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Once Bitten: An Unofficial Guide to the World of Angel [Paperback]

Nikki Stafford
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Nov 2004 Angel
Once known as the most vicious of his kind, the vampire Angel was re-ensouled by a gypsy looking for revenge. Now he has decided to atone for his sins and help people rather than victimise them. Welcome to the world of Angel, the spin-off series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Features a history of the show; a section profiling the best websites; a look at Buffy and Angel's recognition in academic circles; a complete episode guide to all five series of Angel; and exclusive behind-the-scenes photos.

Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: ECW Press,Canada (1 Nov 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550226541
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550226546
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 17.4 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 303,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Angel guides around! 18 May 2005
Being a major Buffy/Angel fan I bought the Buffy guide book by Nikki Stafford when I first started to like the series. Having read all of it a couple of times, when I saw this one in the shop I just had to buy it.
This book contains reviews from all the episodes of Angel and Buffy season 7 (the Buffy book was published at the end of season 6 so a guide to season 7 is included). The style of the reviews is one of the best I have seen, as it feels as if you are having a conversation with another Angel fan after watching the episodes. Lots of other guides tend to give a description of the episode with no critical analysis, but this book only briefly gives details about what happens in the episode and goes into depth on different opinions, gives facts and explains the deeper meanings behind each storyline. I find this type of analysis more exciting to read than a full two pages dedicated to re-telling what happened during the episode, and if something isn't clear to you while watching the episode, you can refer to this guide to find out what it really means.
Cast biographies were included in the Buffy guide by the same author, so in this book we get an in-depth interview with Alexis Denisof (Wesley) and a feature on the history behind the show Angel, with pictures and a few added extras to. Headings under episode guides include- Highlights, Nitpicks, Oops, Interesting facts, Soundtracks, Did you know?, and there are mini interviews with some characters commenting on individual episodes (e.g. Fred, Gunn, Lindsey, Lilah...)
I would definitely recommend this guide to anyone who loves Angel or is going to watch the show soon, this style of book suits my reading taste and the reviews on each episode are informative and useful, and I'm sure others would agree.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No need for Casefiles! 9 Aug 2006
I recently purchased this title as having watched Angel on TV often found some of the story lines fascinating but confusing to follow. This book puts that straight, it is informative, fun and interesting. Having ordered the Casefiles at the same time, I wish I hadnt bothered, it is so pedestrian. This has far more depth and wittier comment.

Minor niggle - For some unexplicable reason, absent is any mention of Vincent Karthieser, a prominent part of Seasons 3 and 4. Despite that, all the other principals are present and correct. A must for any devotee.
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5.0 out of 5 stars There's no place like Plrtz Glrb 11 Jun 2014
Buffy and Angel are the TV shows that I love best, so it saddened me that Pocket Books' official Angel guides only covered the series as far as Season 4. I bought Nikki Stafford's book hoping for just a "Well, it's better than nothing" substitute for the missing Casefiles Volume 3, but it's much more fun than I anticipated.

So, what do you get in its four hundred and forty medium-format pages? A thorough history of the show, including the woes of its tragic cancellation. An amusing report from a posting board party. A chapter on the academic books and college courses that have studied Joss Whedon's inventions. Chapters on Angel and Buffy websites, and the personal websites of the actors. A long, long interview with the very interesting Alexis Denisof. An Angel trivia quiz. Detailed guides to every single Angel episode, as well as to the seventh season of Buffy, which was broadcast too late to be included in the first edition of the author's earlier Buffy guide. And then lists of all the Angel and Buffy episodes, and of their writers, and of the guide's many sources. Also more than seventy informal black and white photographs of the shows' actors and other Whedonverse luminaries, as well as sixteen colour plates of most of Angel's principal cast.

