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Wanting to Believe: A Critical Guide to the X-Files, Millennium & the Lone Gunmen Paperback – 15 Aug 2009


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Wanting to Believe: A Critical Guide to the X-Files, Millennium & the Lone Gunmen + The Complete X-Files: Behind the Scenes, the Myths, and the Movies + The Lone Gunmen: The Complete Series [DVD] [2001]
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Product details

  • Paperback: 283 pages
  • Publisher: Mad Norwegian Press (15 Aug 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097594469X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0975944691
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 14.6 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 92,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By P. Burt on 29 July 2010
Format: Paperback
When I got this book from Amazon I turned immediately to the section addressing the content of the most recent X-Files film (I Want to Believe, released 2008); I wanted to get a taste of whether the author was going to be someone I could read without wanting to throw the book in the corner in frustration or anger. Let's just say I'm happy to report that I was favourably inclined towards him thereafter. For UK readers' benefit - the author is a Brit and although he evidently has a great affection for the X Files, Lone Gunman series etc., he's not overly precious about it, and as he is a TV writer himself, can criticise a little more objectively and knowledgeably. There is a lot of dry humour in his reviews too; I chuckled at some of his comments, and the review of "First Person Shooter" I laughed out loud at - particularly the bit about the Policemen hanging about in the corridor; read it and weep! Lots in here for X Philes to enjoy, just try to read it without your "fan" hat on and you'll get more out of it; even on the odd occasion that I found myself disagreeing with his review of a particular episode I couldn't help respecting his point of view which was always interesting and thought-provoking!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Naomi on 22 Mar 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've always thought it was a shame that a show as popular as The X Files never had an unofficial guide to cover all nine seasons, and this book exactly fits what I was looking for. It's opinionated in all the right ways so that, even if you do disagree with some of the reviews, you can still understand the reasoning behind why some episodes are more loved than others.

After the recent trend of rather dry books in essay format with a variety of contributors (some of which are inevitably more interesting than others), it's a relief to find that the traditional unauthorised episode reviews haven't completely fallen out of favour, and this book is one of the better examples of a guide where you really do feel like the author is giving honest appraisals of all episodes. Even seasons 7-9, where it's widely acknowledged that standards started slipping, the reviews never fall into the trap of coming across as too much of a bitter fan in the way that made the similar Buffy unofficial companion rather unpleasant to read by the end. But then nor is it completely gushing and uncritical by any means. The author finds the right balance and I would highly recommended this book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Teebs on 13 Jan 2014
Format: Paperback
As a teenager I was absolutely crazy about the X-Files, and being quite a loyal and dedicated sort of person I stuck with it until The End (quite literally) getting my video set for each BBC showing of a new episode. I reviewed the whole 9 seasons several years ago, when the DVD boxsets were dirt cheap here on Amazon, and did a similar little exercise in rating and reviewing each episode. Sadly these are all lost on some now defunct old PC, but reading Shearman's book brought back all the memories of this series, both the highs and the lows.

Part of the fun in reviewing this series is the wildly inconsistent nature of the show. The under-achieving, or plain dull, episodes stand out so much more when just a week before, or after, was some miniature masterpiece of TV. Shearman really captures the spirit of this, writing both with the insight of a professional sci-fi scriptwriter and the enthusiasm of a genuine fan (but without sinking to sycophancy by any means).

Any X-File fan will tell you that things went downhill in a big way in the last 2 or 3 years, but to be fair Shearman finds hidden gems even in Season's 8 and 9, although is unafraid to utterly tear apart Chris Carter's final installment and lack of control over the mythology arc as a whole.

TV is a writers medium, and it's fun to keep track of his thoughts on the many regulars. He points out wildly inconsistent writing skills of Carter (brilliantly daring as much as prententious drivel), the considerable and consistent talent of Vince Gilligan (now famous for Breaking Bad), the fleeting genius of Darin Morgan, the anarchic boundary pushing of Gordon and Wong and the perpetually second-rate John Shiban.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gjlittlewood on 8 Mar 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a brilliant book for anyone who follows the X Files. It goes into far more clitical depth that many books including the pathetic official guides. Buy this and ditch all the others.
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