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Joss Whedon: Geek King of the Universe - A Biography Hardcover – 24 Jul 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd; UK ed. edition (24 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845137191
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845137199
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 3.8 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 309,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


‘ high access, meticulously researched and passionate - about as close we’ll get to an authorised Whedon narrative until he stops working’

(Empire magazine)

***** 'Packed with trivia, filled with wit and endlessly readable, this is the biography Joss’s career deserves. We can’t recommend it enough’

(Jayne Nelson SFX magazine)

'Pascale understands the relationship that Whedonites have with the man for whom they are named, she understands the passion they have for his creations, and she also understands how much they’re going to know already. It’s this latter part that makes Geek King Of The Universe such a worthwhile investment. Pascale has done a tremendous amount of research... It’s comprehensive, entertaining and thoughtful and, perhaps most importantly, it will send you running to your box-sets to relive his work'

(Jonathan Hatfull SciFiNow)

10 out of 10 'Amy Pascale has written a book which is almost unputdownable. It’s not just the story of one incredible man, his imagination and his battles to bring his irresistible characters and stories to the screen; it’s also a fascinating, cautionary and essential story for newcomers and industry wannabes'

(Paul Mount Starburst)

**** 'Amy Pascale’s book is an impeccably researched, passionate and searching biography – a deep and varied pleasure for established Whedonites and curious pop culture fans alike'

(Emma Dibdin Total Film)

'On the strength of the evidence in this book I’ll accept Joss Whedon as Geek King of the Universe, and I’ll continue to look forward to everything he does'

(Aliya Whiteley

**** 'Granted generous interview access to Whedon and his collaborators, Amy Pascale offers a compelling narrative through Whedon's private life and creative endeavours... This entertaining read will leave fans reaching for their Buffy DVD box sets' 

(Suzanne Black The List)

'Pascale has certainly done her homework, and has produced a great book, and it’s rare that film/TV autobiographies are this enjoyable. But just like much of Whedon’s work, it’s smart, funny and cool, and should definitely grace any geeks bedside table'

(Scott Davis

***** 'For Whedon fans this book is a must read, Amy Pascale writes the book showing an admiration that we all share for Joss Whedon and shows that she fully understands why Whedon can be called the Geek King of the Universe'

(Paul Metcalf

'The many frank quotes from Whedon, his friends, family, and co-workers make Pascale’s absorbing bio a must-read'


'Excellent and well-written ... she’s spoken to dozens of people who worked with or encountered Joss across his career, and the picture they draw is of a man who is passionate about his work and the way it’s treated'

(Paul Simpson Sci-Fi Bulletin)

'Revealing and comprehensive... A must-have for Whedon's legions of fans'

(Home Cinema Choice)

'Pascale’s writing makes the book a real page turner. Often, these kind of books can be shallow pieces of fluff, but Pascale digs deep and, through research and interviews, she has written a wonderfully thoughtful, funny, candid, interesting and extremely readable book'

(Phil Edwards Live for Films)

'If you think you know everything about Joss, you haven’t read this thoroughly entertaining and well researched treasure trove'

(Josh Horowitz MTV News)

'When art hits us, it’s fun and possibly necessary to look behind the scenes and see what drove it. Amy Pascale gives great insight into Whedon’s work that will interest and surprise even seasoned fans'

(Alan Kistler, author of The Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook and Doctor Who: A History)

'Amy Pascale delves deep behind the scenes of Joss Whedon’s myriad film and television projects, covering Avengers, vampire slayers, and everything in between.  This thorough and engaging biography is a must-read for everyone who loves Whedon’s work, from the casual fan to the most hardcore Browncoat'

(Tim Hanley, author of Wonder Woman Unbound)

About the Author

AMY PASCALE is a writer and commentator on popular culture based in New York. She co-founded and edits the influential and offbeat web magazine and was one of the original members of the Bronze, the innovative online community through which the creators of Buffy the Vampire Slayer interacted with the show’s fans.

NATHAN FILLION is an actor best known for his portrayal of Captain Malcolm Reynolds in the Joss Whedon-produced television series Firefly and its film continuation Serenity, which was directed by Whedon. He also appeared in the Joss Whedon vehicles Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and Much Ado About Nothing. He plays Richard Castle in the ABC series Castle. He lives in Los Angeles.

