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"Yes, that's exactly the most appalling thing you could have said."
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February 03 2005

Review of Angel: The Casefiles Volume 2. "It goes above and beyond, and would leave no fan unsatisfied."

Another one for the bookshelf! :)

I do wonder if they're going to put out a proper book for S5 ... ten pages just isn't going to do a season with episodes like Destiny, Soul Purpose, Smile Time, A Hole in the World and Not Fade Away justice.
Meh, I got put off by The Watcher's Guide vol 3 and still haven't got round to buying the second Casefiles book.
I'll hold off until the "revised, updated second printing"--or whatever BS lies down the pike. Hell, I remember back in 1967-The Arab/Israeli 6-day war--less than a week after it was over the first "instant book" about it--with pix and text--came out. And these dildoes just manage to excrete 10 lousy "sneak peek spoiler" pages? Fook'em!!
Gilmoid, please refrain from using such language like that again.
Simon, i wasn't thrilled with the content of The Watcher's Guide vol 3 either. It seemed too different from the previous two volumes, too many features seemed to be missing. A big disappointment for me was a total lack of a guide to the bands and songs used in the show during seasons five through to seven, a feature i particularly enjoyed in the first two books.

Having said that, the Watcher's Guides and Casefiles books are far superior to most official episode guide books so i'll no doubt pick this up to complete the series. I'd still recommend Keith Toppings Buffy and Angel episode guides (Slayer and Hollywood Vampire) over the official ones though. Much more entertaining.
For example, I found out that Lilah, Angel Investigations’ archenemy, had a baby! Unfortunately, this child did not get any nurturing from Mummy.

I think the author of that review misinterpretted the cut line from the script as I believe it was referring to Connor, who was taken to Quor-toth by Holtz the previous ep.

As for, Vol. 2, I got this just before Christmas and found it to be a lot better than the last Watchers Guide, although still not as detailed as the first Casefiles. And does anyone know if they'll bother doing a whole guide for just season five?
For anyone wanting a book on Season 5 - it's being published -seemingly in May. It's called,"Hollywood Vampire:The Apocalypse-An Official and Unauthorised Guide To the Final Season of Angel". It's written by Keith Topping who also wrote Hollywood Vampire, covering the first 2 seasons of Angel. It's a shame seasons 3 & 4 were left out of K. Toppings works. I really enjoy his books. This one is available for preorder at

[ edited by AncientMagicks on 2005-02-04 19:13 ]
Thanks for the tip, AncientMagicks. I adore Keith Topping's guides to both BtVS and Ats. His insights are clever and funny and I find them much more enjoyable than the official guides. (Although the interviews and behind-the-scenes production info in the first and second BtVS guides were great.)

Topping is also a Whedonesquer - he posted here sometime lateish last year.
I must chime in to say how much I've enjoyed "Slayer," the compilation of KT's writing on all 7 seasons of BtVS. Not sure I like the layout so much - it's divided into snippy sections for each episode, but not all of the sections are represented in each ep, so it can be a little confusing to find the one you want - and I heartily disagree with him on the relative value of a number of the eps, but none of that matters, because he writes as an extremely knowledgeable and opinionated fan. Reading his book is like engaging in a passionate and thoughtful conversation with a friend who likes Buffy as much as you do. And most important for me, it's a great blend of somewhat more profound thinking with chatty bitchy stuff.

The book is clearly slanted toward the Brit reader, with a number of cultural references that I'm not entirely sure the average non-Brit would get, but otherwise I'd urge anyone to get this. (And, no, I don't know Keith Topping, and I'm not being paid to write this . . . just really enjoyed the book.)
You're welcome phlebotinin! Apparently Great Minds do think alike!:) Keith Topping's books are enormously entertaining & informative.
SoddingNancyTribe - glad to hear your endorsement of his new Slayer book. Happily, I sould be reading it by next week. Thanks!
there's also an updated version of HV covering seasons three and four
‘ello again, gang...

AncientMagicks: There is, actually, a revised and extended version of Hollywood Vampire covering Angel’s first four seasons. It was released in January of last year and should still be available. Check out Amazon if you have any trouble finding it in your local bookstore:

phlebotinin: I lurk! Hidden, sneakily, in the deep dark shadows and then I pop my head up over the parapet if anybody makes the mistake of mentioning my name(!) See, it's all an ego thing, this writing malarkey...

... actually, if truth be told, I completely missed this thread when it first appeared; a friend of mine spotted it and said "They’re saying nice things about you over of Whedonesque again!" So, naturally, I rushed straight over.

