The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray
Product DescriptionThe New York Times Best Seller.
The man. The movies. The life. The legend. He’s played a deranged groundskeeper, a bellowing lounge singer, a paranormal exterminator, and a grouchy weatherman. He is William James “Bill” Murray, America’s greatest national treasure. From his childhood lugging golf bags at a country club to his first taste of success on Saturday Night Live, from his starring roles in Hollywood blockbusters to his reinvention as a hipster icon for the twenty-first century, The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray chronicles every aspect of his extraordinary life and career.
He’s the sort of actor who can do Hamlet and Charlie’s Angels in the same year. He shuns managers and agents, and he once agreed to voice the lead in Garfield because he mistakenly believed it was a Coen Brothers film. He’s famous for crashing house parties all over New York City—and if he keeps photobombing random strangers, he might just break the Internet.
Part biography, part critical appreciation, part love letter, and all fun, this enormous full-color volume, packed with color film stills and behind-the-scenes photography, chronicles every Murray performance in loving detail, recounting all the milestones, legendary “Murray stories,” and controversies in the life of this enigmatic performer.
Top ReviewsVery interesting and funny!
by McLanius (5 out of 5 stars)
October 8, 2015
This is NOT an authorized biography of Bill Murray. However, Robert Schnakenberg did his research, and did it very well. These are stories about, involving, or of Bill Murray and the highlights of his life. Some of the stories are directly from BFM himself, while others are pulled from interviews of other co-stars/directors/family members etc. etc. There are also detailed reviews of his most famous movies, the roles he played in them, and the importance/must-see "rating" of each film he starred in. Schnakenberg also describes/debunks some of the lore surrounding the worlds best gate crasher (his infamous 1-800 number, movies he missed out on or passed up, fights with co-stars). If youre even a casual Murray fan this book should be in your shelves.
The Encyclopedia Murrtanica
by Brandon (3 out of 5 stars)
September 26, 2015
So when I got The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray, a rare occurance happened in which I had already decided I loved the book before cracking the thing open...then slowly but surely, reality crept in.
I'll start with the good. Quirk Books did a fantastic job with this. The layout, the photography, and how it all came together is a work of art. It's so aesthetically pleasing you can't help but want to pick this thing up and start flipping through it. Leave it out on a coffee table and your friends will indeed ask to borrow it...and possibly never return it. The publisher really came through on their end. I also can't deny that-at it's high points-it's one helluva read. I won't spoil anything, but Bill Murray is one of the most interesting people to ever work in film. Eccentric doesn't even begin to cover it.
Here's where the problems start. Aside from aesthetics and content, this isn't really the Bill Murray book you're expecting and probably not the one you want, either. The author tells you that up front: Bill Murray had nothing to do with this book. It's assembled from articles, quotes, and interviews with people that knew Bill in one capacity or another-but Bill himself had no actual involvement. Nothing hugely revealing or new is brought to the table. Most of the information is already out there on the interwebs, but I can't help but admit it's nice to have all that information in one beautiful package.
So here's where things get super dicey: the format. This book is put together like a Bill Murray encyclopedia-hence, not chronologically-which gives it this horribly disjointed feel. One page you're reading about Ghostbusters, and then a few pages later you're reading about golf, and then that's followed shortly thereafter by Cary Grant. The entire thing is a jumping of topics and time periods. I wondered if some of them were even worth mentioning. Maserati is Bill's favorite brand of car. "Summer Breeze" is one of Bill's most hated songs. These two topics each have their own very short sections. One page you're reading about a movie Bill was in during 2009 and the next you're reading about a movie he turned down years previous. For someone like me who has a pretty good understanding of his career, this was a little confusing. I can only imagine how it would read to a passive fan or someone not familiar with him at all.
Lastly, Robert Schnakenberg's non-objective approach might rub some poeple the wrong way. Schnakenberg gives each Murray film two different star ratings--one for the overall movie, and another regarding just Bill. When Schnakenberg calls Scrooged "...easily the worst film in [Murray's] career," it sort of makes you question the entire system. Take the ratings at face value and watch the movies for yourself.
All in all, I don't love this book; I love the idea of it. I love what it could have been, but there are plenty of anecdotes, quotes, and other factoids to carry the reader through. This is a nice reference guide that can easily be killed in one sitting. A hardcore fan should definitely own this.
Nice book but should have stuck with facts and not reviews
by Tom Reagan (3 out of 5 stars)
January 25, 2016
I love the design of this book and the encyclopedic format makes it a nice reference book. The color photos are great, as are the many side "Tales from Murrayland" stories and other sidebars.
My biggest complaint is that the author chose to write his own reviews of Murray's movies instead of just list facts, trivia or quote Bill Murray and other cast/crew members about the making of the movies. This became quite clear when the author gives "Scrooged" his lowest rating and labels it as "easily the worst film of his career," which is ludicrous, seeing as one of the author's three favorite Murray movies is the Garfield sequel!
I knew that I would enjoy any book about him
by LinH (4 out of 5 stars)
August 17, 2016
Bill Murray is an icon of film. I knew that I would enjoy any book about him. Despite his insanely funny comedy, there is also a dark side to him, and I feel that the cover reflects that duality. The book is not a memoir or even a biography. It covers much of his life without really making it his life story.
If you love Bill Murray, you will enjoy this book immensely, but you won't feel like you learned a lot about what makes him tick. That is a different type of book altogether. Still very enjoyable.
by Deirdre Seery (4 out of 5 stars)
July 21, 2016
I bought this as a birthday gift for a friend, she was thrilled with the book. As other reviews mentioned, this is a fun review of Bill's work and is full of great quotes and images. Makes for a great coffee table book or a fun fan collectible.
Snippets from his life, quotes galore, facts from ...
by Courtney (5 out of 5 stars)
March 11, 2016
Snippets from his life, quotes galore, facts from his various projects, pictures, and other celebrities' opinions and recollections of Bill through the years. If you're a Bill Murray fan, you'll adore it. If you're not, what the heck is wrong with you???
by ribbit (4 out of 5 stars)
December 17, 2018
My husband is a fan of Bill Murray and really enjoyed getting to know him a little more through this book!
Bill Murray , nuff said
by John Wood (5 out of 5 stars)
April 30, 2019
It's Bill Murray, the greatest talent mankind has ever witnessed
I have only looked at like seven pages of this thing
by LD (4 out of 5 stars)
January 11, 2017
I have to admit, I have only looked at like seven pages of this thing, but it's a great coffee table book and Bill Murray is pretty awesome. Even when he's a jerk. Especially when he's a jerk.
by D. Tully (3 out of 5 stars)
October 6, 2015
It's my own fault that I didn't check out a sample before buying. I expected a nice biography of the great actor, but instead have a book-length glossary. The glossary is alphabetical, and so in a meaningless order, and contains repetitive and often irrelevant information. I found it unsatisfactory.
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