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Neptune Noir: Unauthorized Investigations Into Veronica Mars (Smart Pop)

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  787 ratings  ·  93 reviews

More than just a high school drama, OC Veronica MarsOCO is a smart and savvy teen detective show that offers complex mysteries and rapier wit, engaging social commentary, and noir sensibilitiesOCowith the occasional murder thrown in for good measure. This collection, edited by the creator and executive producer of the show, offers supreme insight into the class struggles a
ebook, 224 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Smart Pop (first published April 10th 2007)
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As with all the Smart Pop series, the word "unauthorized" is displayed twice prominently on the front cover and again on the spine, but make no mistake: show creator (and frequent episode writer) Rob Thomas edited this collection of essays, penned the opening piece, and provided a half- to one-page response to each chapter. The CW owns the show, but Thomas was its heart and soul, so this is as authorized as most fans care about.

If you haven't seen the show, a few of these essays will seem pointl
Sean Kennedy
This is a must for any Veronica fan as there is so little merchandise out there, and although this is stamped with "unauthorised' over the cover about three times (probably to appease the CW lawyers) Rob Thomas has compiled and bookended the essays within.

It proves for some interesting reading, although the quality of each contribution varies. There is one particularly embarrassing ode to the 'love' of Veronica and Logan which sounds like it was written by a Buffy/Spike fan, so blind are they to
Mae M.
May 16, 2008 Mae M. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: VM Fans
I found the introduction and notes from Rob Thomas more interesting than the actual essays in most cases, although that could be because I was expecting a more critical, analytical look at the show and characters. That said, I thought "Daddy's Girl" and "I Cannot Tell A Lie..." were the particularly interesting. "Daddy's Girl" analyzes the relationship between Veronica and Keith, focusing on the way it changes from season one to season two. "I Cannot Tell A Lie..." illustrates the various ways t ...more
Mon avis en Français

My English review

I confess that when I saw the book, I immediately thought that I could find stories of Veronica Mars but in written form. Yes because younger I took a great pleasure in following this series and I was very sad when it was stopped, leaving us full of questions. With the release of the movie, the appeal of the show came back and it is true that I was curious about this novel too. Yet it was not at all what I expected. I expected as I said before some nice shor
Feb 14, 2008 Gwen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Veronica Mars fans; Pop-culture junkies
Shelves: collections, film
As far as pseudo/pop-academic books go, this was more pseudo than I thought it would be. The first chapter read more like a blog than an essay, with parenthetical asides every few sentences (as it turns out, the writer is also a blogger, hmm). Once I got over that things improved vastly. The chapter topics were varied and at times intricate. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on cars as extensions of a character's personality. Since my personal tastes lean more towards academia than totally pop, ...more
Joy Urban
You know how when you have to read an academic paper on something you REALLY don't care about, it just drags?
But when you get to read a paper on something you really, REALLY enjoy, you feel so much smarter after reading it and it gives you an entire new perspective on what you love? Drawing parallels, noticing themes, etc. Well that's how this collection goes.
It's "Unauthorized" so far as the CW, who owns the rights to VMARS, did not authorize, but Rob Thomas does the foreword and has commentar
Spoiler free.

I'm not really sure what to rate this collection of essays because each of the essays offers a different perspective and opinion about Veronica Mars. After reading all of the essays I found that while most of the essays had interesting points that I never thought of there were only a few that I really and truly liked. I rated the collection a 4 stars simply because the essays that I did like were fantastic and had me obsessing over them to everyone I know who liked Veronica Mars.

Read: March 2014
Where It Came From: Digital review copy from publisher via NetGalley*
Genre: Academic-ish-pop-culture-essay-collection
Rating: 2.5 Marshmallows

Because I was so excited for the impending release of the Veronica Mars movie, when I saw Neptune Noir on NetGalley I immediately snatched it up. Maybe you’ve seen examples of this genre before in your trawlings around Amazon, and already know about the existence of books dedicated to essays analyzing aspects of pop cultural institutions, us
I went into Veronica Mars pretty late (in fact it was around the time the movie was going to release) and as a person who isn't living remotely close America, I never paid much attention to 'teen drama' aspect of the show. I had seen other teen drama shows that were shallow and they seemed completely unreal. I treated Veronica Mars as a detective show in which the characters had their own traumatic back stories which, in turn, aided the plot somehow.

