The Essential Supernatural REVIEW

The Essential Supernatural book review: The word on the Winchesters

If staring at sexy ol’ Sam and Dean is a key part of Supernatural ’s appeal for you, then this lavish, hardback visual guide is a perfect coffee table read, because it’s brimming with pictures of the brothers Winchester. There are so many pictures some have been printed on postcards and stuck in, along with all the usual trinkets you’d expect from a “vault” type book, such as an Impala air freshner, road maps, stickers and posters of Chuck Shurley’s Supernatural book covers.

They’re nice enough bonuses, but don’t buy this expecting a collection of knick-knacks. The real meat and potatoes are the pictures: production stills, promotional images, behind-the-scenes snaps and concept sketches. Visually, it’s a treat.

The words can’t quite live up to this eye candy. Across 192 pages there’s plenty of insight from the stars and creators, but too much of the book is devoted to dull synopses. Too often there’s a sense that words are simply being used to fill the gaps between the pictures.

When Nicholas Knight deviates from these dry season guides, the book comes alive. Along with a sweet foreword from the show’s creator, Eric Kripke, there are (spoilery) sections of varying length dedicated to almost every important side character in the show’s first seven seasons, the Impala, the demon hierarchy, the visual effects, even the production design of the motels. It would be an ideal read at half the length – but then where would all the pretty pictures go?

Jordan Farley

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