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Me, Myself, and Bob: A True Story About God, Dreams, and Talking Vegetables Hardcover – January 9, 2007

141 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Have you ever been tempted to start your own business? First read this cautionary tale, especially if you think your ideas come from God. Vischer, a pioneer in computerized animation and creator of Veggie Tales, proves that a pathetically skinny, shy techno-geek can be hilarious even when describing his headlong plunge into bankruptcy. In 1989, "with an unflappable 'How hard could it be' attitude," the 22-year-old entrepreneur launched his dream of creating high-quality Christian entertainment by founding the company that would become Big Idea Productions. Thirteen stressful years later, he was featured in a People magazine cover story—"small town kid kicked out of Bible college and down to his last ten bucks creates talking vegetables and hits it big, selling 40 million videos!"—shortly before firing half his staff in an unsuccessful attempt to avert disaster. While Vischer accepts the blame for the collapse ("my strengths built Big Idea, and my weaknesses brought it down"), he also details various unnamed executives' incompetence. One question haunted him: if he was doing God's work, why didn't God rescue his company? Concluding his story of spiritual inspiration and heartbreak, Vischer draws lessons from his experience for anyone who has ever lost a dream. (Jan. 9)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

When computer-animator Phil Vischer sat down to create delightfully weird characters to teach Christian values to kids, Bob the tomato and a Larry the cucumber were born. VeggieTales revolutionized Christian filmmaking, sold more than 40 million videos and placed faith-filled stories in one of three American households with young children. Phil continues to pursue new ways to integrate faith and storytelling. Phil lives with his wife Lisa, their three kids, and one dog in Illinois.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (January 9, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785222073
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785222071
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #651,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Phil Vischer is the CEO and Chief Creative Officer of Big Idea Productions. As co-creator of the popular series, VeggieTales™, he has also served as writer, director and voice for more than a dozen characters, including Bob the Tomato. Since the release of the first VeggieTales™ episode in 1993, more than 30 million units have been sold in the series. Vischer and his wife, Lisa, live in the Chicago, IL with their 3 children.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Dean K. Wilson on January 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Can 40-year-old Phil Vischer, creator of the astounding VeggieTales videos tell a great story in a heartfelt, yet entertaining, manner? Of course he can! And, he does. "Me, Myself, and Bob..." traces Vischer's personal history and gives readers insight into how the lovable Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomatoe rose to continue to have such a startling impact on a generation of young people and their families.

Using very touching anecdotes in a style the often punctuates with laughter, Vischer describes his early life in Muscatine, Iowa, his move to Illinois, and his college years. He shares the creative spark that developed from his friendship with Mike Nawrocki.

He also narrates in poignant detail the exciting rise and the devastating fall of the company he had lovingly developed to produce the VeggieTales videos.

Every young person growing up in a family devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ needs to read this book. Vischer has a unique ability to share his life experiences in a challenging and life-affirming manner. This story will help all young believers develop a firmer hold on the practicality of their faith in a real world.

This book will also motivate and entertain anyone who has a dream that remains unfulfilled. And, this book will speak words of both reality and hope to those who face challenges in their daily work environment.

I cannot recommend this book more highly. Vischer not only shares moments of spiritual renewal, he also offers clear and concise explanations of the lessons he learned from his business experiences.

Perhaps one of the most succinct summaries of the mindset of Phil Vischer comes from his statement: "Life is tricky.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Charles S. Houser on February 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In ME, MYSELF, & BOB, Phil Vischer tells of his meteroic rise to success and fame as the creator of the best-selling, direct-to-video CG hit series VeggieTales and the equally swift collapse of his dream to become the next Walt Disney (or the Christian Walt Disney). And he does it with all the liveliness and wit of a VeggieTales Silly Song. His writing is very visual ("I'd sort of freeze up like a garden hose left outside in a Minnesota winter.") and salty ("Financial resources are like teeth--ignore them and they'll go away.") And, like a VeggieTales video, it's a bit of a morality play--one that makes no apology for being thoroughly Christocentric but, also like a VeggieTale, doesn't become explicitly Scriptural until the last chapter.

This book can be read on a number of levels--as one man's rise, fall, and rebirth; as a critique of (take your pick) American capitalism, corporate managerial fads, hero worship (Vischer's of Disney), the American dream, the shallowness and cynicism of Hollywood, and the Protestant work ethic; or as a theological lesson on the importance of putting God first, last, and in between. While it would be hard to call Vischer humble, he does a good job of examining his motives and mistakes, and he does so with the grace (or good sense) not to blame others (well, at least not to name them or give us enough information so we can easily identify them). The closing chapters in which he recounts what he has learned from his VeggieTales roller coaster ride are sincere and wise. He discusses the difference between dreams and visions on the one hand and "God's revelation" on the other. His description of the pain of losing something you are certain God had led you to pursue is nuanced and convincing.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Phil Vischer had a dream. As he describes in his autobiography, he felt called by God to create Christian alternatives to mass media. And he wanted to be good at it. From an early age, he had an interest in film. As an adult, he transitioned that to computer production and eventually started Big Idea and VeggieTales.

But all was not smooth sailing. The company mushroomed then crumbled, ending in bankruptcy. Just what went wrong? Well, that's what this book is all about.

And it's a highly entertaining read. Phil interjects his narration with the dry wit and funny stories you'd expect from the man behind VeggieTales. But by no means is it a woe-is-me story. Phil takes much of the blame for what happened and goes out of his way to not name many of the players in the story. The last two chapters detail what Phil learned from all this. He talks about business lessons and the Spiritual growth he experienced as a result of losing everything he thought he was to do.

I found the book almost impossible to put down and the last few chapters are very moving. This is a must read for any VeggieTales fan who wants the inside scope on what really happened to their favorite Veggies.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By James Drury on February 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I first thought this would be a book entirely about Big Idea Productions, the company Phil founded to make VeggieTales videos. That's true, but there's so much more. Me, Myself, and Bob is the story of Phil and the dream he had to be busy for God.

Phil's story is classic for entrepreneurs of our age and temper. His initial struggle just to earn enough to eat, followed by rapid growth and profit, only to fail via bankruptcy. You can read this book like a classic case of business management, for the lesson learned is timeless. You can't just say "this one thing" caused Big Idea to fail, nor can you say "it's all this person's fault." There were several factors involved. Phil doesn't point fingers at his staff - he hired them after all. No, Phil accepts the blame himself. He does point out the errors that were made by everyone but still manages to bring them all back to himself and his own personal decisions.

You can also read this as the spiritual journey of one man and his search for purpose, acceptance, and ultimately, his search for God.

The book is far stronger as a spiritual journey than as a case study of business management but that's to be expected from a man devoted to telling Biblical stories with talking vegetables.

Fans of Big Idea and VeggieTales will appreciate the inside look at the company and background story for Phil Vischer.
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