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The Brothers Coen: Unique Characters of Violence (Modern Filmmakers) Hardcover – September 23, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0313355981 ISBN-10: 0313355983
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Editorial Reviews

Review

• Identifies a running theme of violence in a body of work that includes thrillers, mysteries, film noir, gangster movies, and westerns

• Explores the motivations, thoughts, and actions of Coen characters who either live by violence or are inadvertently drawn into violent acts

• Gives film lovers of all kinds a fresh take on the working relationship of the Coen brothers



• Chronology of each of the Coen brothers' 13 major films

• Photos of major characters from each of the Coen brothers' films under examination.



"This study of the cinema of Joel and Ethan Coen examines the theme of violence that runs through the brothers' work via chapters that scrutinize the motives, thoughts, and actions of the principal characters in each of the Coens' films. In the world depicted in the films, suggests the author, violence always has devastating, unintended consequences on the characters, both for those who live by violence and those who are just bystanders to the violent acts of others. Covering all of the Coens' films except the most recent (2009's A Serious Man), this engagingly written book will interest both film scholars and cinema fans."

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Reference & Research Book News

Book Description

On its surface, it was a story often filmed: the wayward wife, the sympathetic stranger, the jealous husband, the killer-for-hire. But the utterly unique combination of cinematic flair, oddball characters, unexpected comedy, and gruesome violence made Blood Simple (1984) a critical smash, and established Joel and Ethan Coen as an original force in American independent film.

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Product Details

  • Series: Modern Filmmakers
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (September 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0313355983
  • ISBN-13: 978-0313355981
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,250,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By M.A.K. on September 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anyone who is a Coen fan could have written this book and probably been more successful. It was seriously poorly edited, with factual mistakes in every chapter. There are too many to mention here but for example- he says in Raising Arizona on one page that the Arizonas have quintuplets, another page he says sextuplets- mistakes like that. In addition there are multiple formatting mistakes on the kindle version, tons of typos and just really unprofessional editing.
When he does say something without typos, it's superficial and goes barely deeper than a typical review. He writes more, but quantity does not make up for quality. I am taking a film class and this is being used as one of our text books and the professor has had to apologize for not reading the book more completely. There is another book about the Coens that is edited by Conard that is much, much better and a compilation of different writers and different viewpoints. I suggest getting that one instead of this.
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By Academia on March 12, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Unfortunately, this book is just a nice try of coming to terms with the carnages in the Coens movies; however, it remains on the surface and does not offer any theoretical grounding for any deeper analysis. I am currently working on my dissertation about the same subject and hoped that this book might provide some helpful insights. It is a total fail as it does not offern any perspective from any field of neither literature, cultural, film, politic, nor social studies.

Doom may be a Coen buff knowing all details, yet the book offers just his interpretations on the plot level ignoring all other interesting apects of film and especially of film violence.
One star for the try.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Timothy M. Scimeca on October 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a huge fan of the Coen brothers. All their films are unique in every avenue of movie making. The author, Ryan Doom, explores these characters on every level. Doom is very clear and concise on analyzing these motley characters, which I loved! I was intrigued by Doom's style of writing. If you are a fan of the Coen brothers, I would highly recommend this book. There are many filmmakers out in the world, but the Coen's are in the major leagues of movies, very eclectic and original. Doom does an excellent job of laying out the foundation and the many doors into each character and film.

Have fun kiddies in this "Theater of Pain" book!!!!! As the crypt keeper says...

A+++++
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been a huge fan of the Coen brothers' work and have seen all of their movies. I saw this book and was interested on someone else's take on their collective works. The author does a great job of touching on all of the unique (and recurring) themes of all the movies. I would highly recommend this book to other readers, either die hard fans or even casual fans. I was also pleased with the production value. Goes to show that it takes more than a broccoli stick to put together a good book.

Enjoy.
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The Brothers Coen: Unique Characters of Violence (Modern Filmmakers)
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