Coen Brothers: This Book Really Ties the Films Together

Adam Nayman, Illustrator Telegramme Paper Co. (with Oliver Stafford and Jason Ngai), Produced by Little White Lies

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 film stills, beautiful and evocative illustrations, punchy infographics, and hard insight, this book will be the definitive exploration of the Coen brothers’ oeuvre.

Creator Bio

Adam Nayman is a film critic in Toronto for The Globe and Mail and The Grid and a contributing editor to Cinema Scope. He has written on film for the Village VoiceL.A. Weekly, Film Comment, Cineaste, Montage, POV, Reverse Shot, The WalrusSaturday Night, Little White Lies, and The Dissolve. He teaches film studies at the University of Toronto and Ryerson University and is a programmer for the Toronto Jewish Film Society. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.


“Far from an entry-level guide to the Coens’ career, this comprehensive dissection of their filmography aims to uncover a ‘Grand Unified Theory Of Coen-ness’. Exploring the complexities of the duo’s oeuvre with forensic attention to detail, critic Adam Nayman flags up repeating motifs and parallels, only occasionally overreaching into tenuousness.” Total Film

“One of the pleasures of the big, handsome, mid-to-late career monographs that Abrams Books has made a specialty (they also released books on Wes Anderson, Oliver Stone, and Martin Scorsese) is that they allow us to appreciate the “minor” entries of those oeuvres. Take, for example, Adam Nayman’s The Coen Brothers: This Book Really Ties the Films Together (out tomorrow), which, yes, gives full analysis and appreciation to Fargo, Raising Arizona, The Big Lebowski, and No Country For Old Men. But Nayman also has plenty to say about supposedly secondary works like The Hudsucker Proxy, Burn After Reading, and, in this excerpt, the all-but-forgotten 2001 black-and-white film noir riff, The Man Who Wasn’t There.” Flavorwire

“The Coen Brothers can count themselves among the small list of the most extraordinary American filmmakers to ever work in the genre. And reading through The Coen Brothers: This Book Really Ties the Films Together is a testament to their talents.” /Film

“If you’d like to read more about the making of The Big Lebowski, may we recommend The Coen Brothers: This Book Really Ties the Films Together, which has just been released by Abrams” AnOther Man

Price £28.99
Format Hardback
Publication Date 11 September 2018
Pages 320
Height 305mm
Width 254mm
Illustrations 336 colour photographs
ISBN-13 9781419727405