Joss Whedon: The Biography
Amy Pascale, foreward by Nathan Fillion
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Date of Publication: August 1st 2014
Number of pages: 448
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.
I am not generally a biography kind of girl. However, that being said, I am a huge geek at heart and let's face it, Joss Whedon knows exactly how to speak right to us geeky type people; probably because he himself is one. So when I saw this book on Netgalley, I just had to try to get it. I was thrilled when I was accepted.
Since I don't read many (any) biographies, I honestly can't tell how it stacks up to others of its genre. I can say that reading about Joss Whedon's life, from a history of his grandfather and father all the way up to his recent success with the Avenger's movie was done in such a way, that I felt like I really got to understand what drives him. The stories, quotes and interviews with his friends, family and co-workers shared the many sides of the man. It was told in such a way that it was very easy to follow his journey to the top of the geek mountain. I learned so many interesting things, and though some myths were debunked, finding out others just made him more interesting.
As a fan, I thought I knew quite a bit about him. I learned that what I did accurately know, was just the surface. After reading about the struggles and obstacles throughout his career, it gives his successes and victories that much more meaning. Reading this biography has simply made me a bigger fan. I can't imagine telling the story of a world-class storyteller would be easy, but Amy Pascale did it with grace and aplomp. This was a fantastic read, worthy of 4 stars.