Bill Murray is one of those guys, you know? He’s one of those incredibly quirky, wacky and tremendously intriguing actors with a deeply complicated face and an approach to the world that matches that emotive visage. Murray always seems to be a complicated man when you see him on a screen, someone who’s experienced more of life than anyone wants or needs to experience. He seems to be a man whose approach to the world gives him experiences that are larger than life compared to yours and mine. There’s a brain behind those fascinating eyes, and we find ourselves wanting to learn more about that brain as Murray gets older. Oh, and Bill Murray is really fucking funny, too. Robert Schnakenberg’s new book about Murray captures that singular personality in an encyclopedic way, delivering an A to Z list of Murray movies, friends and enemies, all tied together with fascinating anecdotes from the actor’s life. Reading this book, we get a sense of Murray’s often maddening brilliance and eccentricity. Stories abound of Murray walking off sets in boredom, of him, stealing golf carts or wandering into neighboring houses to desperately gain some sort of breather from the tedium of film-making. In some ways Murray comes across as an overgrown high-schooler, even though he’s pushing 60. There are tales of wild drunken parties at Christmas with vodka luges and dozens of Christmas trees inside and outside his home. There are voluminous stories about Murray’s drinking, which makes sense because he sometimes seems a little bit out of his mind. Also, he seems to be a maddeningly odd man, almost impossible to reach except via a select group of friends; he’s a kind of Howard Hughes for the film set, living in his own world and only spending time with people that he chooses to speak to. All that quirkiness and complexity are tremendous hooks for a reader, because as we consume this book, as the cross-cut of Murray’s story flows through the mélange of events that shape his life, we get an oddly rounded portrait of this wonderfully complicated man, delivered in a way that forces the reader to put together the picture and make sense of a shambolic life deeply lived and experienced. There are several touch points that form the basis of our view of Murray, and they flow from the kind of random approach that writer Schnakenberg takes. We see his complicated childhood in a big family, read about his problems in school (it seems the brilliant Murray was too much of a troublemaker to stay too long at any school), discover the astonishing ways that he improvised his way through early film roles, rediscover his deep revelation with Groundhog Day and the learn about devastating divorce from his second wife that drove Murray to even more transcendent depths of quirkiness. Ultimately, this book reminded me why I’m a big fan of Bill Murray’s work: behind the façade of an eccentric goofball, Murray is a smart, intriguing, quirky man who adds a unique complexity to all of his film roles. From his heartbreak about being snubbed for an Oscar for Lost in Translation to the absurdly long list of films for which Murray was considered but not cast, Bill Murray’s life has been a life worth living. And Robert Schnakenberg’s biography of Murray is a book worth reading. See larger image The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray: A Critical Appreciation of the World’s Finest Actor New From: $7.90 USD In Stock Book Review: The Big Bad Book of Bill MurrayJason's Rating4.0Overall ScoreReader Rating: (0 Votes)Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.