- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Main Street Books; 1 edition (January 20, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385491360
- ISBN-13: 978-0385491365
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 26 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,686,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Xena: Warrior Princess Official Guide To the Xenaverse Paperback – January 20, 1998
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Where guilty pleasures live, armed to the teeth and sporting battle armor, there strides Xena. As TV art, the syndicated Xena is more like Baywatch than Upstairs Downstairs, but it has a (very thin) patina of intellectual cachet from making frequent and occasionally incongruous references to classical mythology. Since the ratings titan has been on only since 1995, there is only so much an in-depth fan guide can cover, so Weisbrot also provides much detail on Xena's notable forerunner, Sheena, Oueen of the Jungle, a black-and-white syndicated series of 26 episodes that first ran in 1955. Aside from the welcome Sheena retrospective, the guide's highlights include episode breakdowns, worthy cast profiles, and pictures, pictures, pictures. Although not exactly challenging reading, this guide to a tasty enough slice of currently popular entertainment is engaging. Mike Tribby
From the Inside Flap
In a time of ancient gods, warlords, and kings, a land in turmoil cried out for a hero. She was Xena, a mighty princess, forged in the heat of battle...Her courage will change the world.
The millions of fans who watch Xena: Warrior PrincessTM every week already know that it is the hottest and hippest show on television. But for inside information that is available nowhere else, The Official Guide to the Xenaverse is the place to turn, offering:
Over one hundred photographs in color and black and white
A complete and detailed episode guide to the first two seasons, featuring Lucy Lawless's own take on every episode
A look behind the scenes that reveals the inner workings of the show, including writers' meetings, casting sessions, filming, special-effects secrets, and much more
The intriguing story of the origin of Xena: Warrior PrincessTM
Biographies of cast and crew
Fascinating trivia and little-known facts about life in the Xenaverse
Xena: Warrior Princess (r) & (c) Universal Television Enterprises, Inc. Licensed by Universal Studios Licensing, Inc. Copyright (c) 1998 by Universal Studios Publishing Rights, a division of Universal Studios Licensing, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Also some short but nice backstory on all your favorite actors from the show.
Xena fans will enjoy it!
Now there are three books about Xena and Lucy Lawless, the actor who plays her with such gusto. If you can, buy all three books since each offers something that the other two don't.
If you can only afford one book, though, this is the one. As the author of the "official guide," Weisbrot had access to the cast and crew that the authors of the other two books obviously didn't. Too, Weisbrot is a college history professor, so this book is also the most literate of the three.
It's obvious from his interviews that Weisbrot trekked down under to New Zealand during the preproduction phase of "The Xena Scrolls." The pluses to this book, in addition to details only available with access, are the photos (color and B&W studio stills) and the commentary about each episode of the first two seasons. (That, BTW, is a large portion of each book and as much as any of them cover since they were all written as the third season -- 1997-98 -- was getting underway.)
If I could only buy two books, I would be hard-pressed to choose. But I'd probably go for James Van Hise's HERCULES AND XENA: THE UNOFFICIAL COMPANION solely on the basis of the color photos. If you've ever wondered what Lucy's parents and ex-hubby look like, here's your opportunity. Better yet, you'll see Lucy as she was as Mrs. New Zealand, complete with tiara!
I find the Herc series a crashing bore, so half of this book is wasted on me. Besides the photos, I appreciated the bibliography.
Finally, there is XENA X-POSED by Nadine Crenshaw. I got a definite sense that Nadine is as much an adoring fan as she is an author of unauthorized celebrity biographies. One reason that this book comes in only as third for me are the inexcuseable gaffes that should have never made it past even a mediocre proofreader: inability to distinguish between the homophones, principal and principle, for one. Switching character names, such as Meleager for Zagreus in the synopsis of "A Day in the Life," for another. I am always leery about the accuracy of everything else in a book where there are so many errors. Also, you won't be buying this book for the photos, which are B&W studio stills printed on newsprint-quality paper.
So, what's its appeal? The bibliography (though unconventionally formatted) is extensive and even includes talk-TV show citations. The life 'n' times of Lucy Lawless is created from these sources and is more detailed than that of the other 2 books. (One can only hope that those details have been presented accurately!)
But more importantly, he gave Xena fandom its first step into the world of print by impressing Renaissance Pictures and Universal Studios with his enthusiasm that when it became clear he was going to write some fan books they realized they'd better get him on board.
So, we have the official guide to Xena written by a true Xena fan. Weisbrot took the time to interview producers, writers, and cast members. He visited the sets and watched all the episodes. He understands the subject matter thoroughly, and his love of ancient Greek mythology is an added bonus. You can't go wrong by buying this book!