Nice book, dude

FAN PHENOMENA: THE BIG LEBOWSKI

BY ZACHARY INGLE

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This book really is for the obsessive fans of The Big Lebowski film – of which there are thousands going by the name of Achievers or Dudeists.

I’m one of those, maybe not the most fanatical, but I love this movie dearly and have watched it over and over – and yeah I have my favourite quotes and catchphrases from it too (scroll down for my Top 5).

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Rewind to 1998 when directors/ geniuses Joel and Ethan Coen first made this film, little would they have known then that the picture would go on to triple its budget in the box office, generate a cult following and even spawn a slow moving religion.

Many argue that Lebowski is the most significant cult film of the last 30 years and I tend to agree – can you think of another? Maybe, but I can’t.

The hilarious story of The Dude, a post-hippy slacker and his chum Walter – a violent, compulsive, bowling obsessed, Jewish convert, Vietnam veteran has inspired Lebowski conventions to spring up worldwide and the sheer wealth of related material and memorabilia out there is staggering. Continue reading

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A roaring summer to remember

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ONE SUMMER:  AMERICA 1927  BY BILL BRYSON

If all teachers made history as enjoyable as bestselling author Bill Bryson does here, we’d all be A+ students in the subject. In his latest fascinating book, Bryson takes us back to the hugely eventful summer of 1927 in the US. It is a thoroughly enjoyable and gripping read. So many characters and stories from just a few hot months of one year impacted on almost everything to come and ushered in the modern world we now live in.

MAY saw unprecedented nationwide interest in a sensational murder trial dubbed “the crime of the century” and the Mississippi River flooded during great storms leaving an area almost the size of Scotland underwater. Terribly, a closer count was made of livestock deaths than those of the poor (and often black) humans that perished. It was America’s most epic disaster yet, in a month when the stock market boomed and prohibition was failing badly.

Young, handsome aviator Charles Lindbergh captured the hearts of the nation and beyond when he took 33 hours to fly across the Atlantic to Paris. Safely landed, he received a heroes welcome as he would everywhere he went for years to come. Hospitals, parks and children were named after him as was a song called “Lucky Lindy” which went on to spawn the Lindy-Hop dance craze.

charles lindbergh

In JUNE arguably the first celebrity shot to fame – baseball player Babe Ruth. Rising from a difficult background to become the charismatic undisputed star of Major League baseball. 1927 was “a year that no one who knew baseball would ever forget'” writes Bryson.

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In other news radio was the wonder of the age, New York overtook London as the world’s largest city and prohibition continued to be farcical and inept. “It made criminals of honest people and actually led to an increase in the amount of drinking in the country,” notes our author. The government even poisoned liquor – some reports claiming this act killed as many as 11,000 people in 1927 alone – all dying in agony just for having a drink!

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