Over the years, there has been lots said about Bill Murray, much of it indicating that he was a very difficult actor to work with. I have never been a huge fan, but have always been fond of his work.
To be honest, I know I have seen the 1980’s Ghostbusters movies and Groundhog Day. I’m certain I saw Lost In Translation as well, although I can’t recall much of the movie. I’ve seen bits and pieces of Caddyshack and perhaps a few others.
This book paints a picture of a largely misunderstood man. Bill lives his life the way he wants, often in moments of spontaneity. He is fun, kind and generous and the author does a great job of making him likeable.
The book starts by going through the Ten Principles of Bill, which include ‘Invite Yourself to the Party’ and ‘Music Makes People Come Together’. Each principle is described through stories about Bill, and even includes quotes from the actor himself.
It then moves on to a detailed filmography covering most of his films right up until his cameo in 2016’s all female version of Ghostbusters. Each film listed includes an analysis of both the movie and his acting in it, as well as stories of him and his antics.
The very last chapter was my favorite though. It discussed Murray’s lifelong love of the Chicago Cubs, and their run up to and including the 2016 World Series win. For me, the excitement described was something I could relate to as a fan of the Toronto Blue Jays. The descriptions of his passion and joy for the game, as seen by others, was what made this part of the book so enjoyable.
I come away from this book with some interesting thoughts on life itself. It’s incredible to read a story about a man in the public eye who has lived his life on his terms. Crazy antics, party crashing and simply deciding how his day goes are all part of who he is.
I think it is fair to say many of us, including myself, could take some notes from Bill Murray and not take life so seriously.