5.0 out of 5 stars Best book of the series
I am a fan of this series in general - particularly this volume, the one on the Matrix, and the one on the Lord of the Rings - and I avidly await the upcoming volume on philosophy and the Watchmen. Of all of the volumes in the series that I have read, I consider this one to be the best.
This is not necessarily a book for Simpsons fans, nor is it necessarily a...
Published on Oct. 8 2008 by Jack Blatant
2.0 out of 5 stars A Disappointing Simpsons Cash-In
I am a huge fan of the Simpsons, and had high hopes for this book. Unfortunately, it falls far short of my expectations. Slogging through the essays soon became a painful experience.
As an 11th grade AP English student, if I turned in essays of the caliber of the essays contained within this book, there is no way that I would pass the class. The writing of The Simpsons...
Published on Jan. 14 2003 by N. Smith George
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best book of the series,
This review is from: The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! of Homer (Paperback)I am a fan of this series in general - particularly this volume, the one on the Matrix, and the one on the Lord of the Rings - and I avidly await the upcoming volume on philosophy and the Watchmen. Of all of the volumes in the series that I have read, I consider this one to be the best.
This is not necessarily a book for Simpsons fans, nor is it necessarily a book for students of philosophy; you really need to be both in order to appreciate this book. The essays, while witty, are not terribly absract or methodological, and so are accessible to the average well-read person. I use certain essays with my grade 12 philosophy class, where they are very well received. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
4.0 out of 5 stars A generally good, if uneven, collection,
This review is from: The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! of Homer (Paperback)"The Simpsons and Philosophy" is a collection of essays written by different authors that vary in quality and style. The thrust is the introduction of aspects of philosophy through an analysis of the characters and stories in "The Simpsons." In this regard the book is mostly interesting and informative. A big chunk of it (Part II and much of Part IV) wasn't philosophy at all, but rather "literary" criticism that I didn't much care for -- the worst essay in the collection being the Marxist hissy-fit. Moreover, despite disclaimers throughout the text, there was an assumption of intent on the part of the script writers that, by listening to the voice-overs on the DVDs, one finds isn't really there.
For all the above, I would have rated this book 3 stars. However, the essay "The Function of Fiction" was outstanding and worth the price of the book alone. This essay spent a lot of time away from the Simpsons in particular, but ultimately gave the best argument why the show is so great.
For readers looking for a light read about their favorite show, this book isn't the place to go. But for people who love the Simpsons on all its levels, this book has its place.
4.0 out of 5 stars You not like this book? That's unpossible!,
This review is from: The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! of Homer (Paperback)Any true Simpsons fan will recognize that as tribute to Ralph Wiggum's "Me fail english? That's unpossible!" line. Reading The D'oh of Homer, you will recognize the subtle humor that has become a trademark of the series. The book is split into essays covering a goodly range of topics, each of which reference specific Simpsons episodes and characters to make their arguments.
Largely unpretentious and entertaining as philosophy can probably get is the deal here. An inadvertant plus to this book is that the reader can see philosophic models thousands of years old implented into modern day situations via the Simpsons episodes they know so well. Philosophies of government, religion, and humanity are displayed here, along with subjects that don't get much play elsewhere, such as American anti-intelletualism and the parody. If you are a regular watcher of the Simpsons, chances are you already have the subject material committed to heart; this book reveals the school of thought behind the more profound concepts of the show.
All in all, this book is definitely worth a look. Check it out.
2.0 out of 5 stars A Disappointing Simpsons Cash-In,
This review is from: The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! of Homer (Paperback)I am a huge fan of the Simpsons, and had high hopes for this book. Unfortunately, it falls far short of my expectations. Slogging through the essays soon became a painful experience.
As an 11th grade AP English student, if I turned in essays of the caliber of the essays contained within this book, there is no way that I would pass the class. The writing of The Simpsons and Philosophy is extremely amateurish, with mistakes that every decent high school writer could avoid with ease.
In just one essay, by Deborah Knight, called Popular Parody: The Simpsons Meets the Crime Film, the author begins a paragraph with "You will remember how this episode goes." She then continues spends an entire 3 paragraphs summarizing the episode! Of course I remember how this episode goes, and I'm willing to bet that anyone that would spend [money] on a book about The Simpsons and philosophy has seen every episode. Simpsons fans are an obsessive bunch, and the authors, while no doubt intelligent, are obviously not true fans and do not understand the show. The summarization itself would not have been a huge problem, but there was not a single witty or clever idea interwoven into the bland retelling. From the same essay, the author writes "I probably don't have to spell out that this cereal exploits the name given to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassic.." You probably don't have to, but you did it anyway. ..Why? The essay contains amateurish mistakes such as starting sentences with "I think.." Obviously the author "thinks" this way or it wouldn't be an argument in her essay.. While seemingly simple mistakes, they begin adding up fast and detracting from the overall feel of the book. The essay by Mrs. Knight is just an example that I read soon before writing this review. All of the essays in the book contain similar mistakes.
