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Two Gentlemen of Lebowski: A Most Excellent Comedie and Tragical Romance Paperback – October 26, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Original edition (October 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451605811
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451605815
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Adam Bertocci has done a stellar job fusing the spirit of Shakespeare with The Big Lebowski. This mashup is one for the ages.”
—Scott Shuffitt, cofounding Dude of LebowskiFest and coauthor of I’m a Lebowski, You’re a Lebowski

“A blast to read.”
GQ

“Oh my God . . . This is so good.”
The New Republic

“Classic lines and scenes now become even more epic.”
USA Today

“Gadzooks, methinks ’tis all as fine a way to waste an hour or so as I have come across in these four seasons.”
Entertainment Weekly

“The mash-up that toke its time in coming.”
—Time Out New York

“Proves that Shakespearean sharp-tongued eloquence is nifty even in the 21st century, if wielded correctly. The play also proved that [The Big Lebowski] was quite Shakespearean to begin with.”
Inside New York

“It's wonderful.”
­—Metro (UK)

“Should be quite the what-have-you.”
Gothamist

"Arguably one of the most inventive pieces ever created.”
—Broadway World

“The greatest thing since Geoffrey Chaucer.”
Cinematical

“We were totally blown away to discover . . . this Swiss f*cking watch of a genius named Adam Bertocci. . . . Verily, Two Gentlemen of Lebowski has to be read to be believed. Zounds!”
The Dudespaper (“A Lifestyle Magazine for the Deeply Casual”)

“Even those of us new to the Dude have become true believers in the Knave.”
TheaterOnline

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Act 1

 

Scene 1

 

THE KNAVE’s house. Enter THE KNAVE, carrying parcels, and BLANCHE and WOO. They fight.

 

BLANCHE

Whither the money, Lebowski? Faith, we are as servants to Bonnie;

promised by the lady good that thou in turn were good for’t.

 

WOO

Bound in honour, we must have our bond; cursed be our tribe

if we forgive thee.

 

BLANCHE

Let us soak him in the chamber-pot, so as to turn his head.

 

WOO

Aye, and see what vapourises; then he will see what is foul.

 

They insert his head into the chamber-pot.

 

BLANCHE

What dreadful noise of waters in thine ears! Thou hast cool’d

thy head; think now upon drier matters.

 

WOO

Speak now on ducats else again we’ll thee duckest; whither the

money, Lebowski?

 

THE KNAVE

Faith, it awaits down there someplace; prithee let me glimpse

again.

 

WOO

What, thou rash egg! Thus will we drown thine exclamations.

 

They again insert his head into the chamber-pot.

 

BLANCHE

Trifle not with the fury of two desperate men. Long has thy

wife sealed a bond with Jaques Treehorn; as blood is to blood,

surely thou owest to Jaques Treehorn in recompense.

 

WOO

Rise, and speak wisely, man—but hark;

I see thy rug, as woven i’the Orient,

A treasure from abroad. I like it not.

I’ll stain it thus; to deadbeats ever thus.

 

He stains the rug.

 

THE KNAVE

Sir, prithee nay!

 

BLANCHE

Now thou seest what happens, Lebowski, when the agreements

of honourable business stand compromised. If thou wouldst

treat money as water, flowing as the gentle rain from heaven,

why, then thou knowest water begets water; it will be a watery

grave your rug, drown’d in the weeping brook. Pray remember,

Lebowski.

 

THE KNAVE

Thou err’st; no man calls me Lebowski. Hear rightly, man!—for

thou hast got the wrong man. I am the Knave, man; Knave in

nature as in name.

 

BLANCHE

Thy name is Lebowski. Thy wife is Bonnie.

 

THE KNAVE

Zounds, man. Look at these unworthiest hands; no gaudy gold

profanes my little hand. I have no honour to contain the ring. I

am a bachelor in a wilderness. Behold this place; are these the

towers where one may glimpse Geoffrey, the married man? Is

this a court where mistresses of common sense are hid? Not for

me to hang my bugle in an invisible baldric, sir; I am loath to

take a wife, or she to take me until men be made of some other

mettle than earth. Hark, the lid of my chamber-pot be lifted!

 

WOO

Search his satchel! His words are a fantastical banquet to work

pell-mell havoc and confusion upon his enemies. There sits

eight pounds of proof within.

 

BLANCHE

Villainy! Why this confounded orb, such as men use to play at

ninepins; what devilry, these holes in holy trinity?

 

THE KNAVE

Obviously thou art not a colfer.

 

BLANCHE

Then thou art a man to carry ball in his sack? Thou varlet, a

plague upon your house; I return thine orb to earth.

 

He drops the ball.

 

Thy floor cracks in haste, sir; thou art not a man of ample foundation.

Woo?

 

WOO

Speak, friend; I am but of droplets.

 

BLANCHE

Was this not a man of moneys and repute? Did not Treehorn

speak of chalcedony halls, and three chests of gold, as was hard

food for Midas? What think’st thou?

 

WOO

O undistinguish’d man! We are deceived; this man has put not

money in his purse.

 

THE KNAVE

Weep not for grief of my own sustaining, sir. At least I am

house-broken, none to break the houses of others.

 

WOO

If dog you are, in time you’ll have your day;

Waste time, but Jaques Treehorn will you pay.

