- Series: Tauris Parke Paperbacks
- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Tauris Parke Paperbacks; 2nd Revised, Expanded ed. 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 (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,931,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Reading the Vampire Slayer: The Complete, Unofficial Guide to 'Buffy' and 'Angel' (Tauris Parke Paperbacks) 2nd Revised, Expanded ed. Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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. The reference materials are useful for keeping track of the who, what, where, and when of the show, and for students who are already BTVS fans or discover a love of the show, it's a great opportunity to read more criticism about it. Overall, I would say that it is a good book, but not a great one; there are other, more engaging texts for Buffy fans who want an academic exploration of the show (I definitely recommend Jowett's book, as well as Rhonda V. Wilcox's WHY BUFFY MATTERS) but if you've already read those this is stil worth a read and you won't regret picking it up.
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.
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. Kaveney sometimes writes with an overzealous flair, but he does get his point across and I enjoyed it. I gave this five stars for the chapters I mentioned. I wish season five of Angel could have been included. I think his discussion on Angel would have been deeper had it been. Overall, a FANTASTIC read for a hardcore fan. I reccommend, especially now the the Whedonverse is officially gone.