Did Peter Pan Inspire This Gay Prostitute Turned Novelist?

Andrew Cristi, author of the suicide-note-turned-novel Peter Pandrew, bashes Lady Gaga, Anne Hathaway, and American mediocrity.

BY Savas Abadsidis

February 27 2013 5:00 AM ET

Who are your biggest literary influences?
Well, I cannot possibly answer this question without referencing J.M. Barrie [the author of Peter and Wendy, the story behind Peter Pan). His work provided such a fantastic metaphor for this story that I really don't know if it could have been told without it. I would really recommend everyone read Peter Pan, or at least see the movie — and not the Disney one — before reading my book. He made one of the most beautiful, rich, colorful anti-heroes that is just so complex and powerful and I really relate to him. And on top of that, he really surrounded Peter with tons of other multidimensional characters. Everyone really has so much going on. As far as the plot goes, what really happens? Not much. It's an endless series of adventures that really end up with all the characters exactly where they started. It's just an amazing character study. As fantastical as it is, as much as it seems like a dream world, it's real life. People don't change. It really was such a great foundation for Peter Pandrew, which I would hope would be looked at as an adult Peter Pan.

As far as other writers, I really love the selfish, decadent worlds of Bret Easton-Ellis and Whit Stillman. I feel like they also usually are all about the kinda shit that I'm about — crazy, selfish, self-absorbed characters that get into a series of self-destructive misadventures that usually just leave them just as sad and lonely as they started out. You know, real life.

I also really get very inspired by song writers. I can't get behind an artist if they are not writing their own music, as lyrics usually have a profound impact on everything I do. Most of the music I reference in my books I am actually listening to at the time and the lyrics all make sense to those scenes. Amy Winehouse, Fun., The Counting Crows, Third Eye-Blind, The Goo-Goo Dolls, Lana Del Rey, Snow Patrol, Florence and The Machine, Passion Pit, Regina Spektor. I mean, I just don't understand how people are listening to this bullshit pop and techno/house/dub-step and celebrating shit like LMFAO. If there isn't poetry and passion behind a song, you shouldn't be singing it. I'll really be glad when country and folk music comes in style and kills the house music scene, cause get ready, it's coming.

What about film and TV?
I just saw Silver Linings Playbook and it was amazing and scarily like my life: over-protective mother, explosive Italian father who favors my condescending older brother, and if the two [main characters; he's bipolar and she's borderline] got together and had a baby, they would totally have me. Really, I'm far more impressed with television. I just think it covers more ground, character wise. I love anything that Showtime does: Shameless, Nurse Jackie, Web Therapy. I was obsessed with Weeds and saw a lot of myself in Nancy, and obviously can relate to the bipolar Carrie from Homeland. These shows are just phenomenal and feature real talent all around. Again, I really think the world is just obsessed with celebrating mediocrity nowadays, especially when it comes to film. We're in a day and age where we can't wait to give Anne Hathaway an Academy Award and say she's killing it, but no one is constantly celebrating Edie Falco for her work on Nurse Jackie. It gives me heart palpitations, I swear. I could really just watch two people sit there and have a conversation if I feel the characters are well thought out and perfectly played. I don't really need a story. I need good characters. To me, it's all about a good character-study.

Tags: Books

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