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Planet Simpson: How a Cartoon Masterpiece Defined a Generation Hardcover – 24 Oct 2004


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; Export Ed edition (24 Oct. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306813416
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306813412
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 16.1 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,284,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

This is a terrifically energetic book which, like its many layered subject, will reward repeat consumption -- Guardian Guide --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

An intelligent, highly readable, hugely funny dissection of the world's most watched TV programme - The Simpsons --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tristan Martin VINE VOICE on 22 Mar. 2007
Format: Paperback
In writing Planet Simpson, author Chris Turner risked turning himself into The Simpsons' anal Comic Book Guy - with his clipped nasal tones - investing far too much of his time and energy into what is simply a pretty crude cartoon: "Best. Cartoon. Ever." However, what makes The Simpsons different to, say, The Flintstones, it's prehistoric ancestor, is that The Simpsons is (A) hilarious and (B) an acutely observed portrait of a struggling, conflicted and yet in its own way, harmonious, nuclear family, deeply embedded in small town America.

Turner divides his analysis into sections - some look at the archetypal characters, such as (my personal favourite), captain of industry Charles Montgomery Burns and his bootlick, Smithers; the look at Burns will feature his cinematic precedents, such as Citizen Kane and It's a Wonderful Life; then the book might cast its gaze over what Monty might have to say about American-style capitalism ("Get beaten by the Japanese?! What, those sandal-wearing goldfish tenders? Pah!"). Other characters considered in detail include the main Simpson family of course. Naturally, the best section is on Homer, the most irritating is on Lisa.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Charles VINE VOICE on 16 Oct. 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a very long book - probably too long - that lauds The Simpsons as the greatest TV show we have. The author is sometimes close to labouring this point, especially early on. Indeed, in the whole book there is only one criticism of something in the show. Much of what he writes is interesting stuff, but my complaints would be as follows: it is occasionally self-indulgent; it occasionally goes off the point (this is particularly true in his chapter on the internet, which turns into a commentary on the web's explosion in the 1990s and is a slog to read through); a leftish bias is evident in many places; some of the repeatings of what happens in the show do not translate too well. But there's some decent stuff here, and you do come away from it with more admiration than ever for the makers of the show. If the book had been a little thinner it could have picked up similar plaudits.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Miles VINE VOICE on 17 April 2006
Format: Paperback
Turner's premise is that 'The Simpsons' has become the main vehicle for countercultural discourse, replacing rock music, independent cinema and political philosophy. It's an interesting idea, I guess, but one which he signally fails to put across well, rambling down various blind alleys and quoting bits of the shows repeatedly and at length: it's like being collared by an enthusiastic drunk in the pub. Turner also likes Nirvana and Radiohead as well as 'The Simpsons' and seems to reason that as he likes them they must therefore all have something in common, and spends many pages tortuously trying to link lyrics from 'Kid A' to the activities of Professor Frink. Overall, the book reads like a (very long) Media Studies thesis written by someone who's not quite as smart as they think they are. It's interesting that the publishers didnt edit this down to something more readable, as there are some worthwhile ideas tucked away.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Definite recommendation to anyone who loved and indeed grew up on 'The Simpsons' ...One word of warning to any prospective reader, you need to have a good vocabulary to follow and keep up with the author. This of course will be a plus to many readers.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
very enlightening.Helps give a better more informed experience especially when watching earlier series of the programme
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