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Book Review

Book Cover

Joss Whedon
Geek King of the Universe
A Biography(Hardback)


Author: Amy Pascale
Publisher: Aurum Press
RRP: £18.99
ISBN: 978 1 84513 719 9
Publication Date: 24 July 2014

Ranging across cinema, television and comics, Joss Whedon is a writer whose most famous creation is a girl-power icon, a geek who deals in classic themes of love, death and redemption and one of the first people in the entertainment industry to have harnessed the power of the internet to engage directly with his fans. A journalist who happens to be one of those fans, Amy Pascale has based this revealing biography on extensive original interviews with Whedon himself, as well as many of his key collaborators and stars. She traces his development from an inspiring liberal upbringing and teenage years spent at an elite English public school, through his first bruising experiences writing for television, to his status today as a blockbuster writer and director, whose every new project is pored over online by millions of loyal fans...

Joss Whedon: Geek King of the Universe - A Biography is not your usual churned out biography designed to cash in on the success of someone who is currently in the public eye. Author, Amy Pascale, is not only a hardcore Whedon fan (and has been since Buffy the Vampire Slayer was still in high school), but also a journalist currently working for MTV.

The fact that she is such a huge Whedon fan means that you know the biography will leave no area of the man's history and career unexplored. Pascale writes in an easy, fluid style, and not for one second does she lose sight of the fact that the majority of readers won't be as familiar with aspects of Whedon's career as she is. So it's great to see that she manages to get the balance right so that she doesn't deter the non-Whedon educated reader, whilst at the same time not dragging it out and over explaining herself so as to put off Whedon fans.

For me, personally, while I was a big fan of Buffy, Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse, I'm not a big follower of Marvel's superhero movies. While I've seen The Avengers... I'd sort of glossed over in my mind that Whedon was involved.

If I had one, very slight moan (and to be honest it's not a moan, more of a wish) in that I wish Whedon's time on Rosanne had been explored a little more. I'd loved to have heard a more "juicy" retelling of what it was like on set, rather than the slightly glossed over version presented. Was John Goodman fun to work with? Who got on with whom on set? and what where the real issues on set?

This is one of those books that is very hard to put down. And it was interesting to learn about the little known projects that I'd missed. I was also unaware that The Cabin in the Woods was his baby and it was interesting to discover its origins.

I was impressed with the extensive bibliography which charts the source of every quote in the book. This means that in most instances hardcore fans can seek out the original interviews for even more reading.

Fans of Whedon will cherish this opportunity to get an up close and person biography of one of the most versatile and ground breaking writers/directors working in the media at present. Pascale has done the man, and his fans, proud.


Darren Rea

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