• The Coen Brothers

  • By: Adam Nayman
  • Narrated by: Rob Shapiro
  • Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (142 ratings)

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The Coen Brothers

By: Adam Nayman
Narrated by: Rob Shapiro
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Publisher's Summary

A playfully critical journey through the Coen brothers' filmography

From such cult hits as Raising Arizona (1987) and The Big Lebowski (1998) to major critical darlings Fargo (1996), No Country for Old Men (2007), and Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), Ethan and Joel Coen have cultivated a bleakly comical, instantly recognizable voice in modern American cinema. 

In The Coen Brothers: This Book Really Ties the Films Together, film critic Adam Nayman carefully sifts through their complex cinematic universe in an effort to plot, as he puts it, "some Grand Unified Theory of Coen-ness." The book combines critical text - biography, close film analysis, and enlightening interviews with key Coen collaborators - with a visual aesthetic that honors the Coens' singular mix of darkness and levity. Featuring hard insight, this book will be the definitive exploration of the Coen brothers' oeuvre.

©2018 Adam Nayman (P)2018 Random House Audio

What listeners say about The Coen Brothers

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Brilliant companion!

For fans like myself, I think most of the information and analysis of the Coen Brothers' films is fairly well understood, but some of the insights could be useful for a newcomer. There are a few tidbits of myths and myth-busting, but the bulk of the book consists of the synopses, themes and threads running through their films. While that may at first seem tedious or academic, let me state categorically, it's not. After every segment, I desperately wanted to go back and watch each film again. Every.Single.Time. (Yes, even including Ladykillers and Intolerable Cruelty!). And I learned to enjoy the gimmick of listing the percentage of constituent parts of the films upon their introduction. It's well worth the time for fans of the Coen Brothers. And for those people who claim that they *don't get* the Coens' films, even after multiple viewings, it may help guide them into a new appreciation.

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Inside Joel and Ethan

A fantastic depiction inside the minds of two of the best America filmmakers ever! And yes, this book really does tie all the movies together!

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I'd rather do anything else than listen to this !

this was very painful. rob Shapiro the poor narrator sounded as if he was at his mother's, fathers , and dogs funeral all at once. very sad sounding so I had to return it . good God the coen bros. deserve much better

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The Dude Abides

Deep look into the Coen Brothers movies. Breakdown of each film, and thought process. Interviews with some of the crew. Narrated cold and slow. If you like their movies, you'll enjoy this book.

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Very well done but...

Excellent if you're looking for a synopsis and critique of the Coen brothers films, but unfortunately I was hoping that this would be as much anecdote as analysis. I think the stories behind the making of the films would have been of more interest to me than an in-depth review of the films.

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A real treat for Coen Brothers Fans

Simply put - if you enjoy the movies, you will enjoy this book. The author definitely goes deep and takes the reader on a big picture thematic journey through the Coen brothers films as well as a vastly entertaining meta journey.

For those of us mere mortals that can only see 1 or 2 levels deep in the Coen brothers films but, nonetheless enjoy them immensely, the insights in this book allow us to enjoys the films, and the careers, on many new levels.

Highly recommended!

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  • Hugh Stevenson
  • 04-16-22

Glorious!

I could read/listen to Adam Nayman on the Coen’s or PTA for many an hour. This book allowed me to do just that!

Interspersing the film vignettes with interviews from friends of the Coen’s (including Roger Deakins!!) further contextualises the lineage of the work. I do wish there was more time devoted to exploring whether there is a subsisting arc for the Coen’s work. The Coen’s dismissal of such a unifying subtext is referred to, but Nayman has provided more comprehensive reflections on this matter elsewhere, so it was a shame the book didn’t allow for a robust reflection on this.

Nevertheless, having just finished, I’m already game to start it up from the top!