When you love TV as much as I do, you’re more than happy to also read about TV. (I’m also passionate enough to write about it every day, yes. TV addiction is as real as The Peg-Legged Tooth Fairy*.) To people who don’t love any particular TV show, they might think that a book about/based on a TV show is the most bizarre concept since those bunny ears that Marc Jacobs put on models for the Louis Vuitton runway show in Paris. However, to those who are invested in a show and have a lot of reverence for one in particular?You don’t have to explain it to us. Please! Psh. We get it.
I’ve read novels BASED on certain shows, and I’ve read books ABOUT certain shows (read: mostly Buffy the Vampire Slayer stuff). Anyway, given how much I adore Supernatural, it was no surprise to me that I ended up loving the Supernatural book “In the Hunt: Unauthorized Essays on Supernatural”. If you’re a fan of SPN (and you know that you are, I’ve seen you debating Sam’s different puppy facial expressions!) then you will absolutely enjoy this book.
The book is “completely unauthorized” which makes it sound just as bad-ass and outside of the law as the Winchester Brothers themselves. And while it’s not “official” it has been edited by the superfans of Supernatural.TV. You’re in good hands with this collection.
Aside from the foreword, introduction and acknowledgments, there are 22 meaty chapters to devour. Some of the titles include:
- Sympathy for the Devils
- Dean Winchester: Bad-Ass…or Soccer Mom?
- Who Threw Momma on the Ceiling?
- Scary Just Got Sexy
- John Winchester and the Magic Bullet Theory
- The Evils of Hating…Um, Evil
- Ghouls in Cyberspace
You couldn’t write a book about just any show. A book with chapters full of essays on The Simple Life would be unstimulating, and probably just full of glossy photos of Paris and Nicole wearing skanky versions of overalls. But when you tackle a smart show like Supernatural, there’s a lot to analyze. All of these chapters combine wit, clever insight, enough humor to keep you smiling to yourself (maybe even chuckling to yourself in public), and intelligent themes that you realize quickly you’d like to explore more by reading about. The writer’s don’t dumb things down, and we know you wouldn’t want them to. You’re smart, you know? You certainly have good taste in TV. (I applaud you!)
Even if the wordy chapter “The Burden of Being Sammy (A Parenthetical Discussion of Self-Perception Versus Reality)”** seems daunting when you initially consider tackling it, you’ll soon realize you know exactly what writer Dodger Winslow is talking about when he says that Dean is our self-perception and Sammy is our self-reality. It might take you a bit of time to get through that particular chapter (not because it’s a tough read, it’s just so on the nose that you’ll be stunned) but you’ll feel that you understand not just more about the show, but about yourself.
Whenever you read, you’re building your knowledge base. Whether that means reading about the “instructive value” of Supernatural and how the episodes “contain(s) multiple points of entry for the viewer” (Spreading Disaster by Jacob Clifton) or how Dean and Sam manage to hunt demons on the cheap like frugalistas (Blue Collar Ghost hunters by Jamie Chambers) you’re learning something worth thinking about.
More often than not, I find a way to internalize what I read and find things relating to myself. Sometimes I’m just learning something unusual – like how most of the “final girl(s)” who survive horror movies have androgynous names like Jo, Alex, Terry or Laurie (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Jo the Monster Killer: Supernatural’s Excluded Heroines – Mary Borsellino).
In the Hunt is a book written (and edited) by uber Supernatural fans, FOR the uber Supernatural fans. I am certain you will enjoy it as much as you enjoy hearing that a new episode of our dear show will be on next week (WITHOUT Paris Hilton – and yes, I really did reference her twice in this piece because that is how much she’s infiltrated popular culture!).
I want to mention that because the Supernatural lore constantly changes what we know, this has made some tidbits of this book now incorrect (a fact addressed by the publishers in a foreward note). This is because this book was published after season three of Supernatural and we’ve gone on to have more wonderful seasons. However, would you really want to watch a show that never changes things up? Really, it’s a good thing. And just like Sam and Dean, we’re ‘in the hunt‘ and not giving up our mission. Enjoy the book, enjoy the show, and be ready for surprises. Whether those surprises are in the form of Nair in our shampoo or a ‘friend’ (a la Ruby) betraying us, we’ll always have a job to do.
You can buy In the Hunt on Amazon for $14.95
* The Peg-Legged Tooth Fairy? That’s not in any Supernatural episode, it’s just something I’ve seen. I mean, er, made up. ARE YOU AUTHORIZED FOR THIS KNOWLEDGE?
Smart Pop Books publishes a ton of great TV books for shows like Veronica Mars, Gilmore Girls, Lost, House, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Alias. Keep up with Smart Pop Books on Twitter to see which new FREE essays they’ve posted on their site to be read for every week. Smart Pop Books has generously agreed to sponsor a contest for Small Screen Scoop readers (they also provided me with this book to review) where three of you will win In the Hunt. Stay tuned for that tomorrow! Hint: You’ll want to already be subscribed and to have read this piece!