SoddingNancyTribe: The cheque's in the post, okay. Sssssh, or they'll ALL want one.

The Complete Slayer’s layout was, pretty much, forced upon us – i.e. me and the publisher - by the sheer size of the thing. As I may have mentioned the last time I posted, it amounted to squeezing virtually all of the contents of one big and two medium sized books into one VERY big one that didn’t disintegrate on contact with a reader’s hands. A bit like trying to get three pints in a two pint pot. I think it came out okay in the end, although the editing of it was a nightmare. (You would not believe the number of mistakes that had appeared in the early editions and gone uncorrected for five years ... or, actually, perhaps you would. There were a lot, anyway.)

As to the contents ... well, they are what they are, you know? That much has never changed over six separate editions.

Mosh Pit Demon: Thank you. I try to be entertaining. It’s sometimes a difficult struggle!

Just a quick round-up on my activities for anyone who's vaguely interested: After completing The Complete Slayer – s’cuse the dreadful pun - at the back end of last year, I then, finally, saw my book on British horror movies, A Vault of Horror released (it had the gestation period of an elephant's pregnancy). That's also out and available if anyone wants to check out why Dr Terror's House of Horrors shares a place in my heart alongside Buffy and Angel.

There was also a reissue, by an American publishing company, of my long-out-of-print co-written Doctor Who book, The Discontinuity Guide. That seems to be selling quite well which isn't really a surprise as, over the years, that was the one book that people couldn't get hold of (without paying ridiculous amounts on eBay). As they always used to accost me about at conventions. Like it was my fault!

At the moment, I've just finished writing a trivia guide on the Beatles – they were a "popular beat combo" of the 1960s, you may have heard of them - for Virgin Books. (Very much a labour of love that one, it's the book I've waited 41 years to write!) That'll be called Do You Want to Know a Secret? (I pitched 'Every Little Thing', which I preferred but Virgin's marketing department seemed to think most people would believe that was something to do with the Police). I'm also just about to finish off a guide to Charmed which I'm writing for small UK publisher called Telos, with whom I've done a lot of work in the past with books on shows like Stargate and 24.

And, bringing it all vaguely back on topic, I'm also writing an Angel trivia guide with Whedonesque's own Deb Williams which we're hoping to have finished mid-March and out at the end of the summer. And, as a couple of people have mentioned, the Angel season 5 book, Hollywood Vampire: The Apocalypse will be released in April in the UK and May in the US. (No, I dunno what the delay's all about either ... I think it's probably somebody's idea of payback because we have to wait to get US telly shows broadcast over here.)

Finally, if anybody's in LA on President's Day weekend, I'm attending a Dr Who convention over there - the very legendary Gallifrey One - so, if you're around and you see me, feel free to abuse me in a populist way. I can take it!

Thanks again for all of the nice comments.

best wishes
Thank You Keith Topping! I'm off to Amazon to find that book! Can't wait for ANY new one you write!
Hey Keith, no problem at all, the compliment is well deserved. Your episode guides have given me many hours of really enjoyable reading so the least i can do is give you a little free publicity when the opportunity presents itself.

Looking forward to getting the Angel trivia book and season five guide. Can't wait to read what you thought of my personal favourite year of Angel.
I loved the first casefiles book.
I especially like things that tell you what songs were on, so I can look for those...ok ok, I'm already getting a soundtrack...but I'd still like to find what songs were used
on every episode. I shall have to look for the Topping books.
The books are nice companions to the dvds.
Mr. Topping strikes again! How pleasurable it is to read another posting by you. I'm embarrassed to say that I've never seen a Dr. Who episode but when - not if - I do, I'll be sure to get my hands on your accompanying guide. Have fun at the convention and thanks for your news on what you've been producing for our reading pleasure.
SoddingNancyTribe: The cheque's in the post, okay. Sssssh, or they'll ALL want one.

Oh thank G-d. My brain was getting tired thinking of more nice things to say . . .

Good to hear about the Beatles book, which I'll look out for. I would have gone with "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey"; no chance of that getting confused with a lyric by Sting . . .

And I'm going to be in L.A. at the time of the Gallifrey Con but, honestly, I haven't seen a Doctor Who in *years*, and have never attended a DW con - might be a bit fish-out-of-watery for me.

As always, thanks for writing, Keith (both here, and your books).
Gilmoid, please refrain from using such language like that again.
Simon | February 04, 09:49 CET

Yes, I guess I was a bit over the top, wasn't I? Sorry--it won't happen again.

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