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The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History Hardcover – 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
This behind-the-scenes look at perhaps the most successful television series of all time is a memorable and highly entertaining romp that offers listeners never before heard stories and anecdotes from such figures as Conan O'Brien and James L. Brooks. John Allen Nelson does a splendid job at relating the text with an ear for Ortved's wry wit—though his Homer impression could use a little work. Nelson takes listeners to places they've never been, tells them stories they thought they'd never hear, and does it all in such a cool and collected tone, that it seems almost second nature. It's endlessly informative and a fine complement to Ortved's superb study of the pop culture phenom. A Faber & Faber hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 5). (Nov.)
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Top Customer Reviews
The lack of participation by many vital players, including Matt Groening himself, necessitates the use of printed comments in the stead of interview comments. The lack of cooperation also frees Ortved from having to be objective in his writing, allowing others to present only one side of the story. It also probably limited his access to some areas, especially within Fox, that might have fleshed out pieces and give some heft to his story. This lack of objectivity allows the author to speak very highly of the first dozen seasons with high praise, milder praise for the next few seasons and then almost outright dismissal of work from the 9th or 10th season on.
That said, the book is extremely entertaining, very informative and eye opening and just a great glimpse into the Juggernaut that is The Simpsons. It is the work of love of a fan who is trying to explain how lightning was captured in a bottle and the focus can be on the overall story, with varying amounts of attention paid to the details. It would have been nice to get a better overview of who everyone is and how they fit together (much of the conflicts that appear involve people who are around for a year or two, are influential and then leave), but since the goal is to produce a history told in individual's recollections and stories rather than in a cohesive narrative, this is not a major issue. While not perfect, the book is a fascinating read of anyone interested in the history of The Simpsons as a show and how Fox became the House that Bart built.