This book was everything that I hoped it would be, plus some!
If you're like me, you have a fondness for Bill Murray. You've probably also heard stories about how Bill crashes weddings, or photo bombs people's engagement pictures, things like that. It's true, he does. That's his way. (Which is what Tao means.)
The Tao of Bill Murray contains all your basic biographical information, (William James Murray was born on September 21, 1950 in Illinois. He was the fifth of nine children. He loves baseball and adores the game of golf. It covers briefly his formative years and his time with SNL. He has a bunch of sons and he was involved in their lives as they grew up.
Apparently, Bill can be difficult to get a hold of. He has an 800 number and if you want him to act in a movie or participate in any kind of event, you call it and leave a message. If he's interested, he'll contact you. It might not be for weeks or months, or it might not even happen at all, but that's how it works. For instance, the movies Little Miss Sunshine and The Squid and the Whale were both written with him in mind, but he just didn't care. Quote:
I just really only want to work when I want to work. Life is really hard, and it's the only one you have. I mean, I like doing what I do, and I know I'm supposed to do it, but I don't have anything to bring to it if I don't live my life.
Which brings us to the Tao of Bill. Basically there are a set of 10 principles by which Bill tries to live. I'm not going to list them all out here but it seems to me that Bill tries to improve himself and the lives of others by following this "philosophy." This does not mean that he is a perfect guy, because he isn't, and this book does touch on a few unpleasant incidents-it's not ALL fun and games.
However, this book does generally focus on the fun things and what a blast Bill can be. He loves to tell people that no one will believe them. For instance, coming up behind someone on the street and covering their eyes and asking "Guess who?"And once they turn around? "No one will believe you, you know." Going to a bar after a golf tournament at St. Andrews, chatting up some students and then going with them to a party after the bar closed. Once Bill realized it was basically a college house, (read: a mess), he decided to wash all the dishes. Bill says:
"You can't just walk in and walk out, that feels strange. But if you walk into someone's house, do all the dishes and leave, then you feel like you've made a contribution."
Each chapter after the opening goes into each of the 10 principles of Bill's philosophy and then the last portion of the book briefly touches on each movie in which Bill Murray has appeared. It turns out there are quite a few of them I've never seen. Now I plan to do so. Along with a description of Bill's role in each movie, there are tidbits about the shooting of the film, (sometimes including comments from other cast members), and a brief review of the film.
This is not a complete biography with all the dates of this, that and the other thing all dryly listed. Instead this book was exactly what I was looking for which was an honest look at Bill's real life, with most of the focus on the fun stuff. That was exactly what I got. It was entertaining and enlightening and it gave me some ideas as to how I can make my life better, while at the same time doing the same for other people. For these reasons, I highly recommend this book!
You can pre-order a copy here: The Tao of Bill Murray
*Thanks to Net Galley and to Random House for the free e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*