Another problem I had with the book was its lack of substance. Often, an essay would consist of little more than vague references to episodes or a general summarization, and then the author would drift off into a lengthy philosophical tangent. This wouldn't be a problem, except that very rarely does the book actually TIE IN the Simpsons TO philosophy. It discusses the two separately without making any astounding or insightful connections.
Because I think relating philosophy and The Simpsons is a great idea, I have to give it 2 stars. However, I feel that in general the essays are poorly written, and have a "high-school" feel to them. Not a positive characteristic for a published book. As much as I want this book to be good, I can not in good conscience recommend it to anyone. I find it offensive that the authors are cashing in on The Simpson name. But hey, they got my money...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dont be fooled by the title,
This review is from: The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! of Homer (Paperback)I bought this book expecting a light hearted read. Being an avid fan of the Simpsons, I was keen to study the characters from a tongue in cheek, philosophical perspective...
However, what you actually get with this book is a series of philosophical essays that reference the Simpsons' characters occasionally in order to relate the subject matter to the average reader, and to stop their mind from wandering.
In summary, if you want to learn a little about philosophy without weighing in at the deep end, then this is the book for you. If you are picking up this book because you are a fan of the series or want to learn more about the Simpsons, dig a little deeper.
5.0 out of 5 stars In a breathy voice....excellent...!,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! of Homer (Paperback)I don't usually write reviews (OK never), but I read this book and it killed me. Some of it was just plain bad; I got the feeling that the editor didn't have the heart to tell his pals/authors that just because they're philosophers doesn't mean they're writers. A couple of the essays sounded like bad undergraduate term paper writing. But I strongly recommend this book, because the parts that are good are REALLY good. The best part is an absolutely killer essay about Mr. Burns by a guy named Daniel Barwick (why are there no author pics?), and the essay is both funny AND informative. I admit to being a Burns junkie, but jesus Barwick has him pegged! I saw that Barwick wrote in the editor's previous book, and now I know why. Anyway, I'll stop writing and say that if you like the Simpsons and you don't mind reading the work of amateur writers (but professional philosophers) this book is for you.
2.0 out of 5 stars More Simpsons Please,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! of Homer (Paperback)This book was less about how philosophy relates to the Simpsons than it was how the Simpsons relate to philosophy. Almost every essay would describe a tenet of philosophy in great detail and then it would somehow remind them of this one instance in The Simpsons. I felt the essays would be both more enjoyable and interesting if more of The Simpsons were in the essays. It seemed to me that The Simpsons were just the ruse to get me to read a book about philosophy. I felt a lot of the essays were not successful proving their theses in relation to The Simpsons. On the plus side, I did enjoy the essay about Lisa.
5.0 out of 5 stars this book was entertaining maybe "best book ever",
This review is from: The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! of Homer (Paperback)If you love the simpsons and think you can handle a book at this reading level then buy it for Willie's sake. It is one of many extremely awesome books although the first few chapters are a bit on the dry side this book is a gateway to books such as The Birth of Tradegedy and other books by Fredrich Neizchte and Aristotle's many books so if you have the money then buy this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars sheer genius!,
This review is from: The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! of Homer (Paperback)Yes, it takes a great mind to dream of such things as the categorical imperative, the examined life, the superman (not Clark Kent), and the virtuous mean. But it takes a different kind of genius to take those great ideas and find them in contemporary entertainment. Now, don't pick this book up expecting the next big thing in philosophy, but instead pick it up to see how real the pre-existing ideas are as we see them incorporated in our favorite characters. The Simpsons has always been meaningful, which is a rare, though certainly not unseen, quality in today's culture. But the great thing is that this book touches on many aspects of that meaning that we might not have noticed. Although some essays are a bit dry, most of them really hit the spot. Homer and Marge are examined for Aristotelian virtue; Bart is revealed to be the antithesis of the Nietzschean ideal in an essay that at first tries to prove the opposite; and the population of Springfield is looked at from a Kantian and from a Marxist point of view, among others. If you're a Simpsons fan, this book will heighten your enjoyment. If you're one of those people who don't "get" philosophy and want to know more, this book is an ideal introduction. Enjoy!
2.0 out of 5 stars A little dry for my taste,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! of Homer (Paperback)If you are a student of philosophy and know what logical positivism is and who Immanuel Kant was, then you will enjoy this. If you are just a Simpsons buff, probably not.
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The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! of Homer by William Irwin (Paperback - Feb. 28 2001)
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