But as I went further into the episodes, the c
Fair warning - this was written before season 3 aired. And way before the movie. That being said I enjoyed almost every single entry. The 5th star, I will say, is for Boom Goes the Dynamite by Misty Hook. That one is for all of us LoVe fans out there!
This is a collection of essays analyzing various aspects of Veronica Mars, a television show that ran from 2004 to 2007.

I really enjoyed these essays. As a marshmallow (Veronica Mars fan), it was a lot of fun to revisit one of my favorite tv shows. It really makes me want rewatch the whole series. It was very interesting to read critical essays about the show and it made me think about it in a new light. I think any fan of the show will get a kick out of this book. I also liked that each essay w
Maggie Gordon
Cross-posted at:

Synopsis and Background

Before I can talk about the book, I have to talk about a TV show: Veronica Mars. Long story short, go watch it. Go watch it right now! I am not generally a TV person, but Veronica Mars is one of my absolute favourite stories. It’s a noir mystery series with a spunky teenage girl as the protagonist. It’s dark, morally challenging, and has a complex and imperfect female main character that drives the show forward. The
Pretty much required reading for any V-Mars fan. I read it in an entire weekend, which probably isn't advised; I had all the first two season's plots swimming in my head for a week.
The "Smart Pop" series compiles essays on TV shows written by fans that either analyze it to death, give it a historical context, or view it from a certain scholarly lens.
My favorite essays included:
- Geoffrey Klock's breakdown of the first season finale's story structure (which reminded me to read some Robert McKe
My family has a saying - "You can either analyze it or enjoy it." I enjoyed all three seasons of Veronica Mars very much, so I figured that I'd also enjoy a collection of essays about it as well. Um...well... They weren't bad essays - but if you haven't seen the show and still plan on watching it, A) what are you waiting for? and B) this is not the book for you (lots of spoilers). There was a lot of repetition in the essays (i.e. citing the same parts of the same episodes to make the same points ...more
Apr 14, 2008 Jenn rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Veronica Mars fans
I never knew that there is a genre out there that consists of books devoted to television shows. I suppose it makes sense that they are out there, but this is my first experience. If you are a Veronica Mars fan who cannot deal with the fact that the show is over, you might enjoy this book. I didn't love every essay, but there were several that I found very insightful or at least funny. It was comforting for me to find that there are other adults (and highly educated ones at that) who are as obse ...more
Meh...not really what I wanted. Veronica Mars is an amazing show that I binge watch every now and then, and reading about the symbolism and character studies as perceived by hoity toities made me a little annoyed. Veronica is more popcorn and Blow Pops, not crudités and wine spritzers. I would have rather had a book that was all "Oh my god, remember when X happened in that one episode, what was she THINKING?" than scholarly opinions.
Neptune Noir is unauthorized! It says so, on the cover! Twice! Yet the book features both a foreword and running commentary from Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas, so it must be the network suits who didn't give their explicit thumbs-up on this collection of essays. Anyway, that's neither here nor there.

I think I would have liked this book more if it hadn't opened with a piece that read like a late-night ode to a favorite TV show, intended for a personal blog and not a collective print publicatio
Veronica Mars is one of my favorite TV shows ever. When I heard about this book, I immediately bought it.

The essays were written after the first two season, which I thought were definitely better than the third. They contain many spoilers, so you need to have watched the show first.

By the end, I was feeling like I'd read the same things over and over. However, there were some really great essays (the ones about Logan & Veronica, cars in the series, and noir v. camp) and I'm feeling like I
Kate O'Hanlon
If you're writing an essay about a cult tv show in a (presumably) low paid, low prestige, unauthorized collection it can probably be assumed that you're a fan of said tv show. It's baffling, not to mention irritating, how many of these essays open with a few paragraphs that can be summed up as 'ZOMG, I love Veronica Mars! Squee!!'

