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The "Avengers" Companion Paperback – 26 Sep 1997

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books Ltd (26 Sept. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852867280
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852867287
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 28 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,291,522 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Although this is kinda like a coffee table book for the Avengers series and its sequel series, The New Avengers, its not a reference book as thats what I thought it might be. It is what the title says, a companion. There are interviews with the stars, Patrick Macnee, Diana Rigg, Linda Thorson and series producer/writer Brian Clemens. Although I was disapointed that these interviews were from 1990 interviews. Not fresh words when this book was printed in 1997. There is not too much behind-the-scenes information here. When there is, its not too much of it. It has retrospective/nostalgic editorials from Grant Morrison, Dave Rogers, David Fakrikian, Christophe Casa-Zza and Francois Riviere. Then there is a brief look at Avengers fashion, vehicles, actor bios, illustrated episode guides, with a specific look detailed summaries for 10 episodes. Plus another three which belong to the Cybernaut stories. I'd rate this book a 3/5, but the huge plus that changes this are the pictures. Their a delight to see, hence the 4/5 rating. Like any other of these types of companion books this is no different. An Avengers Companion this is indeed. Tea, anyone?
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By A Customer on 21 Sept. 2002
Format: Paperback
This Companion was imported from France. While the book is considerably better than the film it is not the best on the market.
At any rate, Companion has a fatal flaw: the shaky text is not quite worth the paper on which it was printed. This may be a result of having been translated from French into English--after some of the source material had first been translated from English to French (perhaps an example of what happens when one makes a copy of a copy of a copy...). The text amounts to brief editorials on "what The Avengers means to me," interviews with the usual suspects, and yet another episode guide--this one peppered with errors inherited from Dave Rogers' script-based synopses. However, an outstanding collection of monochrome and color photos provides enough compensation to make the book worthwhile.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A must have for Avengers fans. So much information on all aspects of the series, from the bit part actors to the cars used. Great stuff.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arrived safely. Not read it yet!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2.7 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretty pictures, but the text is a waste of time 24 Aug. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"The Avengers hinted at a world of miraculous transformations hidden beneath the ordinary and the overlooked."
This is a book that wanted to be a video compilation. I don't have a scrap of fact for this assertion save that it would clearly make more sense as a frustrated boxed set: short 'interview' pieces by stars and fans, inadequate in a book, might be delivered to camera; exhaustively detailed synopses of episodes the authors really just want to show to us; even the photos which are the book's main attraction point to a visual, rather than a literary, aim. Originally published as 'Chapeau Melon et Bottes de Cuir' ('Bowler Hat and Leather Boots'), this is perhaps the best-looking book on 'The Avengers' so far, yet has a strangely unprofessional feel; the writing style is more that of an old-fashioned fan magazine than a book. Other features seem short and slapdash, such as an episode guide with too many similarities to that in Dave Rogers' 'The Ultimate Avengers' - for example, neither can distinguish a local from a Westminster by-election in 'November Five', and the financial mistake in 'Death of a Batman' crops up here too! Their thirteen 'selection box' episodes are just inferior substitutes for videos or repeats, recounted at lifeless length; almost everything but the dialogue is given, complete with minute details of scenery and still the odd stupid mistake (such as missing out the main red herring in 'The Cybernauts'). They reflect little of the series - nothing with Ian Hendry or Honor Blackman (the series' real groundbreaker), but eight from the single colour Diana Rigg season. Yes, I think the black and white Rigg and the colour Thorson seasons are a better mix of the silly and the sinister, but if the authors had made comments on their choices they might communicate some of their enthusiasm to the reader. Sadly, the width of coverage without the added depth of performances, music and dialogue gives little idea of why 'The Avengers' was special - instead bringing you perilously close to boredom. There are suddenly several 'Avengers' books around, and more variety with the Movie - though I still reckon Lily Savage makes a better Mrs Peel than Uma Thurman! The best episode guides are in Dave Rogers' 'The Complete Avengers'; for background information, try his aforementioned 'The Ultimate Avengers', despite the largest number of typos ever; the most readable is Patrick Macnee's 'The Avengers and Me', which looks great too (even if it's not quite so unputdownable as his autobiography 'Blind in One Ear'); the best 'feel' for the series, with dialogue quotes and reviews, is Cornell, Day and Topping's 'The Avengers Dossier', despite my not agreeing with all their opinions (particularly their attacks on Linda Thorson's wonderful Tara King). My liberal hatred of monopoly notes this is the only one with no involvement by Rogers - unless you count his helping get its original version withdrawn, which is why the current re-release has been nicknamed 'The Avengers Unpulped'! So what's the unique selling point here? The photos. Some are previously unpublished, and I love the one on page 67. Otherwise, I'd only recommend it to beginners and completists. It simply isn't "the definitive Avengers guide" its publicity claims, and if you've seen a fair number of episodes and want a book about the series, it might be pretty but it's not the best one for you.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Looks lovely, but what boring text! 23 Aug. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"The Avengers hinted at a world of miraculous transformations hidden beneath the ordinary and the overlooked."
This is a book that wanted to be a video compilation. I don't have a scrap of fact for this assertion save that it would clearly make more sense as a frustrated boxed set: short 'interview' pieces by stars and fans, inadequate in a book, might be delivered to camera; exhaustively detailed synopses of episodes the authors really just want to show to us; even the photos which are the book's main attraction point to a visual, rather than a literary, aim.
Originally published as 'Chapeau Melon et Bottes de Cuir' ('Bowler Hat and Leather Boots'), this is perhaps the best-looking book on 'The Avengers' so far, yet has a strangely unprofessional feel; the writing style is more that of an old-fashioned fan magazine than a book. Other features seem short and slapdash, such as an episode guide with too many similarities to that in Dave Rogers' 'The Ultimate Avengers'. Neither can distinguish a local from a Westminster by-election in 'November Five', and that the financial mistake in 'Death of a Batman' crops up here too!
Their thirteen 'selection box' episodes are just inferior substitutes for videos or repeats, recounted at lifeless length; almost everything but the dialogue is given, complete with minute details of scenery and still the odd stupid mistake (such as missing out the main red herring in 'The Cybernauts'). They reflect little of the series - nothing with Ian Hendry or Honor Blackman (the series' real groundbreaker), but eight from the single colour Diana Rigg season. Yes, I think the black and white Rigg and the colour Thorson seasons are a better mix of the silly and the sinister, but if the authors had made comments on their choices they might communicate some of their enthusiasm to the reader. Sadly, the width of coverage without the added depth of performances, music and dialogue gives little idea of why 'The Avengers' was special - instead bringing you perilously close to boredom.
There are suddenly several 'Avengers' books around, and more variety with the Movie - though I still reckon Lily Savage makes a better Mrs Peel than Uma Thurman! The best episode guides are in Dave Rogers' 'The Complete Avengers'; for background information, try his aforementioned 'The Ultimate Avengers', despite the largest number of typos ever; the most readable is Patrick Macnee's 'The Avengers and Me', which looks great too (even if it's not quite so unputdownable as his autobiography 'Blind in One Ear'); the best 'feel' for the series, with dialogue quotes and reviews, is Cornell, Day and Topping's 'The Avengers Dossier', despite my not agreeing with all their opinions (particularly their attacks on Linda Thorson's wonderful Tara King). My liberal hatred of monopoly notes this is the only one with no involvement by Rogers - unless you count his helping get its original version withdrawn, which is why the current re-release has been nicknamed 'The Avengers Unpulped'!
So what's the unique selling point here? The photos. Some are previously unpublished, and I love the one on page 67. Otherwise, I'd only recommend it to beginners and completists. It simply isn't "the definitive Avengers guide" its publicity claims, and if you've seen a fair number of episodes and want a book about the series, it might be pretty but it's not the best one for you.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mrs. Peel, it's needed! 10 July 1998
By Frank Cunat - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Anyone reading this review is probably as addicted to "The Avengers" as I am. You may wonder what this book could offer that isn't found in other books already on the market. To my mind, what makes this book unique are its interviews (with Macnee, Rigg, Thorson, and Brian Clemens) and possibly the best collection of photos gathered in a single source, including everyone from Ian Hendry to Joanna Lumley. Dave Rogers' "The Complete Avengers" tells you more about the series itself, but "The Avengers Companion" has much better photographs. (And in the interviews, Linda Thorson unintentionally sheds light on why then-producer John Bryce cast her as Tara King.) This book captures the spirit of the show and can be recommended.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good But Not Great 1 Jun. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you're an Avengers fan, you'll want this book for the pictures. If you just want one book, then get the Complete Avengers.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Over-all Fun Guide 13 Aug. 2007
By John Liosatos - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Avengers Companion reads like a fan scrapbook, with plenty of great pictures. The glossy photos, both monochrome and color, can be cosidered the best aspect of this book. Another great thing the authors did is to avoid critiquing each story, a smart move in that it's pretty frustrating seeing your favorite Avengers story ripped to shreds by some dimwit who happens to have been lucky enough to have a book published, or have the time to create his own website.

