20th Mar2011

Book Review: Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog – The Book

by Phil Wheat

By Joss Whedon, with Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon, Zack Whedon | Published by Titan Books | Format: Paperback, 160 pages

DrHorrible_cvr

I remember being first exposed to Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog by my best friend, who one weekend proclaimed “It’s amazing! You really need to see it.” Then came the all forum posts, “It’s amazing! You really need to see it.” So I did, and indeed it was amazing, awesome in fact – and I’m not the only one that thinks so. It has won numerous awards, including an Emmy, a Hugo Award and a People’s Choice Award. Since being that fateful weekend I’ve watched the webisodes online, downloaded the soundtrack, bought the DVD, listened to “Commentary: The Musical” and now I get to read the book!

Released by Titan Books, Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog: The Book is a complete companion to the internet sensation and includes the full shooting script, a transcript of Commentary: The Musical, new material from Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion, Neil Patrick Harris, Simon Helberg and Felicia Day, and best of all – sheet music for all the songs featured in the “series,” so you too can recreate the Dr. Horrible experience at home (If you can read sheet music that is).

Now the “companion book” has long had a stigma attached in my household – many of these so-called books are nothing more than ads for the film or TV series they’re supposedly companions to. However once in a while a book comes along that grabs you by the wrist and takes you by surprise. Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog: The Book is one such book.

I was hooked from the very first page – an intro by Captain Hammer (aka actor Nathan Fillion) in which he proclaims:

People often ask me me to write the introductions to their books. They ask me to speak at their school, be the Godfather to their child, or make a spurty in their lady place.

I usually say no. Books don’t interest me, school is for sissies, and the Godfather was a bad man who did mob crime. The lady thing is okay, as long as it’s between consenting adults and no one gets hurt/slapped with a paternity suite. But to conclude this word section, books are for coffee tables.

But this book is different.

Yeah, you can see where this is going right from that intro – this isn’t some staid, by the numbers “behind the scenes” book, no sir, this is a celebration of all things Dr. Horrible.

Like the webisodes from which it is spawned, this book is a joy to read – be it the ridiculous “Horrible Haiku” by Nathan Fillion or the amazing afterword by Neil Patrick Harris in which he calls Dr. Horrible “…the best thing I’ve ever done”, you’ll definitely have a smile on your face from this book’s beginning to its very end. But besides celebrating the Dr. Horrible webisodes themselves, Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog: The Book celebrates the PHENOMENON it became and that includes saluting the fans, be it those that buy the ever-increasing amounts of merchandise, to those that put on their own productions, to the amazing reception the cast and crew received at the San Diego Comic Con.

Let’s just say that if, like me, you are a fan of Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog then Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog: The Book is an essential purchase. It is released by Titan Books on March 25th.

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