The Bard meets The Coen Bros. What better match to be made than the finest playwright and the finest screenwriters this world has ever seen? The comedic possibilities would seem to be limitless. Of course, the book rests in between the two as a shadow of all the writers. The verse is not as fine as Shakespeare’s even though it quotes him liberally and the dialogue not as fine as the Coens’ knockout screenplay. The Big Lebowski is most likely my favorite movie of all time, at a push against Taxi Driver.
So, what delights await those who turn the pages of this book? Marry, look for how “Shakespeare” renders Walter’s best lines including the unforgettable tv-edited “find a stranger in the alps” sequence. I’m not going to ruin it by giving it away. The text sticks incredibly close to the movie, but the guiding light is Shakespeare. Indeed, he’s like a taxidermist, filling his would-be dead pet, the screenplay/play, with as much sand or Shakespearean as he could get in there.
The book is not an unmitigated delight by any means but what is there is genuinely satisfying including a gloss that explains everything both well and jestingly and helpful illustrations at the bottoms of the gloss pages to help those who may misunderstand or simply have deficient imaginations. I don’t wish The Bard had written The Big Lebowski, but I’m sure if I did this would be a godsend.