This is not a self-help book, or some guide to become a zen master. Dismiss any such misconceptions right away. It just isn't. It is, however, a simple book containing the comments and conversations of two friends reflecting on their lives and how the world has perceived things in unexpected ways, namely the movie "The Big Lebowski and the movie's character, the Dude". Accept it for what it is and the book is an interesting and entertaining read. No expectations are better than high expectations, in most cases, and this book is no different.
Now, don't take me wrong. I am not putting the book down. I throughly enjoyed reading it and will pass it around to my friends to read themselves. I am merely sad to read reviews of this book as if it was some self-help or Zen guide, and thus reviewed negatively. It was never marketed as one and never tries to be one. So, I don't understand the confused crossover.
The book is actually a few days of conversations between Jeff and Bernie, on various topics, recorded and the transcript organized into a somewhat coherent structure. You can really see the conversation back and forth in the way the book is formatted with the "Jeff: Jeff's thoughts. Bernie: Bernie's thoughts" sectioning to the chapters.
Each chapter is full of insights from both men, reflections of past experiences such as Jeff training with a master bowler for the role of the Dude, and random thoughts. If you have ever had, or listened to, a conversation between two old friends going on about anything and everything, then you know what is in this book. Two men, with unique lives, tossing around thoughts, over cigars.
An interesting and entertaining read, to say the least. You may be enlightened by the stories and comments within, but don't go into it expecting some kind of Zen-like realization. Don't get wrapped up in expectations, just take it at face value, and the face of the book is a picture of two friends smiling. It is worth a read, worth talking about later, and maybe worth buying a red nose to have in your pocket too.