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Planet Simpson: How a Cartoon Masterpiece Documented an Era and Defined a Generation Paperback – Oct 12 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Canada; 1 edition (Oct. 12 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679313184
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679313182
  • Product Dimensions: 25 x 20.4 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,014,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dorothy McElhinney on May 14 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I haven't finished it yet but it meets my expectations More of my friends at our church want to read my copy
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Fred W. Armstrong on Feb. 15 2005
Format: Paperback
Back when I was in grade school I could never understand why the teacher insisted that we hunt for 'hidden meaning' in stories. I thought I was a 'thicky' because I just enjoyed the story as written. The I grew up a bit and realized that the "Looney Tunes" cartoons were written at two levels - one for kids one for adults (a lecture by Chuck Jones helped me realize the extent of this hidden humour). Now that I'm in my mid-forties I see hidden meaning in everything - mainly because I've made enough revolutions around the sun to get enough life experience and exposure to books, TV and travel to even recognize satire. This book is not a fawning ode to the show, but a very well written look at the show in the context of pop culture, politics, television history and a large number of other areas of our culture. I've always loved the show from its beginnings on the Tracy Ullman Show, and I remember my dad insisting that my half brothers could not watch the show because it was a 'bad influence' (yet they could watch Ren & Stimpy - go figure). I bought some merchandise from the show, but more than that, I have enjoyed many a conversation with peers about the 'stuff' jammed into the show much as Seinfeld fans used to dissect each episode in the 90's. After reading this book I have a deeper appreciation for the more subtle material presented by the show over the years, and while I thought that I had spotted most of the cultural references, I realize now that there was a lot of stuff that was slipping under (or over) my radar. This is not a book for someone looking for an episode guide. This book is like a thesis that someone would write to get their PHD in media studies. It's well organized, very well written and entertaining for anyone who laughed at all the stuff that the censors missed.Read more ›
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By B. Salomons on Dec 8 2004
Format: Paperback
... I mean, a journalist from Calgary writes a book about the Simpsons? What lost Turner that fifth star was his lack of disclosure: This book doesn't belong on the shelf beside the episode guides, quiz books, or comics. It would be more comfortable in the culture section tucked between Naomi Klein's No Logo and Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation. I just wish I knew that before I dove into this engrossing book. What better way to reach this generation, after all, than to wrap a narrative of liberal politics (honestly represented by the Simpsons itself, by the way) in everyone's favorite cartoon family. I would have still bought it and read it (that's my disclosure) but this isn't a book about cartoons: it's a book about the last fifteen years of Gen X, Y, AND Z.
True, Turner spends a handful of pages at the beginning of the book setting the stage, as it were. We are treated to favorite moments from the show, relatable anecdotes, and some unofficial history behind its conception. But then Turner begins his broad and sweeping path through the cast: we are treated to archetypal descriptions of each character -- not as end in itself, but rather as a jumping point for some wild (and often speculative) tangental explorations of culture and politics in our modern age. We laugh at the antics of Homer, then grimace at how the bumbling cartoon documents the decline of modern society.
It's interesting. And if you are looking to explore the Simpsons at a level that is much deeper than average (though very relatable and written very friendly) this is your book. Recognize that. You'll either love it or hate it -- but I think that may depend on your political viewpoint AND your tolerance for literature of society's vocal left.
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