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After reading Candace Havens's enjoyable little 2003 book about Joss - still available, by the way: see Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy - I imagined that this new authorised biography would be pretty much the same, if rather more up to date. I couldn't have been more wrong. Amy Pascale's tome is so much better than Candace's that to be frank, the earlier account is embarrassed by the comparison.

To begin with, Amy's book is enormous. It has four hundred and forty pages, thirty-seven chapters, twenty-five pages of notes, a fourteen page bibliography and an eleven page index. Amy has consulted every clipping and website known to Whedonology, as well as conducting more than sixty in-depth interviews with Joss, his wife and his circle.

The result is the most detailed, vivid, three-dimensional portrait of Joss that any buyer of this book could hope for. Amy tells us about his family background, his childhood, his education in America and England and every twist and turn of his long, brilliant career: and she doesn't just explore the work that has made Joss famous - she also uncovers the many projects of Joss's that never got off the ground.

What's more, we learn a surprisingly great deal about Joss's inner and personal lives. His haunting sense of aloneness; his New York mugging; how a Spielberg film was his philosophical epiphany; his attitude to religion; his teenage drug taking; his enthusiasms for Goldie Hawn and The Grateful Dead; how his knowledge of Monty Python's Flying Circus rescued him from ostracism as a colonial at Winchester; his courtship of his wife; even the weird tale of how he was laid low by the mould in his bedroom!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Amy Pascale is clearly a big fan and treats her subject with reverence. This is a biography of Joss Whedon through his work. That suits me fine because I hoped to learn something from it.

I didn't watch Buffy when I was a teenager (despite being right in the middle of the target demographic at the time). The first time I came across anything by Joss Whedon was when I watched Dr Horrible. I totally loved it. I want cowboys singing my text messages like they do for Bad Horse.
Likewise, I adored Firefly, Serenity and Dollhouse. I admired the writing. A lot.

As I mentioned, I didn't watch Buffy. But, having watched a couple of episodes now, I realise that I talk like the characters in it. I probably picked this up from people around me, who picked it up from Buffy. Joss Whedon shaped the way I talk. Influential, much?

So, what did I learn from all this?
1) Joss is very talented.
2) He's a nice guy and likes to work with people he gets on with.
3) He tends to like people who are very bright and good at what they do (is the flipside of this 'doesn't suffer fools'?)
4) He expects a lot from himself and others.
5) He works ridiculously hard. This guy works so hard there should be a new word to describe it.

I also learned the answer to something that has bothered me for years: Why did Wash have to die?? (Alan Tudyk fangirl, me).

I'd recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Joss Whedon's work. Read, absorb and learn.
I wish I'd bought it in hardback because it's the sort of book I'd dip into for motivation.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There's always a concern with 'unofficial' biographies that they will be merely a collection of various articles and interviews from over the years cobbled together under the guise of research.
Thankfully, it's clear that Amy Pascale really does have passion for her subject matter and this really does come across through the contacts she has reached out to, and we learn about Joss Whedon's background and influences.
Much to my relief, although Pascale is passionate, it never falls into the trap of hero worship either - it is quite candid about the darker times and those when Whedon has not been particularly nice, and frankly comes across as unlikeable (his treatment of Charisma Carpenter and her removal from 'Angel' for instance). This, however, is what makes a book interesting - without showing the shades of a person it wouldn't have substance.
The actual production values could perhaps have been better - the photographs are black and white and rather grainy, and not particularly interesting (though to be fair with it not being an official release this may have been a difficult process to obtain better pictures).
Any fan of Joss Whedon's work would be wise to give this a go - there would most certainly be nuggets of information that they didn't already know!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A truly engrossing read into the life of a creative genius that fills with admiration (along a little bit of jelousy). It covers all the highs and lows that show how fulfilling and frustrating it is in leading a creative life. It left me fascinating to read the journey from an creatively ambitious but poorly executed Buffy The Vampire Slayer movie to creating the highest grossing blockbuster phenomenon The Avenges/Avengers Assemble.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So excellent to meet the man behind the masterpieces. I have talked to Whedon a couple of times in real life and followed his career with much interest, but there was still plenty of new information in here to keep me fascinated. If you're a fan, you'll love it.If you're not, it just might make you one.
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