You never know what to expect from Bill Murray whenever he’s on film, but the actor is even more unpredictable off screen.
In “The Tao of Bill Murray: Real Life Stories of Joy, Englightenment, and Party Crashing” (Penguin Random House, $26), writer Gavin Edwards shares dozens of real — and sometimes surreal — anecdotes about Murray, from going to Elvis Presley’s funeral at Graceland to meeting Andy Warhol. (“I love the soup can,” he told the artist, who reacted with a blank stare.)
The book opens with a brief bio, followed by the 10 Principles of Bill (“Invite Yourself to the Party” is rule No. 3). There’s also a rib-tickling tale from principle 8 (“Know Your Pleasures and Their Parameters”): At a barbecue in Milwaukee, Murray only had time to sample one of the ribs before driving to Briarcliff Manor in Westchester for a golf outing. So he stuffed dozens of ribs covered in Saran wrap in his golf bag, much to the horror of his next caddie.
The final section examines Murray’s films and includes insightful stories, including Murray’s tearful reaction to his performance in “St. Vincent” (2014) at the Toronto International Film Festival. “I really had to pull it together,” Murray said. “I’d rather start stabbing myself in the stomach with a pen than cry.”