By: Adam Bertocci
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: October 2010
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: October 2010
Hip! Hip! Hooray for Humor! For those of you out there who lived in a cave when the hysterical movie The Big Lebowski was given to the people, I will begin by explaining the story.
Jeff Lebowski was an unemployed L.A. sloth who was referred to as “The Dude;” the one and only thing he seemed to love was bowling. Then, when a case of mistaken identity gets him mixed up with another man named Jeff Lebowski who is a multi-millionaire, “The Dude” is roughed up by a couple of thugs who tell him that his wife owes their boss money. Of course, it’s not "The Dude’s" wife, it is the multi-millionaire’s wife named Bunny. Soon Bunny is kidnapped and the rich Lebowski has the poor Lebowski bring the ransom to set her free, but there is another who believes that “The Dude” should say, “The heck with the broad, keep the dough.” From there it is a comedy of trial and error throughout the entire film, and has become a cult favorite over time.
When I received this fantastic book in the mail, I was instantly “taken in” by the masterful writing; this was definitely a stellar job done by a fine author. As we begin this five-act comedy, two Shakespearean thugs – Blanche and Woo – enter The Knave’s home, and proceed to insert his head into thee old chamber-pot demanding their master’s money. Everything from mistaken identity to the class conflicts that were ripe in the Shakespearean Age come to the forefront of this laugh-out-loud story.
Throughout the book we readers are also given definitions to some, perhaps, little-known words. Such as, in this story, bowl is not so much a game with ten pins and a big, black ball, but means: to play at a game of bowls. Such games were popular in Shakespeare’s time, though often negatively compared with the more noble sport of archery. These little bits of extremely intelligent humor are strewn throughout this great work. Even The Knave, to explain his own popular name, declares: "I am the Knave, called the Knave. Or His Knaveness, or mayhap Knaver, or mayhap El Knaverino, in the manner of the Spaniard."
Not only is the story beautifully retold from the Bard’s point of view, but the book is also filled with classic illustrations, historical annotations, and some of the coolest engravings I’ve seen. Not only that, but there is an afterword that will literally make you laugh yourself out of bed.
Quill says: Buy it! Buy it! Buy it! An FYI for readers, a religion named Dudeism is actually practiced out there in America, and I can only stand up and beg for the globe to accept Knaveism, too, after reading this eloquent story. The Shakespearean qualities and wording have taken this story to an entirely new level, and not only will fans of pop culture look at this as their new Bible, but readers who love Shakespeare and highly intelligent writing will be huge fans, as well. And…yes…I doth protest way too much, Dude.