Other features include an episode guide encompassing all eras of The Avengers, from the Ian Hendry first season to the end of The New Avengers in the late 70s. Each episodes plot is described in a brief paragraph, a synopsis which avoids playing spoiler in case a reader hasn't seen a particular episode. While containing some minor factual errors (one reason I gave only 4 stars), each synopsis stays pretty true to the main plot as seen in the televised versions of the stories. However, another reason I gave this only 4 stars is that after the overall episode guide lies a section that takes 13 episodes, presumably the authors' favorites, and gives a detailed plot description of two to three pages per story. I simply cannot understand the need for this section, as the stories are very subjective to each reader, and their favorite 13 may not, and likely won't, match each individual reader's 13. This space would have been better used to expand on the plot descriptions of the rest of the stories to include, quite possibly, a cast list or more pics, among other things, to give the stories more equal billing. As mentioned earlier, this is simply not criticizing the other stories, but mainly giving their baker's dozen significantly more ink.

Capping off this book are articles by certain writers as to what The Avengers mean to them, as well as interviews with the main stars, including Patrick MacNee, Diana Rigg, and Linda Thorson. The jewel of these interviews is with script editor Brian Clemens. In this, he explains very candidly his "controversial" no blacks policy. But this is what made The Avengers great, controversy. It's a show that would not be made the same way today. Dare I say if you need to see black actors, watch Good Times and leave The Avengers alone.

All in all, this is a fun, non-critical celebration of one of the greatest shows in TV history. Relax and enjoy the fantastic pictures and interviews.
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