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Five Seasons of "Angel": Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Discuss Their Favorite Vampire (Smart Pop Series) [Paperback]

Glenn Yeffeth
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

21 Oct 2004 Smart Pop Series
The constellation of characters and themes created in Angel, the popular Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off, are explored in this collection of essays. A vampire author, a sex expert, a TV critic, a science fiction novelist, and Buffy writer Nancy Holder provide essays examining the different issues relating to the series, including Angelus as the prototypical high school bully, Angel as victim, Wesley's many transformations, how Spike fits into Angel, the takeover of Wolfram & Hart, and Lindsey's moral center.

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Five Seasons of "Angel": Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Discuss Their Favorite Vampire (Smart Pop Series) + Seven Seasons of Buffy: Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Discuss Their Favorite Television Show
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Product details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: BenBella Books; 1st BenBella Books Ed edition (21 Oct 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932100334
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932100334
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.4 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 869,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Glenn Yeffeth is the editor of the nonfiction essay anthologies Alias Assumed, The Anthology at the End of the Universe, Navigating the Golden Compass, Seven Seasons of Buffy, Taking the Red Pill, and War of the Worlds: Fresh Perspectives on the H. G. Wells Classic. He lives in Dallas, Texas.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Nothing in Joss's universe is left to chance, and so perhaps it's not surprising that Angelus, Buffy's high school nemesis, seems so familiar to every one of us over the age of fourteen. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic book 28 May 2008
A brilliant book of essays that covers a wide range of subjects.

A perfect companion to Seven Seasons of Buffy, in that it is a lighter read than others of its kind while still raising some interesting questions.

Can't think of any negatives.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first anthology on ANGEL is a superb one 17 Oct 2004
By Robert Moore - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although BUFFY THE VAMPIRE has already received the anthology treatment four different times (with at least one more on the way), ANGEL has been singularly ignored by publishers. Sure, there are official viewing guides, some of them (especially the one by Kenneth Topping) excellent, but this isn't the same as getting a host of unofficial takes on the show. And to judge by the collections of essays, the folks who do the best job of writing about the show are writers, not academics or scholars (even though my own background is aggressively scholarly and oppressively academic). It isn't surprising that the best anthology on BUFFY is SEVEN SEASONS OF BUFFY, edited by the same Glenn Yeffeth who edited this new ANGEL collection, nor surprising that this volume happily comes up to the same high standards of that volume.

The great problem with anthologies is that they are of necessity uneven. Some essays are simply going to be better than others. Luckily, there are virtually no truly weak essays in FIVE SEASONS OF ANGEL, and a number of very strong ones. The twenty-one essays overlap to some degree, conflict with one another from time to time, sometimes cover subjects that I would have preferred left uncovered, and take up most, if not all, of the potential themes of the show. No one who loves ANGEL can fail to find this collection utterly fascinating, and no fan will fail to gain new insights into the show's characters and storylines. I was grateful that Conner, my least favorite show got scant mention, and saddened that more was not done with both Fred and her transition into Illyria (a plot line that contained scads of potential for the Season Six that was not to be, a season in which producer Jeff Bell revealed that Willow as to guest star and cast a spell that would allow what remained of Fred to escape from within Illyria, allowing Amy Acker to play a permanent double role).

I hesitate to start mentioning specific essays, for most are quite good. Dan Kerns, who was the Gaffer on ANGEL for the final three years and the Best Boy for the first two, brings a host of fascinating behind-the-scenes details in a highly humorous fashion. Nancy Holder has a great essay on how Spike on the final season of ANGEL differed from his previous incarnations on BUFFY. I'll mention only two more. I belong to those who believe that as much as Angel, Cordelia was the thematic heart of the show, in that she showed how even shallow, petty, and self-absorbed people can fulfill their potential and become not only good but genuinely heroic. I also believe that the dismantling of her character at the end of Season Three, its bizarre transformation in Season Four, and nonuse in Season Five (except for a wonderful one episode reappearance). I understand that some real world issues entered into her being written out of the show, but that doesn't lessen her essentiality in the show. Laura Anne Gilman gets at the heart of her story in her essay on Cordy entitled "True Shanshu." And Jennifer Crusie expresses sentiments precisely like my own (hunt down my old reviews of the ANGEL DVDs if you doubt me) in "The Assassination of Cordelia Chase."

