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Joss Whedon's Names

The Deeper Meanings Behind Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Cabin in the Woods, The Avengers, Doctor Horrible, In Your Eyes, Comics and More
Length: 5 hrs and 14 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Doctor Horrible, Jayne Cobb, Oz, Fitz-Simmons, Echo, Pike, Saffron, Kaywinnet, the Groosalugg, Skip, Satsu, Dana Polk, Perfect Jheung, Icarus, the Siphon, Edna Giles, Dandelion Naizen, and especially Buffy the Vampire Slayer. With Whedon's superhero names, goddess names, flower names, saint's names, and dozens of British names, he's filling his world with references from Shakespeare to manga, delighting fans who look closer. Which names repeat the most? Which characters have secret links? Examining Whedon's naming through his five shows, plus his movie scripts and dozens of comics, reveals fascinating patterns for his dedicated followers.

©2014 Valerie Estelle Frankel (P)2016 Valerie Estelle Frankel

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Fascinating, if a bit overconstrained

If you could sum up Joss Whedon's Names in three words, what would they be?

surprising, mind-blowing, fun

What was one of the most memorable moments of Joss Whedon's Names?

The names and meaning in the "Frey" comics

Which scene was your favorite?

Names in "Agents of Shield"

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

How Whedon chooses names: Like hedgehogs making love, very carefully!

Any additional comments?

This is the book Unsong's Aaron Smith-Teller would write if he was a Joss Whedon fan. "This name is not a coincidence because nothing is a coincidence". Valerie digs into the meaning and the layers behind names, brings historical, mythological and etymological reference -- as well as comparing and contrasting to other names in Joss's work. They can't all be true, because the choice of name would be overconstrained. But it makes you think: which one of those were the real reasons? How did Joss actually decide on the name? And which of those aspects is merely a coincidence?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Only for die-hard Whedonites

I liked the idea of this one, but the execution wasn't as good as I wanted it to be. The writing isn't super great, and I wish there was more distinction between conjecture and certainty of why Whedon chose his characters names and the meanings he was going for. There's a lot of repetition and you need to be intimately familiar with everything Whedon has every worked on. Which I mean I am, but even I couldn't remember who some of the characters were which decreased my enjoyment. Interesting if you're a die-hard Whedon fan, but not for the casual viewer.

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  • Readalot
  • 02-17-17

Enjoyable but Less Substance than I Expected

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Yes, I'd have far more input about Joss Whedon's actual opinions and reasons and less on the book-meanings of names

Would you be willing to try another book from Valerie Estelle Frankel? Why or why not?

Yes, next time I'd know what to expect

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Narrator was fine

Do you think Joss Whedon's Names needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Not unless it goes into more depth.

Any additional comments?

I can see the author has done a good job with the material she had. She's not to blame for not knowing what went on in Whedon's head. If he'd written the book I think it would have suited me better. I just misguidedly hoped for a bit more insight.