together work of fiction.