Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Review : Two Gentlemen of Lebowski

Two Gentlemen of Lebowski hit the scene in January 2010, and we were there. In it, Adam Bertocci masterfully retells cult movie The Big Lebowski as if it had been written by, well, you know who.

So in a true demonstration of just how quickly an online hit can go from viral to print, I hold in my hands the paperback version of the book which Simon and Schuster were nice enough to send me in thanks for my early support of the project.

I've sat here for awhile, reading it front to back, trying to decide how I'd review this one. Then I wondered, what am I doing? If you've got interest at all in this project, you've also probably got the movie memorized. And chances are that you've already read, or at least skimmed, the online version.

But here's a little secret that I'm not sure I should admit -- I've never seen the movie. Gasp! It's true. I started it, once. I know the bit about the rug. And some early scenes in the bowling alley where John Goodman pulls a gun on somebody because his toe went over the line. That's about it. So that put me in what was probably a fairly unique situation - reading the Shakespeare version as if it were the original. It helped that I could picture Jeff Bridges as "The Knave", I'll tell you that.

If you know the movie and you've read the online version, why should you get the book? For the annotations, mainly. They've done this one up like a traditional text, with the script on one side and a full page of footnotes and other annotations on the facing page. That means that Mr. Bertocci not only had to map the entire plot of the movie into a Shakespearean script, but he had to backfill all the notes as well. Pay attention, because often those are the best part!

7. lance: euphemism for penis; see also most nouns in Shakespeare.

Many variations on that theme, as you could imagine. :)

Is the original movie on Netflix streaming? I'm thinking I'll watch the whole thing now, this book in hand, and see how it works out. Somebody should do an audio book, and then we can play the old Wizard of Oz / Dark Side of the Moon game where you put on the video, turn the sound down, and play the audiobook in sync with it. That'd be cool!

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