 

Exeunt severally.

***  

13 rash egg: impolitically bold child or spawn. ‘Egg’ also calls to mind ‘zero’ (as in the French l’oeuf) and hints at the thugs’ unimpressed reaction to the Knave’s dwelling.

 

20 deadbeat: a person who evades the payment of, or defaults on, a debt

 

33 profanes: debases, defiles, corrupts

 

35 Geoffrey, the married man: Elizabethan mores viewed bachelorhood with suspicion. Men were expected to be married, and often had to be to accept public office or important civic responsibilities.

 

37 baldric: a belt or sash worn over the shoulder

 

39 lid of my chamber-pot: a lid is customarily placed upon the pot to contain odours. Leaving it off indicates the Knave’s incivility and lack of a wife.

 

43 confounded: perplexed. Blanche means ‘confounding,’ though that is not the issue here.

 

43 orb: sphere

 

44 ninepins: the sport of kings. Variants and alternate names include loggats, kayles, and skittles. Shakespeare frequently referred to the sport: in The Taming of the Shrew, it is a metaphor for Petruchio’s courtship of Katherine; in Coriolanus, Menenius compares his overcommitted loyalty to the title character to a poorly rolled frame; and, most famously, Hamlet’s line ‘Ay, there’s the rub’ refers to an obstacle deflecting a bowling ball from its course.

 

45 colfer: a player of ‘colf,’ the Dutch predecessor to the Scottish game of golf. In the sixteenth century, as the modern game filtered down from Scotland, its variants were enjoyed by commoners and royalty alike; Mary, Queen of Scots, was an avid golfer.

 

46 varlet: a rascal or disreputable character, from the Old French vaslet

 

50 of droplets: i.e., only has a little urine left. Possibly a reference to the use of the aspergillum to sprinkle holy water in religious ceremonies, as if Woo is blessing the rug.

 

52 chalcedony: a fine mineral, similar to quartz. Named for the Bithynian port town of Chalcedon.

 

57 house-broken: versed in sanitary excretory habits suitable for civilised living; in casual speech, meaning docile or peaceably mannered.

 

 

 

More About the Author

Adam Bertocci is an award-winning filmmaker, screenwriter and humorist working in and around New York. Visit him on the Web at www.adambertocci.com

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I can't remember the last time I laughed this hard at a book.
J. Dunn
Well tell you the truth I had a hard time putting the book down after reading the best lines from the movie.
Brandon Andrews
I recommend all Big Lebowski fans to buy this awesome novelty.
Alma D.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Michael on November 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
I was lucky enough to read this when it was still an internet sensation. The author has taken the natural synergy (a word I hate using but appropriate in this case) between the works of the Cohen brothers and that of Shakespeare, and made the whole even greater than the sum of the parts.

This is not, as one might expect, a rewrite of "The Big Lebowski" with a lot of silly "prithees" and "thys." The man re-wrote the movie in Shakespearean English, in iambic freakin pentameter. And not only did he do that, but he made some incredibly smart plays on words in the translation. I think this will be studied for years to come. I think it is the Ulysses of its time.

That's right; I said it. Bertocci is the Joyce of our times. And thankfully he is unmarried. Ugh. You know what I mean.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Peter Olson on October 31, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a seamless knitting together of many of the Bards timeless words and phrases with the oft hilarious and idiotic plot of "The Big Lebowski". Some of the most memorable lines from out of the movie work so well when translated into Elizabethan parlance that it is a wonder that Shakespeare did not, in point of fact, write the script himself. Tis a moste effective parodie if ere twas one worth the name methinks.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Dunn on November 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can't remember the last time I laughed this hard at a book. I think it has replaced Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal as the funniest thing I've ever read. The prose is fantastic, and the illustrations & accompanying definitions of terms really make it shine. An absolute must-read for any fan of the Dude!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TrueBlue on November 29, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This will generate a lot of laughs and is a must buy for all lebowski movie fans. Laugh out riot.
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By William Sommerwerck on September 14, 2014
Format: Paperback
This is a work of genius. It is not a shallow spoof, but a fully formed translation of "The Big Lebowski" into Elizabethan/Shakespearean terms.

Bertocci doesn't hesitate to poke fun at literary scholarship. The left-hand pages have explanations of those things a modern reader might not be familiar with, as well as an analysis of the author's choice of words. What is particularly amusing is his naïve ignorance of plainly sexual references (eg, back-door mine (p128); reading Ben Jonson manually (p146); fig eaters & bareback riding (p174)).

It is impossible to recommend "Two Gentlemen of Lebowski" too highly. You'll laugh your back-door mine off.
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If you are into the classical writings of the masters like Shakespeare and those of his life time, this book is not for you. This book is a up to date and modern story written in the style of the time of Shakespeare. The author of this kind of book, is a genius, if he ever had the chance to meet Shakespeare, Shakespeare would be laughing with the idea the author put into this book. If you as a reader want to study Shakespeare and stay awake doing it, this is the book for you to read.
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By Daniel J Fischberg on June 23, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Perfect for fans of the Dude and the Bard. Was sad when it was over. Parting is such sweet sorrow.
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By J. Snibbe on May 14, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was for my 14 year old grandson and he loves it. Good for teens and younger folk who are obsessed with the Lebowski legend.
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