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Reading the Vampire Slayer The Unofficial Critical Companion to Buffy and Angel
ISBN 1860647626 / 9781860647628 / 1-86064-762-6Find This Book
Reading the Vampire Slayer is a very accessible collection of essays, edited by Amazon.co.uk contributor and respected SF and Fantasy reviewer Roz Kaveney, which analyses the first five seasons of the TV show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and the first two seasons of "Angel". Kaveney's opening article sketches out the territory, providing an insightful introduction to the themes and structures of the two shows. The essays that follow consider a wide range of issues, but a common theme is the complexity and inventiveness of the shows, with their deconstruction of patriarchal authority and highlighting of the ambiguous nature of evil. Variously, the authors consider how Buffy subverts the "male gaze", the ways in which the shows challenge such concepts as established authority and traditional ways of learning and knowing, the use of humour, how the landscape of Southern California plays its part, and how fans have become actively involved in the writing of slash-fan fiction (which pairs characters such as Xander/Spike in sexual relationships). It's an eclectic mix, with some essays more obviously academic than others, but on the whole the style, which includes bibliographies for further reading, means this book should interest both students of cultural and media studies and more general readers. And it's a lot of fun to read, providing many thoughtful insights into two shows that have proved popular television can be both thought provoking and deeply moving. --Elizabeth Sourbut [via]