Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Please Note: I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review. This does not influence the opinions of my review in any way.
Synopsis (From GoodReads):
New York Times bestselling author Gavin Edwards, like the rest of us, has always been fascinated with Bill Murray in particular the beloved actor s adventures off-screen, which rival his filmography for sheer entertainment value. Edwards traveled to the places where Murray has lived, worked, and partied, in search of the most outrageous and hilarious Bill Murray stories from the past four decades, many of which have never before been reported. Bill once paid a child five dollars to ride his bike into a swimming pool. The star convinced Harvard s JV women s basketball team to play with him in a private game of hoops. Many of these surreal encounters ended with Bill whispering, No one will ever believe you into a stranger s ear. But "The Tao of Bill Murray" is more than just a collection of wacky anecdotes. This volume puts the actor s public clowning into a larger context, as Edwards distills Murray s unique way of being into a set of guiding principles. A sideways mix of comedy and philosophy, full of photo bombs, late-night party crashes, and movie-set antics, this is the perfect book for anyone who calls themselves a Bill Murray fan which is to say, everyone.
I am a huge fan of Bill Murray. He seems like a fun, spontaneous person, so I was really excited to read this. But as much as I adore a good anecdote, I can't recommend this book.
The book starts out with a pretty generic narrative of Bill Murray's background. While this was informative (I had no idea he was one of nine children), it was not very exciting. The book does get really interesting when it starts to show examples of the "Tao" (or philosophy) of how Bill Murray lives his life.
Gavin Edwards is a journalist and one can tell that these anecdotes have been researched and vetted for authenticity. Even as these stories appear fanciful, they seem believable. Some of my favorite stories is of Bill Murray spontaneously attending regular people's parties. He appears to put people at ease and has fun with everyone, not just famous or beautiful celebrities.
Unfortunately, these stories all follow a predictable narrative: people go about their regular routines, Bill Murray shows up, and jollification ensures. They never really go into why he does this. Sometimes I cynically thought perhaps Bill Murray just loves attention. Who wouldn't enjoy adoring fans fawning over them at every turn. But doesn't this get tiresome after a while? It would have made for a far more fascinating book if the author could have interviewed Bill and had him explain his motives (and his reactions to his fans) himself.
The book really falls off the rails when, halfway through the book, the author begins to list EVERY movie Bill Murray has ever appeared in. I was very tempted to just skim through the book at that point (one would have to be a super fan to care about Bill's cameo in Get Smart). But I thought maybe there could be a little gem of a story that I might miss, if I did. But I found the entries tedious, and encyclopedic.
If you are a rabid fan of Bill Murray, I think you will love this book. But for most people, this tome will not be worth reading. If you really want to hear stories about Bill Murray, I suggest perusing the Internet. I'm sure there are many more tales that will confirm the awesomeness of Bill Murray.
Release Date: September 20th, 2016
Format: ARC E-Book
Recommendation: This book is only for super fans of Bill Murray. Otherwise this is a drawn out manual of how Bill Murray is a irreverent, mischievous rascal. But I knew that already!