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Buffy and the Heroine's Journey: Vampire Slayer as Feminine Chosen One Paperback – February 27, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0786467921 ISBN-10: 0786467924 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland; 1st edition (February 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786467924
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786467921
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #704,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A great read for Buffy fans and nice addition to any Slayer collection"--Examiner.com

"The book spans the entire run of the show with particularly close examinations of Buffy's relationship to Angel, her various allies, [and] matters of identity and self-image...The prose avoids academese and is very accessable and many of the author's observations and interesting, and, to me at least, new."
-Critical Mass

Frankel analyzes events in each season of Buffy, to demonstrate how the series combines contemporary female teenage life with aspects of classic mythic traditions as Buffy moves through each stage of her heroine journey. -Book News Inc.

This book (one of several on this particular series) explores how Buffy blends 1990's girl power and the path of the warrior woman with mythic traditions. It chronicles her descent into death and subsequent return like the great goddesses of antiquity. 
-Communication Booknotes Quarterly 

"Analyzes events in each season of Buffy, to demonstrate how the series combines contemporary female teenage life with aspects of classic mythic traditions as Buffy moves through each stage of her heroine journey." --Reference & Research Book News

"A must-read...fantastic...the meticulous research and knowledge of Buffy are very obvious." --Poetic License

"For the viewer who wants a wise guide back through the darker inner circles of the Buffyverse, this book is an admirable Virgil." --Mythlore

About the Author

Valerie Estelle Frankel has been a storyteller, an award-winning novelist, and a lecturer at San Jose State University. The author of four recent books on popular culture and more than 100 stories and essays, she lives in Sunnyvale, California.

More About the Author

Valerie Estelle Frankel has won a Dream Realm Award, an Indie Excellence Award, and a USA Book News National Best Book Award for her Henry Potty parodies. She's the author of many books on pop culture, including From Girl to Goddess: The Heroine's Journey in Myth and Legend, Buffy and the Heroine's Journey, Winning the Game of Thrones: The Host of Characters and their Agendas, Katniss the Cattail: An Unauthorized Guide to Names and Symbols in The Hunger Games, An Unexpected Parody, Teaching with Harry Potter, Myths and Motifs of the Mortal Instruments, and Doctor Who - The What, Where, and How. Once a lecturer at San Jose State University, she's a frequent speaker on fantasy, myth, and pop culture. Come explore her latest research at VEFrankel.com.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Garbato on September 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
(Full disclosure: I received a free advanced review copy of this book through Library Thing's Early Reviewer program.)

A newbie Buffy fan like myself, I was super-excited when copies of Valerie Estelle Frankel's BUFFY AND THE HEROINE'S JOURNEY were offered up for review through Library Thing's Early Reviewer program. At the time I was just finishing up Season Seven of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and picking up Season One of the comics, so the timing was perfect - fresh as the material was in my head.

Frankel didn't discover the show until long after the final episode had aired; but, once she did, she was quick to devour it all: BtVS, ANGEL, and the comics. As she watched, she also worked on an impromptu, 100-page draft comparing Buffy's trials and tribulations to the classic hero's journey, as described by mythologist Joseph Campbell. Eventually her thesis grew into BUFFY AND THE HEROINE'S JOURNEY.

A "monomyth" that can be found in the great epics of every culture (see, e.g., Hercules, Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter), the Hero's Journey takes a somewhat predictable path - beginning with the call to adventure and ending with the "freedom to live" - during the course of which the protagonist gains wisdom and self-knowledge and successfully grows into a fully integrated adult. Of course, many adventures are had along the way: the hero battles with (and triumphs over) a Dark Lord (his Shadow) who threatens the world; he meets his Princess, goddess of the forest and embodiment of the earth's magic; and he battles monsters of all shapes and sizes. Perhaps he's also accompanied by a trustworthy friend or two, who function as outward reflections of his inner self.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By AvisE on August 13, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
***I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review

This book is a must-read for not only die-hard Buffy fans, but anyone who writes fantasy novels or is interested in symbolic meaning. I loved the focus on the heroine's journey as opposed to the hero model popularised by Joseph Campbell, and I also learnt a great deal which I can apply in my own writing. I always felt that Buffy was a strong character for young girls to admire and after reading this I understand why. Sadly, in my opinion there is no other heroine of Buffy's calibre in popular culture at the moment, but books like this might help to address this disturbing lack.

Frankel does a fantastic job of first outlining the heroine's journey in comparison with the hero's journey, and then exploring in great detail how it is developed in the Buffy series'. I love to dig beneath the surface and find hidden meanings, and I just lapped this book up. The academic style of writing may not be to everyone's taste, but concepts are explained clearly and there is no difficult jargon used. The meticulous research and knowledge of Buffy are very obvious.

After reading this I want to go back and watch Buffy again from the very first episode. I didn't know that the series continued in comic form and it was very interesting to read about the new developments in Series 8. I take heart from Frankel's conclusion that "Buffy, a modern classic like Harry Potter or Star Wars, will surely last. It will be repackaged, rereleased, and most of all rewatched by long-time and new fans the world over."

When I was teaching English I often thought about developing a unit on the series, and this book would have been a great resource. Hopefully other teachers will discover it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paula L. Phillips on August 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
Women, for a long time have been portrayed as the weaker gender . The helpless female in the Harlequin Mills and Boons, Bella Swan in the Twilight Saga as we read in Book #2 , she mopes around and is empty without Edward around . It is like he was her life-source. Think of all the movies you have watched where the women have been portrayed as weak , helpless insignificant roles ?
With the introduction of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games Trilogy , Suzanne Collins sparked a light which brought back a new line of hero's in the forms of heroines. The type of female who isn't helpless , who is strong and yes - she is the one who can proudly sing to any guy "Anything you can do, I can do better". The character of Katniss reminded Girls and Women , that we too are strong and are not all weak. We have Velma in Scooby-Doo , Xena Warrior Princess played by a New Zealander nonetheless , Veronica Mars , Nancy Drew. Though who was one of the original kick-butt females , it was none other than Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy was brought to us when we still lived in a world where Vampires didn't sparkle and they weren't nice people- well not all of them were anyway as with Buffy came along Angel played by the hunky David Boreanaz.
Author Valerie Frankel has written a book that focuses on the TV Series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and her role at being the Ultimate Female. Buffy and The Heroine's Journey is the perfect read for all those fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and those girls who loved the fact that Buffy represented the character of a Strong female , one that didn't need the guys to come and save her every time she fell into trouble and mayhem.
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