ADVENTURE TRAVEL MEMOIR
TRANSFORMATIVE COMING OF AGE
20th Century (multiple decades),1960s & '70s
WILD: FROM LOST TO FOUND ON THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL, INTO THE WILD
PAUL: 20S. LEAD. ADVENTUROUS, ROMANTIC, RESOURCEFUL
DOUG - PAUL’S FIRST TRAVEL FRIEND. HE MET HIM ON THE PLANE TO PARIS AND THEY TRAVELED TOGETHER AND FORMED A FRIENDSHIP UNTIL THEY PARTED WAYS DUE TO FINANCIAL DIFFERENCES
OLIVIA - A SWEDISH WOMAN THAT PAUL FORMED A UNIQUE BUT DEEPLY MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIP WITH IN FORMENTERA
ALLISON - AN AMERICAN WAITRESS WITH A BOLD AND EMOTIONALLY CHARGED PERSONALITY. PAUL TRAVELED WITH HER AND THEY HAD A BRIEF ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP BEFORE THEY PARTED WAYS.
GERRARD - A MYSTERIOUS YET HELPFUL TRAVELER THAT PAUL MET IN AMSTERDAM WHO TURNED OUT TO BE A DRUG DEALER, HOPING TO USE PAUL TO TRANSLATE FOR HIM. HE WAS STABBED DURING A DISPUTE WITH ANOTHER DEALER.
AARON - A YOUNG ENGLISH TRAVELER WHO MET PAUL IN FRANCE AND INVITED HIM TO COME BACK TO HIS FAMILY HOME IN NORTHERN ENGLAND. AARON WANTED TO TRAVEL WITH PAUL, BUT PAUL WAS TOO TIRED TO KEEP RUNNING THE FACE.
A particularly transformative time in Paul's life came at the age of 21, when he landed in Paris with dreams of working there and of becoming the Tyrone Power of his day, working in publishing, wearing expensive Italian suits and spending his days moving among the beautiful people there.
Target Gender: Universal
20-25 Countries in Europe & Asia
Based on a True Story
Status: Yes: with a Publisher
Publisher: Infinity Publishing
Year Published: 2019
A young man goes off to work in Paris with only a one way ticket----he meets a writer from NYC and they decide to take the Orient Express to the Middle East to buy much sought after hippie sheep skin coats and bring them back to London to make a fortune.
After many adventurers, Paul hopes to find a cheap ticket home in London---it doesn’t work out…but the ending is a complete surprise.
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Hard Copy Available
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Mature Audience Themes
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Plot - Other Elements
Coming of Age,Meaningful Message,Philosophical Questions
Plot - Premise
Main Character Details
Name: Paul Alexander Casper
Key Traits: Masculine,Adventurous,Aspiring
Additional Character Details
Key Traits: Underdog,Funny,Sarcastic
Additional Character Details
Key Traits: Sexy,Charming,Confident
Additional Character Details
The author has not yet written this
Working from diaries and sketchbooks documenting his “European Odyssey”, saved and protected these last five decades since he returned from his unique quest, Paul brings to life in his memoir a Europe that in many ways no longer exists. The journey he describes exemplifies the dream of travel as a path to self-discovery, and the concept of learning about other cultures and meeting new people to discover your own personal destiny, something that many fantasized about but few actually acted upon. Paul’s approach to storytelling is captured in vivid color on every page; he seizes on details that might go unnoticed by those without an artistic eye. He also has the heart of a dreamer and knows how to make you feel as if you were alongside him on the journey along with his adventures—and makes you wish at times that you had been there.
When Paul, a young man from Chicago, graduates college, he sets off to see the world. He heads to Paris first, but fate keeps him moving. With a little money and the help of lots of unexpected friends along the way, he explores more than 20 countries and has a life-changing travel experience.
Authors Writing Style: GOOD
Franchise Potential: FAIR
Accuracy of Book Profile
The profile for this book does generally represent it well, but the logline implies that much of this book is set in Paris, when it is actually set all across the world. Making the scope of the settings clear in the logline and showing that this is a book about traveling, not about Paris could appeal to more readers.
Draw of Story
The writing style in this book is quite beautiful. Paul has a strong, confident narrative voice, and he's a likable character. It's easy to see why so many people across the world wanted to help him. This book feels earnest, honest, and genuine.
