Book Review: ‘The Tao of Bill Murray’

It’s no big secret among my friends and family members (and fellow geek dads) that I’m a huge fan of Bill Murray. I’ve enjoyed his movies for decades, and I try to catch any and all appearances on talk shows that he makes. Fans of Mr. Murray know that he is as unpredictable as they come, and we live for those moments when he catches an individual or group off guard. Tales have been shared forever about his escapades, especially those times when he just shows up somewhere, does something unexpected, and then disappears fast.

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Last year, I reviewed a book called The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray from Quirk. It was an A-to-Z-style review of his various appearances in movies and TV with stories scattered throughout of Mr. Murray’s antics. The book was a great treat, and I figured that was probably all we fans could get on the man. Well, Gavin Edwards has proved me wrong with his new book titled The Tao of Bill Murray: Real-Life Stories of Joy, Enlightment, and Party Crashing. This 330+ page book releases on September 20, 2016, and Bill Murray fans are going to love all the new stories and anecdotes about Mr. Murray.

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After the 36-page Introduction (and every page of that condensed bio is worth reading), the book is broken into the Ten Principles of Bill, each a nod to a particular Murray-lifestyle that’s been observed. The Third Principle, Invite Yourself to the Party, is a good example — stories about Mr. Murray dropping in on weddings, bachelor parties, and sporting events (playing as well as watching) are constant. Inside that section of the book, readers will discover some well-known stories about Mr. Murray’s party crashing as well as completely new ones. Nine more principles such as Music Makes the People Come Together (5th Principle) and Know Your Pleasures and Their Parameters (8th) fill the book with smile-inducing tales of Bill Murray’s unique personality and outlook on life.

The final 100 pages or so of the book provide additional insights and observations related to Bill Murray’s movies. Quotes from co-stars, directors, and Murray himself give some amazing behind-the-scenes details of so many of our favorite films as well as those that even Mr. Murray might not always wish to acknowledge. (“So, do you have any regrets?” “Garfield, maybe?” – Zombieland, 2009)

I read much of this book on the flights from Atlanta to Indianapolis and back. I laughed out loud many times, and one time got a knowing nod and smile from the person next to me when I showed him the book’s cover. Murray fans are everywhere, and even my 9 year old sits down with me when one of Mr. Murray’s movies comes… the kid recognizes the man and his talent in making us laugh.

I just can’t fathom how anyone could not like the man. He lives as much as possible by his own rules; this is a guy who doesn’t buy round-trip airline tickets because he prefers to make decisions on the fly. That old question of the three people you’d most like to have dinner with? I’d pick Bill Murray and leave the other two chairs empty just to see who he pulls over to join us. (And Mr. Murray, if you’re reading this — if you’re ever in Atlanta and would like to try some awesome fish tacos, please get in touch. I know the place, and I’ll ask for a table with four chairs.)

You will love The Tao of Bill Murray. Period.

Note: I received an advanced review copy of the book.

 

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James Floyd Kelly is a full-time writer. His latest three books are Digital Engineering with Minecraft, Tinkercad for Beginners and The Ultimate iPad. Learn more by visiting his website http://jamesfloydkelly.com