The episode guides are the heart of the book, and Nikki does them splendidly. She tells you the date of the original US broadcast and the names of the writer and director and the guest cast, and then, after a brief summary of the plot, she provides a delightful, intelligent, enthusiastic review. The engaging odds and ends that she also supplies include highlights, interesting facts, continuity errors, nitpicks, call sheets, contradictions, Angel-Buffy linkages, Wolfram & Hart allusions and identification of featured music.
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Great book. Never seen this one before, wasn't sure when it was written though as a few discrepancies on info regarding actors, like some written a while back and some more recent. This should have had more effort by writers to sort out these inconsistencies. Eg, talking about Andy Hallet ( actor who played one of my favourite characters, Lorne ) in present tense. Unfortunately he ( the actor, not the character!) passed away sadly in 2009. Later they talk about him in past tense. Obviously written later! Tut tut... Writers, crack on the knuckles there. Even some of the info about some of the actors were incorrect. Loads on info on some guy who played a demon I can't even remember seeing ( prob in one episode) a whole page and a half on him, with exact info and bio, probably because he was willing to give the writers his entire life story and thought they'd pad it out a bit with a few pics of him on set.....( way more than our dealt departed Andy 'Lorne'. A bit weird that) more on Wesley than Angel....a bit odd all round really. Loads on Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy) even though effectively she only played a cameo role in this series. Stolen from another Buffy unofficial guide? Another tut tut. 2 lines only for 'Doyle' even though, he was a main character for the entire 1st series and also passed away.(the actor, and the character!) A bit disrespectful I think. Couldn't get any more info as he's left this mortal coil? Come on guys!. Just in a dammed hurry to get the book out I expect. However, lovely pictures and nicely put together. shame mot more in colour though. I suppose this is what one comes to expect from an unofficial guide. The people who sent the book, thanks, it was in a good condition and well packaged so no damage in transit. Good reliable company and would deal with again.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Got Lots Of Bite 3 Dec 2004
By Barry - Published on
Another year, and another companion book to the Buffy/Angel/Joss Whedon universe. But when they are as good, fun, and interesting as Nikki Stafford's book on the subject are, they are a most welcomed treat. When she released the Buffy book, "Bite Me", a few years back, it was a refreshing read since it was from a fan. It was well written and researched, and although I had some questions with some of her ongoing nitpicks, it was a fantastic book. The problems I had with it?. Basically, season 4. Most fans were turned off and grossed out with the Cordelia/Connor thing, and the stuff Cordelia did. And Stafford even keeps referring to it as being Cordelia. The thing is, it is not Cordelia. She isn't doing these things. Charisma didn't change everything she built for the character as Stafford writes, because this is a whole other person using her. People didn't distiguish the two, and I think it made for some of the fabulous, brilliant stuff that season 4 had going for it to be overlooked and not given the proper treatment. This wasn't Cordelia. If the real Cordelia had heard of what happened, she would of been just as grossed out as everyone else. Probably even more so. Stafford keeps up the momentum with this latest release on the history and series run of Buffy's sister show, "Angel". Stafford keeps the fun and interest high all through the well made book, and her own personal thoughts and nitpicks are still there, and while some may annoy some people, are still interesting and fun to read. They are also not important enough to give a low grade to this book. That's forgetting the great stuff inside and giving it a low mark because you don't like the cover. The recent "Watcher's Guide Vol. 3" was such a disappointing affair, that it makes one happy for a Whedonverse book like this one to come along. Stafford keeps things fresh and makes it very clear in the beginning that she is not going to re-hash what she had already written about Angel in the "Bite Me" book, and she doesn't. Her writing is well rounded and easy to read, where some more scholary type publications can get a little over done. To please even more readers and fans, and to tie up loose ends, she has also included the seventh and final season of "Buffy" at the end of book as well. What also makes this book a better deal is that she includes season 5 of "Angel". The recently released "Angel Casefiles Vol. 2" only goes to season 4. What's that about?. The book has very long, in detail synopses and thoughts of all 110 episodes of the show over it's 5 season run. Every section comes with a few little different categories too. Just like the "Bite Me" book. She has "Highlight", which as you probably know, tells what she thought was the high point of that particular episode. There is "Interesting Facts", which you can pretty much guess on your own. "Did You Notice?" is a section where she tells things that one may have not noticed or really picked up on. The infamous "Nitpick" section I already mentioned. "The Buffy Connection" is a section that tells if a certain episode or moment or part of a story in that episode has ties with something from "Buffy". There is also a "Woops" part that details bloopers and all that. It's all very well researched and startingly crafted. If that isn't enough, she has sections on the 2003 Posting Board party, "Angel" and "Buffy" on the web, some trivia, an interview with Alexis Denisoff(Wesley), the story of Angel, some nice color photos, and a section on Buffy in the academia world. Stafford delivers another fine book on the subject that is nothing but pure fun and enjoyment from start to finish. Even though it's not "Buffy", it is everything that "Watcher's Guide 3" should have been. The world and stories of "Angel" was a marvelous, brilliant place, and Stafford keeps the glory of the show alive with this fine book. One wonders what she will give us next, while at the time it's sad that the Buffy/Angel world is over and we won't get another fine book on the two from her. Oh well. Read and enjoy, because the book is every bit as good as "Bite Me". Well done.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Twice Shy 21 Nov 2004
By M. Wilson - Published on
While this episode guide isn't terrible, it is often quite irritating. Whereas in Stafford's Buffy guide, Bite Me, her nitpicks are often justified and her commentary is insightful and eloquent, most of the commentary and nitpicks in this guide are not. For example, in her nitpicks about the season one episode "Parting Gifts," Stafford goes off on a tirade about how Barney is an empath demon but does not look like Lorne. This complaint was completely mind-boggling to me, since it seems really naive to assume that all demons with empathic abilities must be from Pylea. Another one of her inane nitpicks based on assumptions about demons is in the season one episode "The Bachelor Party" where she complains that divorce would not have been part of ancient rituals since it was not common a long time ago. I thought we established a long time ago that humans and demons have different rituals. <rolling eyes> Nevertheless, this guide isn't horrible and can at times be very entertaining. Just don't expect it be as good as Bite Me.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars "Once Bitten" Falls Flat 16 Jan 2006
By Jennifer L. Garrett - Published on
While I don't really enjoy criticizing another's work when I can't write a book myself, this book deserves reviewing. I have not read the book "Bite Me" also by this author, but judging by this volume, I won't.