Why do I continue to waste my Sunday afternoons on bottom of the barrel pop-culture studies? I'm not sure there's a better answer than, what else would I do on a Sunday
I absolutely loved this book. This collection of essays becomes a cut above some other pop culture works because of the involvement of "Veronica Mars" creator and writer Rob Thomas. His introductions to each essay as well as the occassional "Editor's note" footnote within a few essays provides even more insight into the writer's intentions and his reactions to viewer's reactions. The subjects within the essays are diverse - from the EPICness of Logan/Veronica (by a psychologist) to Conversatism ...more
It was a very clinical view of the V. Mars world. Several writers had critiqued the first 2 seasons on: Film Noir, Demographics, Racism, Sexism, Familial Psychology, Abuse, etc. I enjoyed the excerpts by Creator Rob Thomas and how he was honored to have so many people follow his work and enjoy the world of Neptune to it's fullest potential with a cynical eye.
Dec 10, 2007 Lost_Clown rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Veronica Mars, smart pop fans
I loved reading this, and it made me very enthusiastic to watch the series again (as I was finishing this book Season 3 arrived).

I had a problem with the last essay where the author compares the pain she felt upon her first break-up with the pain Veronica felt after being raped. I work at a sexual assault hotline, and even if I didn't, I can tell you that NO break-up, no matter how devastating is as bad as being raped. There is absolutely no comparison and the author is very deluded to think tha
Linzi Laufenberg
Meh. I usually love detailed looks at pop culture i love. Unfortunately these essays get a little repetitive and several feel like duplicates of each other even though they are written by different people. Overall it was moderately engaging, if not just too long.
Veronica Mars, was a witty, dark, "teen noir" drama that ran for only three seasons (two of them brilliant, one, less so). I was hooked from episode one. Veronica was broken-hearted, smart, and snarky, navigating high school as an outcast, but without a shadow of self-pity. The show often reminded me of a book I couldn't put down--turns out that Rob Thomas, the show's creator, has also written YA novels, and seems to know a thing or two about character development while advancing a long story ar ...more
Neptune noir

Good opinions on a great television show. Loved Veronica Mars when it was on and this book took me back. Have to return to the series on Netflix.
This book contained a lot of new ideas about the impact and the importance that Veronica Mars has as a character and as a TV show. I thought it was a really great read.
Heather Browning
Fun and easy reading - the short essays allowed me to just pick it up whenever I had a small amount of free time. I didn't feel like there was anything groundbreaking in any of them, although there were a few lenses I'd never tried out before when thinking about Veronica Mars. It was definitely a shame that none of them were able to incorporate the season 3 material, as I think analyses on the show in it's entirety would have been useful. In particular, I liked Rob Thomas' comments in the essays ...more
Nov 17, 2011 Ms.Kim rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Veronica Mars fans, media studies
I read this book after I watched the Veronica Mars series. I was so sad that it ended so abruptly, and I wanted to find anything that would enable me to continue thinking about the themes, issues, and especially the characters I felt like I knew.

It was cool to read these varied essays - some were more academic than others - written by intelligent people who were as intrigued and moved by Veronica Mars (the character as well as the show at large).

Honestly it's been a while since I read it so I
Daniel Bayes
Definitely not what I expected. It definitely had the potential to kill my passion for the series, but the majority of the essays were entertaining, informative beyond my own viewing of the show (which is somewhere over 6 times as a whole), with just a few annoyingly over- or under- thought out. It was perhaps the perfect distraction to get me another few days closer to the movie's release. Now what to do about the next six weeks...
I'm usually quite fond of books like this one - ones that take an element of pop culture and put an intellectual spin on them. Usually, part of why I like these sorts of books is that they present intellectual stuff in a relaxed, easily-approachable way. Neptune Noir, unfortunately, doesn't do that.

Instead, it has a collection of articles analyzing elements of the show itself, but for the most part bereft of any larger context. While they do offer some insight into the show, and make you rethink
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Robert James "Rob" Thomas is an American author, producer, and screenwriter, best known as the author of the 1996 novel Rats Saw God, creator of the critically acclaimed television series Veronica Mars and co-creator of 90210 and Party Down.
More about Rob Thomas...

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“We certainly strive for reality in terms of asking our audience to believe the motivations, reactions, and behavior of our characters, but do I know when Veronica has time to do her homework? Not really.” 1 likes
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