For much of the book, Paul is extremely worried about money. It makes sense that this would be a major concern for him, but some of the passages about money felt repetitive after a time. There were also parts of the book in which Paul described his travels to other people and essentially just summarized what readers had already read. It would be beneficial to trim those passages down, as there's no need for readers to reread information.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
The spirit of adventure is the hook of this story, as is the fact that it's based on a true story. Paul's experiences are incredible and inspiring. Any aspiring traveler would find something to enjoy in this book.
It's tough to say whether an adaptation of this book would have a large fanbase. It would probably have a small, but dedicated fanbase of viewers who appreciate travel and want to see the world themselves.
With the right actor playing Paul, this role could have some awards potential, but because this is more of a travel diary than a story with a clear theme or emotional ending, it would probably not be a major awards' contender.
Similar Films/TV Series
WILD, INTO THE WILD, EAT PRAY LOVE, ANTHONY BOURDAIN: PARTS UNKNOWN
What’s New About the Story
Paul's life is inherently original and unique. The structure of this story is unique as well, as there are poems scattered throughout the book. It would be cool and make this story even more original to insert more of Paul's artwork and drawings.
Paul's affable, easy going nature is instantly likable, but he's still quite pragmatic and realistic. Paul feels like a real, relatable person, and his outlook on the world makes him stand out as well.
Uniqueness of Story
I do think this book is a rare gem for travelers and fans of global adventuring. A more cohesive theme for the story could help it feel like a rare gem for broader audiences too, but as a travel memoir, this project already feels special.
Film - Indie
The writing in this story is exceptionally strong, and Paul's adventures are fun, interesting, and riveting. The story could benefit from a clear theme, but it's still worth considering for all of its current merits.
Beyond Paris is a travel diary, a collection of poetry, and an introspective memoir about one young American's exciting travels around the world in the 1970s.
What We Liked
The writing is incredibly strong in this book, and there’s no question that Paul has experienced amazing things that most people never get to experience. Even for readers who aren’t travelers themselves, it’s easy to fall into Paul’s world and his wide open lifestyle. There’s something cathartic about the way Paul throws caution to the wind and keeps pushing forward. This book also includes a fair amount of historical and cultural information about the different places where Paul spent time. For those less interested in one man’s travel adventures and more interested in the locations themselves, this book also has plenty to offer.
Film: Paul's journey of finding himself and coming of age would make for an emotionally impactful film with a clear beginning, middle, and end. The structure of the book is one that would easily translate to the big screen. The inspirational nature of the story would leave viewers feeling optimistic and excited about seeing more of the world themselves.
TV: Paul's travels offer so many opportunities for television. He meets all kinds of zany characters, from drug dealers to politically passionate Swedish women. He sees more than 20 countries. The settings in this show would offer the opportunity to explore different cultures and tell diverse and original stories. Paul has experienced so much, and a TV show would allow viewers to fully share his experiences and dive into his immersive world.
Key points: Exciting settings. Interesting supporting characters. Unique and amazing experiences. Emotional turmoil and catharsis. A strong and endearing main character.
Early in the story Paul makes it clear why he’s traveling. He doesn’t want to be a hippie and he doesn’t need to find himself. He already knows who he is, but he wants something more from life. At 21 years old, Paul planned to begin his adventures with a friend, but when his friend was drafted, he had to go alone. His time in Paris didn’t initially go as planned. He couldn’t just get a job and climb the social ranks. After all, he didn’t even speak French. But he met amazing people and began to realize that Paris was only the beginning of his journey, not the end. After talking to a German couple, Paul and his friend Doug, who he initially met on the flight to Paris, decided to hop on the Orient Express, head to Afghanistan, and try their hands at starting a lucrative coat-selling business. The trip didn’t go according to plan though, and dangerous, taxing travel conditions forced Paul and Doug to stop in Istanbul.
