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Me, Myself, and Bob: A True Story About Dreams, God, and Talking Vegetables Paperback – February 5, 2008
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- Item Weight : 8.6 ounces
- Paperback : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1595551220
- ISBN-13 : 978-1595551221
- Dimensions : 5.38 x 0.68 x 8.25 inches
- Publisher : Thomas Nelson; 395th edition (February 5, 2008)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #46,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Me, Myself & Bob is a memoir written by Phil Vischer. If you don't know who he is, you might've heard about his company, Big Idea. If that doesn't ring a bell, Bob the Tomato probably would. If that doesn't cut it, you should come out of the hole you've been living in and take a shower or something. When I say "his company," I really should say, "ex-company" since he is no longer the CEO of Big Idea, the workings behind things like VeggieTales, 3-2-1 Penguins, and the Larryboy shows (the latter are lesser-known.) He now runs Jellyfish Labs (there's a really good reason behind that silly-sounding name. You get there at the end of the book.)
The first two-thirds of the book outlines the massive success of his company and the massive failure it became. I was pretty surprised--and impressed--by getting an insider's look (and take) on the world of animation at that time. The show was pretty impressive and I'll probably never look at another episode the same way. Vischer then outlines the agonizing process through which his dream was taken from his hands. He candidly shares his experiences and talks about instances where it seemed that God could've intervened to save the company, but didn't. He shares those times when prayer, good intentions, ministry, and talent couldn't save a company, or a dream, from dying.
The last third of the book really is worth getting to. Especially if you've ever struggled with losing something--a dream... whether it be your dream job, your dream relationship, your dream ministry event. Especially if the dream explodes into a fantastic fireworks show that was completely and unnecessarily horrendous and hurtful to everyone and left you spiritually reeling not unlike a boxing knockout. ...Can you tell this was personal? I found myself nodding and realizing familiar territory, while at the same time being re-challenged and reawakened at the realization that I am not alone in this, and that God really, really does change lives.
With all that said, the book is not without its faults. The prize at the bottom of the cereal box take a little bit of mucking. Vischer's style (he not only wrote most of VeggieTales' initial scripts, but was the voice of Bob the Tomato) is kind of like what you would expect from someone who wrote most of VeggieTales' scripts and was the voice of Bob the Tomato. He's a little scattered, not the best writer, and a little (ok, a lot) rambly. I suspect his editors gave up on trying to shut out his hopelessly cartoonish style of thinking (and speaking, and writing.) To be fair, I got used to it after chapter... fifteen, and it became a bit like a friend yammering about his life. I just sat back and listened (I tried to find this on audiobook, but it's not there.) And then you get a shot in the face by chapter twenty-one. Even the latter chapters wasn't the powerhouse I was expecting. Once I got there, I was starting to get a little nervous: is this what they were telling me to wait for? Uh-oh. But man. It pays off. If anything, it's the story of success from ashes: seeing redemption work from beginning to brutal end to glorious rebirth.
Bottom line: Even if you've never experienced bewilderment at God dashing your most earnest of intentions, even if you've never had a dream of changing the world through ministry, even if you've worked it all out and are right with God... there's a lot this book has to offer. I don't particularly believe that his story must be our story, and that his experiences are templates that are applicable to others. But it's a story about how one man handled his grapplings with God, and as for me, his voice was something my soul was familiar with. Maybe it'll be the same for you. And ok, if you promise not to tell anyone, I did it. I cried.
I first heard Phil Vischer speak in the Fall of 2010 and was enthralled by his speech. At the time, I hadn't known anything about the events that forced him out of Big Idea. His main points stuck with me at the time, and while 8 years later many of the specifics had faded out of my memory, I still remembered his speech being memorable.
And so of course, when I realized he'd written a book about the rise and fall of Big Idea, I knew I had to get it.
Me, Myself, and Bob is like few other memoirs I've read. It's certainly engaging, funny, and informative. But it's unlike other memoirs because it's a story of failure, and in literary terms, it's basically a tragedy. Vischer pretty much spells this out in the first chapter. This isn't a memoir of success. It's a memoir detailing how Vischer had a colossal fall, lost his dream, and had to learn to pick up the pieces and figure out where he went wrong.
The questions that Vischer asks in this book are not easy questions to answer: Why would God allow a company that seemed to be doing great things for Him to fail? Why wouldn't he reward acts of faith that were done for Him? Why would He allow injustice to take place within the court system? Vischer has clearly spent a lot of time thinking about this and probing different dimensions of this issue. As a result, the answers Vischer provides are deep, thought-provoking, but also splendidly simple in the way that Biblical truths tend to be.
As someone who wants to do great things for God, whether in writing fiction or in helping other Christian writers, this memoir challenged me in my perspective and gave me a lot to think about. I read this book over only two days, and once I'd finished it, I put the book down and spent a good half hour thinking about what Vischer had to say. It isn't stuff you'll hear many other places: secular or Christian spheres alike. But it's true. And it's convicting. And it makes me remember again the importance of humility.
Many people are happy to talk about their successes. Few people are willing to talk about their failures. Even fewer are able to pinpoint why they failed, where they went wrong, and how we can avoid falling into the same trap. Vischer lies squarely in this last camp. This is not a book I want to quickly forget.
Rating: 4.5-5 Stars (Extremely Good).
I fell in love with VeggieTales when it first came out. Although I adored Larry the goofy cucumber, I related more to Bob the thoughtful, practical tomato.
For quite a while you saw VeggieTales merchandise everywhere. Then something happened and there seemed to be a real decline of all things VeggieTales.
Out of curiosity I bought “Me, Myself and Bob” by Phil Vischer. I wanted to know what had happened to those lovable vegetables.
“Me, Myself and Bob” is part autobiography, part leadership manual and part ministry directive. While I enjoyed the book throughout, I was not prepared for the last chapter.
Who thought vegetables could make you cry? I don’t mean gentle weeping, either. I was sobbing as Phil Vischer related what it was like to see a dream crash and burn. A dream he was sure that had been God given.
This is a very powerful book. I would encourage anyone who has seen their dreams dissolve to buy this book. I would especially encourage Christians who were sure they were in the Lord’s will, when their dreams evaporated, to buy this book.