Why I Love That my Book is Similar to “Breaking Bad” –or– Walter’s Cool.

Posted: April 16, 2012 in Breaking Bad, desperate fathers, drug smuggling, fast cash, Quality TV shows
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To say that “Breaking Bad” is a good TV show, is to say that Mark Twain was a good writer.  Simply stated, Breaking Bad is one of the very best TV shows of the last 10 years.

Breaking Bad

I make comparisons of this show and my book, but the quality of the writers that create “Breaking Bad” is simply out of this universe.  The show is intelligent, dark, often disturbing, amazingly funny, and always surprising.

The short scoop on the story is that Walter White (played by multi-Emmy winner Bryan Cranston) is a High School chemistry teacher who becomes partners with a former student, Jesse Pinkman (superbly played by Aaron Paul) to raise cash so that when he dies from terminal lung cancer, his family won’t be destitute.  But Walter is good at his work and, starts to enjoy it.  He delves deeper and deeper into the dark regions of himself and the drug world, drawn in by the cash AND the excitement.

Now the above paragraph does nothing to really tell you about this story.  Watch the pilot.  I promise you’ll get hooked after just this episode (ok, well maybe give it up to episode 3).

My novel, Shades of Gray, also contains a plot line where a desperate father crosses the line and becomes a drug smuggler because he needs cash.  One of the delights that comes from enjoying a TV series (as opposed to a novel or film) is that the writers are allowed to really dig deep into the characters and create content that just can’t be replicated in shorter works of entertainment.  (see also – The Sopranos)   The casts of these series grow in number and in complexity.  It is so delicious!  All I can say is   –   more-more-more !

My main character is John Manning, who is no Walter White (but maybe he could be?).  His desperation is driven by his daughter’s illness which his insurance won’t pay for, hence he must raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in a few months to cover her very expensive procedure and treatment.  Bad things happen.  John also has an interesting partner (like Walter).  The theme of the “partnership between very different characters” is very much alive and well in my novel.  I know that one of the reasons that this theme works so well, is that the contrasting characters make for a very interesting dynamic.  More contrast = more conflict = interesting stories.


I hope you’ll take a look at “Breaking Bad” and I REALLY REALLY want to get your opinion.  It hooked me fast and hard and it sticks with me even now.  What would you do to protect your family?  How far is “too” far if you have the right intentions?   Is the money worth it?







  1. wendy says:

    i will treat to see it, and then i will tell you, thanks for the suggestion.

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