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Sunday, December 24, 2006

**** Seven Seasons of Buffy, ed. by Glenn Yeffeth. Non-fiction/essays

Seven Seasons of Buffy is an anthology of essays about... duh... Buffy the Vampire Slayer, written by, it says, "science fiction and fantasy writers." Except that the reason I even knew about this book is that one contributor is Jennifer Crusie, and she's not by any stretch of the imagination a science fiction or fantasy writer. Unless you're one of those terminal cynics who classifies romance as fantasy.

I started reading this back in November, one essay at a time between other books, and I'd initially intended to write something about each of the essays, but there are 22 of them, so it didn't take me long to change my mind about that.

Like any anthology, there are good essays and bad ones. The good ones took some aspect of the show and drew conclusions, and made me think, whether I agreed with them or not. The bad ones rambled on, more or less summarizing the series without actually making a point. Fortunately, there were more good ones than bad.

Of course, the essays that left the biggest impression were the ones that were well-written, but that I disagreed with. Like the one praising Tara. In principle, I agreed, but in the show, she got on my last nerve--I really dislike sad-sack, pitiful, depressed, martyr characters. Worse was the one praising Riley. I could follow the author's reasoning, but she lost me when she claimed that anyone who didn't agree with her was stuck in high school, and that real, adult, mature love was by definition, dull.

The best thing about this anthology is that it provides a lot of food for thought, and springboards for conversation with other Buffy fan(atic)s.


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