After some time bartering and marveling at the Grand Bazaar, Doug and Paul booked a cheap ticket on a train to Athens. At a stop along the way, the men, convinced their train was leaving without them, tried to jump on the moving locomotive. They were’t successful, and thankfully, once back on the train platform, they realized that their train hadn’t moved at all. They had almost jumped the wrong one. Back where they belonged, Paul and Doug rode to Athens. Paul loved his time in Greece, but he found himself running out of money. He was almost forced to return home until a woman told him he could simply go to the American Embassy if he found himself trapped abroad. He wasn’t sure if that was true, but it was enough to convince him to stick around and visit Rome. On the way to Rome, Paul and Doug met a Swedish man who encouraged them to hitchhike into the city with him. They did and were delighted when he suggested they stay with some of his friends for free. Paul’s finances benefited until the friends were told they couldn’t keep hosting the men. Doug and Paul finally parted ways, and Paul stayed at the apartment a while longer before he went on his own way towards Cannes Film Festival.
After having several memorable hitchhiking experiences, Paul arrived in Genoa and took a short train to Monte Carlo to experience the Grand Prix. In Monaco, Paul met two mysterious men who he accompanied to Ibiza. He thought they might be drug dealers, but he never knew for sure. What he knew is that they were friendly and helpful to him, but when they invited him to their home in Ibiza, he declined and stuck to his plan of going to the island Formentera.
In Formentera, Paul met a Swedish woman named Olivia, who changed everything for him. He had something of a relationship with her, but it wasn’t official or exclusive. In fact, Olivia often stayed with another man in Ibiza, leaving Paul to sleep outside, often in caves. After a dog that took a liking to Paul caused some trouble in town, Paul hid away in one of those caves and wrote poetry. When he ventured back to civilization, he met Sebastian, a man who lived in a windmill. Paul and Sebastian took LSD together.
Paul then met a fellow American named Bert who thought making candles could be a way that the men could make some money to keep traveling. The plan was quite a disaster though, so Paul made plans to leave Formentera. Olivia encouraged him to come stay with Jack, her lover in Ibiza, so Paul, Bert, Jack, and Olivia spent some time together. That time led to explosive fights though, and Paul and Bert had a falling out, as did Olivia and Jack. Paul and Olivia parted ways with tentative plans to meet up in the future, but no real inkling of whether or not they would ever see each other again.
After Formentera, Paul went to Barcelona. Though he arrived without much money or any real plan, a friendly couple welcomed him into their home and encouraged him to try his hand at songwriting with his poetry. A popular rock group took a liking to Paul’s song and told him they would mention him as a talented young writer to The Doors. Overall, Paul’s time in Barcelona was unexpectedly great.
While hitchhiking, Paul met Allison, an American woman with a big, bold personality. They began traveling together, until they began drifting apart upon reaching Switzerland and eventually went separate ways. After hitchhiking for a while and growing exhausted of traveling, Paul decided he would head to Amsterdam, and then to London, and then back home.
Paul met Gerrard, who spoke little English, and hitched with him to Amsterdam. While there, Paul marveled at the prevalence of drugs in the city and met others at Paradiso, a music hub and meeting place for travelers. Gerrard led Paul to an abandoned building, where they slept.
In the night, police officers discovered the men squatting in the building and arrested them. Suddenly, Paul found himself in jail in Holland. Paul’s fellow travelers tried to scheme and escape the jail, but luckily the officers let them out as long as they agreed to leave the country. Before leaving, Paul followed Gerrard to what he thought was a place to stay for the night, but it turned out to be a drug deal. The angry dealer stabbed Gerrard, and Gerrard left with a friend, leaving Paul dumbfounded and once again alone in a foreign country. Thankfully, a fellow American let Paul stay the night in his truck.
The next day, Paul boarded a train to London. He was, admittedly, very tired of hitchhiking. At the train station, he met Aaron, an English traveler who invited Paul back to his family home in Northern England. Intrigued, Paul agreed.
After spending some time in Dover with Aaron’s welcoming family, Aaron and Paul watched a TV special and decided to hitch to Scotland and try to “catch the Loch Ness Monster.” To Paul, it sounded like a great adventure. They never made it though, and after some difficult travels, Aaron went home and Paul hitched his way into London.
In London, Paul was able to miraculously get his hands on a cheap flight back to the United States. He reflected on his life changing travels and expressed just how much it changed him. When he got back home, he used his newfound confidence to create a publishing business and flourish in graphic design. Paul saw himself as a lucky man in the 70s and a lucky man now.