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Faith and Choice in the Works of Joss Whedon First edition (presumed; no earlier dates stated) Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0786434763
ISBN-10: 0786434767
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Faith and Choice in the Works of Joss Whedon interestingly combines analysis of Whedon's work in television, film, and comic books. This volume has perhaps the most wide-ranging coverage of Whedon's various productions yet written, dealing with all the major works in several media. Primarily arranged as in-depth discussions on specific characters, the book is accessible and laced with humor-as any book on Whedon should be. Yet the purpose within the humor is clear: each chapter demonstrates the serious moral lessons to be derived from these fascinating texts. With thoughtfulness, enthusiasm, and wit, K. Dale Koontz preaches the gospel of Joss Whedon." --Rhonda V. Wilcox, founding editor, Critical Studies in Television<br /><br />"K. Dale Koontz writes about the spiritual and moral dimensions of Joss Whedon's imaginary media worlds Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly/Serenity, and the comic-book Fray with insight, verve, and humor. Koontz goes beyond asking 'What would Buffy do?' and considers what Dawn, Spike, Faith, Caleb, Doyle, Mal, Book, and River would do, informed by a panoramic knowledge of world religions. All the big questions are here, and answers both expected unexpected. If you didn t already know that Whedon's shows are serious fun, you will when you ve read this book" --Elizabeth L. Rambo, associate professor of English, Campbell University and on the editorial board of Slayage: the Online International Journal of Buffy Studies

"A valuable addition to Whedon studies...a valuable contribution." --Mythlore

About the Author

Practicing lawyer K. Dale Koontz is a communications instructor at Cleveland Community College in Shelby, North Carolina.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 241 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland; First edition (presumed; no earlier dates stated) edition (February 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786434767
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786434763
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,593,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

K. Dale Koontz may have watched too much television as a child. She learned to count via Sesame Street and first learned that genres could cross-pollinate through M*A*S*H. When she discovered Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the die was cast. In 2008, McFarland published her book Faith and Choice in the Work of Joss Whedon which focused on themes such as redemption, choice, and consequences in Whedon's work up to that point. (She's fairly sure Volume 2 could be written to include Dr. Horrible, Dollhouse, and The Avengers.) She is a founding member of the Whedon Studies Association (a great group of people, but don't mention Twilight. Just sayin'). She has presented original work on the Rossum Corporation in Dollhouse, Kitty Pryde, and Japanese anime. Her current project is to co-author (along with Ensley F. Guffey) Wanna Cook? The Complete, Unofficial Companion to Breaking Bad, which is due to be published by ECW Press in 2014. Dale is available for speaking engagements and only occasionally uses puppets in her presentations.

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I thought this book was very thoughtful in that, like Sheppard Book, it didn't insist that belief meant faith in God. "When I talk about faith [Mal], why do you always think I'm talking about God?" This book makes that discussion evenhandedly, even though the author has a decidedly religious leaning. In the words of Henry Drummond in Inhereit the Wind, "Religion is suppose to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, not scare people to death."

Atheists and agnostics are often left out of the belief and goodness equation, as if their beliefs aren't deeply held, personal and moral. Questioning or not believing in a diety is not easy in this society, no matter how good a person you are. Whedon defies those prejudices by creating characters who, like society, believe in different things and are bad or good because of who they are, not what they choose to present to others. Therefore, Caleb is bad and Angel and Spike become/are good.

The PTC (Parents Television Council), a right wing quasi-religious group, routinely ranked Buffy and Angel in the 10 worst TV shows for teens because, for example, the show portrayed Buffy losing her virginity at 17, totally missing the point that the show actually showed the perils of doing so (I went all the way and now he won't call me). This book avoids that kind of prejudice and talks about moral issues as adults should, as difficult issues of conscience often leading to different places.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone who is a committed Joss Whedon Fan should really enjoy this book. While it falls into the are of literary criticism, it provides a lot of insight into the machination mind of Mr. Whedon (who is an astonishing man) and his characters.

I was left with a sense of gratification that there are multitudes of folks out there who know that while the shows are fun or sad or action packed and a host of other entertaining things, the one thing they are not is shallow.

I learned a lot about characters I am not (yet) all the familiar with and left the book headed for my dvds. The only thing I could have wished for was a discussion of the incredible chaaracter development of Wesley from Buffy to the last episode of Angel.

Loved the cover too!
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