Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Biography Review - Joss Whedon

Today I'm reviewing Joss Whedon: The Biography by Amy Pascale.

Summary from Goodreads: From the cult favorite Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which netted four million viewers per episode, to the summer blockbuster The Avengers, which amassed a box office of $1.5 billion, Joss Whedon has made a name for himself in Hollywood for his penchant for telling meaningful, personal tales about love, death, and redemption even against the most dramatic and larger-than-life backdrops. This biography follows his development from a creative child and teenager who spent years away from his family at an elite English public school, through his early successes—which often turned into frustrating heartbreak in both television (Roseanne) and film (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)—to his breakout turn as the creator, writer, and director of the Buffy television series. Extensive, original interviews with Whedon’s family, friends, collaborators, and stars—and with the man himself—offer candid, behind-the-scenes accounts of the making of groundbreaking series such as Buffy, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse, as well as new stories about his work with Pixar writers and animators during the creation of Toy Story. Most importantly, however, these conversations present an intimate and revealing portrait of a man whose creativity and storytelling ability have manifested themselves in comics, online media, television, and film.

More after the jump!

Review: I make no secret that I think Joss Whedon is a genius and that pretty much everything he’s ever written, produced, directed, or all the above in some (many) cases is awesome. So when I saw this up on Netgalley I was all over it and read the entire 400+ page book in about three days. I’m only sorry that it has taken me so long to write a proper review. As a Whedonite, my concern was that this book would end up boring me because I have been watching his shows since BtVS and I was not sure how much more information Pascale could provide. However, I shouldn’t have worried because while the book follows Whedon’s trajectory it starts (as many good books do) at the beginning from his years as a boarding school student at one of England’s most elite private schools to his years as film student at Wesleyan, and is peppered with interviews  and anecdotes from his childhood friends, family and co-workers that help provide insight into Joss Whedon. Overall: I highly recommend this book to my fellow Whedonites. Even if you are not a major fan of Whedon’s work, but are interested in learning more about the filmmaker and his path to success, this book is an excellent way to accomplish that. 

Rating: 5/5 Stars

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