BOOK REVIEW | The Tao of Bill Murray: Real-Life Stories of Joy, Enlightenment, and Party Crashing


No one will ever believe you.

New York Times bestselling author Gavin Edwards, like the rest of us, has always been fascinated with Bill Murray—in particular the beloved actor’s adventures off-screen, which rival his filmography for sheer entertainment value. Edwards traveled to the places where Murray has lived, worked, and partied, in search of the most outrageous and hilarious Bill Murray stories from the past four decades, many of which have never before been reported. Bill once paid a child five dollars to ride his bike into a swimming pool. The star convinced Harvard’s JV women’s basketball team to play with him in a private game of hoops. Many of these surreal encounters ended with Bill whispering, “No one will ever believe you” into a stranger’s ear. But The Tao of Bill Murray is more than just a collection of wacky anecdotes. This volume puts the actor’s public clowning into a larger context, as Edwards distills Murray’s unique way of being into a set of guiding principles. A sideways mix of comedy and philosophy, full of photo bombs, late-night party crashes, and movie-set antics, this is the perfect book for anyone who calls themselves a Bill Murray fan—which is to say, everyone.

–  blurb from Goodreads

I received an advanced copy of this e-book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think about Bill Murray is that one scene in Zombieland where the characters talk about how amazing he is. I didn’t get the hype surrounding him – probably because I don’t think I’ve ever watched any of his movies. Years later,  I still don’t get the hype and I still haven’t watched any of his movies. However, reading this biography and all of the many stories that Gavin Edwards has collected has given me an insight into why Bill Murray is so beloved. It has nothing to do with his acting but instead how strange of a human being he is.

The book opens up with a mini biography that gives you an opportunity to get a sense of who he is, besides an actor and a comedian, before moving onto the stories. These include tales from being on set to crashing random bachelor parties to joining a kick ball game. There’s a lot of weird things Bill Murray has been a part of and reading this book in one sitting is not easy. I would advise you to try a chapter or two a day, or to make sure you’re taking a break in-between the chapters. I found this book redundant and boring after the first four chapters. What I did look forward to, as I skimmed the pages very quickly (oops), were the illustrations. I can’t even begin to give them justice because they’re so absurd but they fit Bill Murray perfectly.

Despite getting bored, I learned a lot about Bill Murray that I wouldn’t otherwise know or care enough about to seek out. It’s amazing how much of a free person he is. He doesn’t have a manager or agent, he buys one way plane tickets, and he does whatever he wants whenever he wants to. But you can’t hate him because he’s so genuine. For example, Murray gets distracted easily and leaves, even if that means holding up filming and production. It’s not intentional so he gets away with it. Bill Murray and his entire being astounds me.

Not going to lie, it gets a bit tedious to hear amazing but weird things about a person you don’t really care about. While the book was interesting (in small doses), it definitely hasn’t made me want to become a Bill Murray fan. I’m not about to go back to the chapter that lists his filmography and track all of them down, and I’m not about to like his Facebook page (does he even have one?) to keep track of his upcoming releases. So, all in all, you probably won’t enjoy this entire book unless you like Bill Murray. If you’re a bit curious, like I was, a couple of chapters will suffice.


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