If you enjoy being irritated with a book you, as a reader, spent roughly $15.00- $20.00 on, please, go forth and buy this book; if not, spend your hard earned cash elsewhere ("Angel: The Casefiles" might be a better choice).

The first irritation of this book is although it is "supposed" to be about "Angel," Stafford seems to be writing a sequel to "Bite Me;" she talks about Buffy more than Angel. Don't get me wrong, I'm personally an avid fan of both shows. However, "Angel," whilst being a spin-off, stood on it's own two feet, following "Buffy"s storyline minimally, and Stafford attempts to make parallels between the two shows that just aren't there. It becomes a fly in the reader's ear after a while.

The second major irritation in this book are the menial episode summaries. Having seen every "Angel" episode, at least once, I know the basic plot of each episode and only need a refresher. However, Stafford leaves out MAJOR plot points. If one was trying to find a certain episode he/she missed, one may get a "ballpark" idea of which episode he/she i looking for, especially in Season 4, when the season is basically one long story arc, and if you miss one episode, you're clueless and confused. In my opinion, a plot summary should be like a Cliff's Notes version of the episode, and Stafford only writes about PART of an episode, usually the part I'm figuring that she find pleasing.

And finally, the last bit of annoyance... Nitpicks. Almost anyone who has read this book does not like the "Nitpick" section. I honestly don't want to know someone else's opinion of an episode, or a character's outfit in a certain episode, or any other gripe the author may have about the show; If Stafford like the show so much that she wrote about about it, why does she feel the need to gripe about it? And I apologize, but some of the comments she makes are crude, tactless, and seem uneducated, case in point sayin that Cordelia's outfit at the end of "Orpheus" (Season 4, episode 15) looks like it was bought at, and I quote, "Bondage Maternity Clothes R Us" is absolutely tasteless.

Of course the are a few shining lights within this dreary book: there is a humorous interveiw with Alexis Denisof (Wesley Wyndam-Pryce), It's humorous because the actor is witty, not the author; and there are a few little "jewels" throughout the book: a chronology of appearances by Phantom Dennis, and a Complete "Angel" timeline, pre and post Buffy. These few random lights are the only reason why this book gets ANY stars, in my opinion.

Stafford's sophomore effort just falls flat in this reader's eyes. If you MUST read it, rent it from your Library.
4.0 out of 5 stars angel's world is uncovered 1 Aug 2013
By Carol McCauley - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
this is a good sequel to the Buffy book before it. It also gives you an overview of Buffy's last season and any ties between Angel episodes and Buffy episodes. I wish it had better episodes synopsis. Spends too much time analyzing.
6 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once Bitten by Nikki Stafford is a great book! 21 Nov 2004
By N. Kok - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Once Bitten by Nikki Stafford is a great book! This book is about the popular Buffy The Vampire Salyer spin-off, Angel! Angel (David Boreanaz) is a about 25O year old Vampire with Soul who Fights for the good and the helpless in Los Angeles, California! This book contains many interesting facts and Trivia about this series! This series has an episode guide to all five seasons of Angel! The book also has information about the seventh season of Buffy the Vampire slayer! This book has an interview with Alexis Desinof, Angel's Wesley Wydham-Price and well as other interviews with cast and crew of Angel! This book has both color photographs and black and white pictures of the cast and crew of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel! I like this book by Nikki Stafford! It's a very good read if you like both series by Joss Whedon! Highly Recommended!
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