The only two things that I really miss in the collection are an essay that deals with the character of Gunn, who was to me always one of the most underutilized characters on the show, and a lot more on Fred/Illyria. Some might complain of the absence of material on Connor, but for me that is one of the strengths and not one of the weaknesses of the collection.

Any BUFFY or ANGEL fan is going to love this collection. While there is now only one anthology dealing with ANGEL (a situation that will hopefully change), at least it is a good oen.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and Funny 21 Dec 2004
By Andrew - Published on
As a fan of Buffy and Angel, I try to keep my distance from conventions, fan clubs, and books like "The Watcher Diaries" in order to not appear obsessed with the shows. However, when I found out about this book and its "sister" Seven Seasons of Buffy, I broke down and got them. The reason I was so interested was that the essays in this anthology were written by many different types of fans; some of them hold PhDs, while one essay is written by a crew member from the show, so he had some pretty interesting stories to tell. I must say that some of these people's interpretations of the show are pretty interesting. A lot of them made me take a step back and look at certain episodes again to see what they were talking about. This book will make a good read for even a casual Angel fan.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My first foray into obsessiveness 14 Jun 2005
By H. Packard - Published on
This book was the first book I've ever read about a television show. I really enjoyed watching the Angel DVDs and discussing them with other equally insightful friends, but eventually our discussions ran out of juice. I mean, Lorne's sweet and all, but really, what is his purpose on the show? And what was the thought behind bringing Lindsay back in the final season? The authors of the essays in Five Seasons of Angel have a wide variety of backgrounds and are often quite insightful - others hit the mark dead-on. (Why, why, Doyle, did you have to die??) After having read this, I look forward to many more books about television shows.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's your favourite Posting Board, but in book form! 1 May 2008
By Rachel Hyland - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wow. A book. About "Angel". But not some media tie-in novel, more of that sanctioned fan fiction from Pocket Books. Oh, no. This is a book where people -- talented, interesting people, for the most part -- are actually discussing in quite serious depth all-things "Angel". Who wouldn't want to buy that?

First, the bad news: not every essay in this collection is worthy of your time. Josepha Sherman (co-author of some not-bad "Buffy" books) goes on and on -- and on -- about mythology in the series; Nancy Holder (author of a few quite brilliant, and a lot of quite blech, "Buffy" and "Angel" novels) is beyond-words tedious while talking Spike (unforgivable!); and Candace Havens (who?) is just plain odd as she (mis-)rates Angel's various love-interests.

However, other efforts are simply inspired. Don DeBrant (another "Angel" author) visits with Angelus, and makes us love/hate him all over again; Marguerite Kraus waxes lyrical on Gypsy incompetence in her wonderfully named treatise "It's a Stupid Curse"; Steven Harper contends "Jasmine: Scariest Villain Ever" (and backs it up nicely); and "Angel" lighting guy Dan Kerns gives us a fascinating glimpse behind the glamour in his delightful memoir "'Angel' by the Numbers".

There are other hits (but not many other misses) in the collection. (Though, I will add, editor Glenn Yeffeth's non sequitur-style intros struck me as a trifle self-indulgent.)

Nevertheless, I enjoyed this book hugely, and highly recommend it to any fan who misses the days when the very minutia of "Angel" was hotly debated on Posting Boards everywhere.

Those discussions aren't dead! You just have to pay for them now.
8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Seasons of Angel is an awsome book! 3 Nov 2004
By N. Kok - Published on
Five seasons of Angel is an awsome book! This book is based on the cancelled WB series by Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt. The book has many science fiction and fantasy essays based on the TV show, Angel! Each of the science fiction and fantasy authors give their own perspective and point of view on Joss Whedon's series. I like this book because it focus on my favorite Angel characters like Angel (David Boreanaz), Spike (James Marsters), Lorne (Andy Harlett), Wesly Wydham-Price (Alexis Denisof), Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter), Darla (Julie Benz), Fred Burkle/Illirya (Amy Acker) and many other Angel characters. Angel in Season 5 is the best season! Angel (David Boreanaz) and his team take over the evil Law firm, Wolfram and Hart! The essays are well written and are very enjoyable,if you are a fan of Angel, I recommeded this book. Five seasons of Angel is a great book! Highly recommended!
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