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Reading the Vampire Slayer: The Complete, Unofficial Guide to 'Buffy' and 'Angel' (Reading Contemporary Television) Paperback – March 18, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-1860649844 ISBN-10: 186064984X Edition: 2 Rev Exp

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Editorial Reviews


*...very thoughtful essays...accessible and intriguing...* -- Booklist

About the Author

Roz Kaveney is a well-known reviewer, contributing editor of The Encyclopaedia of Fantasy, and co-founder of Feminists against Censorship.

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Product Details

  • Series: Reading Contemporary Television
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Tauris Parke Paperbacks; 2 Rev Exp edition (March 18, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 186064984X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860649844
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,366,452 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By gunngirl VINE VOICE on May 14, 2005
Unfortunetly we don't get Angel season five in this book, it is still very engaging, informative, interesting and thought provoking. This book is not for the average viewer or even for just a passing fan. It's for the fanatic. He does include a character list, including villains and recurring characters with descriptions for everyone, but it won't mean much to you unless you're a fan of the show.

This book links both shows together, often discussing them both in unison and how some characters on Angel relate to Buffy, which I liked because both worlds do intertwine, epecially with Buffy and Angel as a former couple. But what's best is Kaveney really goes in depth with Buffy, making points about show titles, quotes, certain moments and key comments and objects and how they either pertain to something important or forshadow something else. He explains a lot, and does well discussing Spike and Buffy's relationship and all the sexual relationships on the show, which is one of his best reviews. He goes through each season discussing character growth, and the oh so many metaphors of Joss' world -- many things that you probably didn't catch, but can now note on another viewing after him pointing it out to you.

There were so many things I didn't catch or understand during the years that were pointed out to me now. However, not every page is exceptional or even worthy. Best chapters are : "She save the world. A lot" "Entropy as Demon" "What you are, what's to come" "The only thing better than killing a slayer" and "Blood and Choice" Also, "They always mistake me for the character I play" is fairly interesting and provides some good key information.
The interviews were pretty bland.
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I was looking at this book for my introductory level class on Gender Studies as a supplement; we read Lorna Jowett's SEX AND THE SLAYER and watch episodes of the show to go along with our gender analysis, and I wanted a book that would provide much needed epsidoe/season summary and reference material about the characters (the way we use the show in class, we have to watch episodes out of order and all of the jumping around can cause confusion about who is who and what is happening) while also providing useful essays that we could read to supplement our classwork.

The episode guide was exactly what I was looking for, but the character reference wasn't nearly as user-friendly. It seemed to be designed for someone who has already watched all of the series and just needs a reminder of minor characters, not for students who are only watching select episodes out of order. The way it presented some of the characters was strange even for me, and I have watched the series through several times.

The essays were good, though a bit uneven. Also, the book does make clear that its subject is both BTVS and the spinoff series ANGEL, but I felt like too many of the essays relied too heavily on knowledge of ANGEL as well as BTVS, and therefore wouldn't be of use to my students (or to anyone whose only interest is BTVS). Some of the essays were quite engaging, but a couple of them were too long and a bit too academic, even for my taste. I love that BTVS/ANGEL have inspired real academic critique and discussion, but theory and debate can still be lively!

Eventually I decided to include the book on the syllabus as a recommended text.
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By Summer40 on August 2, 2011
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"Reading the Vampire Slayer" is more than a guide to the "Buffy" and "Angel" series. The author pays a lot of respect to the shows without bowing down to the 'genius' of Josh Whedon. The introduction chapter serves as a brief summary of seasons 1-7 of "Buffy" and 1-4 of "Angel". The summaries were refreshing and they went far beyond what Buffy/Angel boards would offer.
The interviews of Jane Espenson and Stevens DeKnight brought an awareness of the writing/script process. Both writers were down-to-earth and critical of their own work. The authors, especially DeKnight, listened to what the fans said about certain episodes and strove to improve his work. There were a couple of chapters that could have been written by Wilcox (emphasizing literature/religon & Buffy), but Kaveney sinks his/her teeth into the chapter involving sexuality and the two shows. The reader could tell that Kaveney enjoyed writing that chapter, because the writing becomes less collegiate and more raunchy (intelligent raunch).
The last chapter belongs in the "No they didn't!" category, where the author critiques the actual actors from the shows. If you were an actor on either series, upon reading this particular chapter, the author could either receive a nice bouquet of flowers or toe nail clippings. Overall, this was a great book and a must read for all Buffy/Angel fans.
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