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The most excellent comedie and tragical…

The most excellent comedie and tragical romance of Two gentlemen of… (edition 2010)

by Adam Bertocci, William Shakespeare

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Title:The most excellent comedie and tragical romance of Two gentlemen of Lebowski
Authors:Adam Bertocci
Other authors:William Shakespeare
Info:New York : Simon & Schuster, 2010.
Collections:Your library
Tags:Shakespeare, humor, parody, recommended on Metafilter, Amazon marketplace, online, 2012, remainder

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Two Gentlemen of Lebowski: A Most Excellent Comedie and Tragical Romance by Adam Bertocci



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The Bard meets The Coen Bros. What better match to be made than the finest playwright and the finest screenwriters this world has ever seen? The comedic possibilities would seem to be limitless. Of course, the book rests in between the two as a shadow of all the writers. The verse is not as fine as Shakespeare's even though it quotes him liberally and the dialogue not as fine as the Coens' knockout screenplay. The Big Lebowski is most likely my favorite movie of all time, at a push against Taxi Driver.

So, what delights await those who turn the pages of this book? Marry, look for how "Shakespeare" renders Walter's best lines including the unforgettable tv-edited "find a stranger in the alps" sequence. I'm not going to ruin it by giving it away. The text sticks incredibly close to the movie, but the guiding light is Shakespeare. Indeed, he's like a taxidermist, filling his would-be dead pet, the screenplay/play, with as much sand or Shakespearean as he could get in there.

The book is not an unmitigated delight by any means but what is there is genuinely satisfying including a gloss that explains everything both well and jestingly and helpful illustrations at the bottoms of the gloss pages to help those who may misunderstand or simply have deficient imaginations. I don't wish The Bard had written The Big Lebowski, but I'm sure if I did this would be a godsend. ( )
1 vote Salmondaze | Jun 1, 2016 |
You can't believe that such a thing—a rendering of The Big Lebowski as a Shakespearean drama—could possibly be done well, but marry, 'tis. The author knows his Shakespeare so well as not to merely ape it, but mimic it almost flawlessly, inserting as many wry japes into blank verse and scene-concluding quatrains (and even into the vocabulary notes on the left page of each spread) as metatextually possible. Somehow, all the non-Shakespearean locales and plot points are translated into 16th century equivalents (although not without a snigger; he has a lot of fun giving words like "cable" and "Corvette" their ancient meanings). It's hilarious, but it's also a little exhausting reading the text, consulting the mock-serious notes, and comparing it with one's memory of the movie in order to appreciate the full magnitude of the wit. If you haven't seen the movie, the book, of course, will be impenetrable. But if you have seen the movie, and you've read or seen more than a couple of Shakespeare plays, you'll want to read this. ( )
  john.cooper | Mar 19, 2014 |
Bertocci adapts the cult-classic film "The Big Lebowski"--as writ in five acts by William Shakespeare.
  Roger_Scoppie | Apr 3, 2013 |
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In wayfarer's worlds out west was once a man,
A man I come not to bury, but to praise.
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What if William Shakespeare had written The Big Lebowski? The Dude has met the Bard--and he doth abide. Join "The Knave" and Sir Walter on a wild tale of mistaken identity, kidnapping, bowling, and a rug that, in faith, really tied the room together--in a sidesplitting Shakespearean comedy of errors and ninepins, told in five glorious acts of iambic pentameter and impeccable period prose. Already a theatrical hit and a worldwide viral phenomenon, Two Gentlemen of Lebowski comes alive anew in this definitive and lavishly illustrated edition, featuring recently discovered historical engravings, scholarly annotations, and a revelatory afterword from the author.… (more)

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