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I'm a Lebowski, You're a Lebowski: Life, The Big Lebowski, and What Have You Paperback – August 21, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

If you recognize the phrase I don't roll on Shabbos or The Dude abides, then you've seen The Big Lebowski, filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen's tribute to the detective genre starring Jeff Bridges as a bowling-loving stoner named The Dude who accidentally gets mixed up with kidnappers, nihilists and other strange Coen brother–style comic types. A financial and critical bomb released in 1998, it has since gained a devoted cult following, due in no small part to the efforts of this delightfully obsessive book's authors, the organizers of Lebowski Fest, a traveling celebration that combines the good vibes of a Grateful Dead concert with the fervor of a Star Trek convention. Like a typical Dead concert, however, the book is a lot of fun, but will seem uneven to all but the hardest-core fan. Highlights include insightful interviews with principal actors, including Bridges and John Goodman (I think that's the favorite thing I've ever done in my life). Unfortunately, the authors also feature various unsuccessful attempts at capturing the film's quirky humor (How to Dude-ify Your Car) along with too many long and repetitious interviews with various Lebowski fanatics. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“It's safe to say the executive bums of Lebowski Fest Will Russell, Scott Shuffitt and Bill Green are the national experts on "The Big Lebowski," what David Gergen is to White House politics. If CNN needed a talking head to opine about white Russians and the condition Lebowski is in, they'd interview these guys.” ―The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; First Edition edition (August 21, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596912464
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596912465
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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79 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Lux on September 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
I picked up a copy of I'm a Lebowski, You're a Lebowski after seeing it mentioned in a magazine. I do consider myself a fan of The Big Lebowski, having seen it over a dozen times, but I was heretofore uninitiated in the ways of Lebowski Fest, the religion of Dudeism, and the legions of Achievers (fans) around the world. Consider me a convert!

The prerequisite for reading I'm a Lebowski, You're a Lebowski is several viewings of The Big Lebowski, a white Russian or some herbal refreshment, and perhaps a cadre of like-minded comrades who don't roll on Shabbos and can get you a toe by 3 o'clock this afternoon...with nail polish. The authors expertly combine the laid-back slacker ethos of the Dude with a thoroughly academic look at the cult film. You can play Lebowski Mad Libs, read ridiculous television censorship of key movie lines, and learn how to Dude-ify your car and live by the Dude-updated version of Deuteronomy. Allusions to the Zen nature of the Dude abound throughout the text.

The book is christened by the Dude himself, Jeff Bridges, in an introduction discussing his role in the film and relationship with the Coen brothers. Bridges writes that he is frequently asked if he is surprised by the cult following of The Big Lebowski. His response is that he was surprised it wasn't a bigger hit, following the critical reception of the Coen brothers' Fargo.

Nearly every other actor, from Julianne Moore (Maude Lebowski) to John Goodman (Walter) to the Ralph's Checkout Girl, is also interviewed. The authors even tracked down the real-life personalities who inspired the characters of the Dude and Walter. The Coen brothers do not comment on the film, offering instead a cryptic, ""You have neither our blessing nor our curse.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By epstein on September 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you're like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie and wants to know what's going on and that movie happens to be The Big Lebowski, then grab this book, pour yourself a white Russian, throw a thick blanket across your legs and sit by the fire. But if you haven't seen the movie and have no idea what an achiever is, then you are out of your element. You'll need to take at least 3 doses of TBL and let that sink in. Then this book will be transformed into gospel.

I don't consider myself an achiever (similar to a trekkie, only drunker and more hip) I've only seen the movie 7 or 8 times. But I've seen enough to quote it constantly. Telling my wife that her "aggression will not stand, man," and yelling at my dog to "shut the ---- up, Donny" (even though her name is Sassy and she hardly ever barks), has made the movie a part of my personal history. It's not a movie you watch. It's one you absorb.

It was my ascending achiever status that scored me an advanced reader's copy. Someone told me to "Shut the ---- up, Donny!" and I simply pointed out that he was out of his element and the book appeared. Like sacred parchment shared secretly between disciples.

And that's the entire spirit of this book. Written by the people who started LebowskiFest after they found themselves trading lines of dialogue and laughs with complete strangers. This book goes deep into the movie with interviews of the cast, fellow achievers and even the actual people who inspired the characters. It's a validation of all those parroted lines ("Where's the money, Lebowski?"), and devoted hours, and white Russians consumed.

The problem with recommending this book is that it comes with The Big Prerequisite. You must see and love The Big Lebowski.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth M. Gelwasser VINE VOICE on September 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
The Coen Brothers 1998 film comedy, "The Big Lebowski" is one of those movies, that did 'so-so' business in it's initial theatrical run, but went on to success with a new life on cable, video and now DVD. This hilarious, Chandler-esque, satiricle film about a burned out, bowling loving, hippie, who just wants to get some just compensation for his p**d on rug has created a rabid, cult-following of fans and fanatics. These folks love every frame of this movie with it's labyrinth plot, crazy characters and endlessly quotable dialogue.

There have been other books written about the Coen brothers and 'Lebowski's' more dry, film-making, technical side. But "I'm a Lebowski, You're a Lebowski: Life, The Big Lebowski, and What You" is really a book for the fans. It is filled with 'Lebowski' film facts, blurbs, interviews and photographs. No this is not some heavy, deep analysis of the film's themes (which I would also love for someone to write!). Instead its a light, fun look at all things 'Lebowski'.

I love the short interviews, that are throughout the book. Some interviews are with the film's actors, who talk about their characters and how they got involved with the film. Other interviews are with the folks, who were the real-life inspirations for the many oddball characters, who inhabit the 'Lebowski' universe. Who knew that macho, Director/Writer John Milius ("Red Dawn", "Apocalypse Now") is the source for the Dude's Vietnam obsessed, out of control buddy, Walter Sobchak? Who wouldn't want to get the 'true' story behind the Dude's stolen car and the homework from the real-life, 'little Larry'?

Another favorite from the book is a guided tour (with photos) of the real life, California locations found throughout the film.
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