Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Audiobook Review: The Office (The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s) by Andy Greene


The untold stories behind The Office, one of the most iconic television shows of the twenty-first century, told by its creators, writers, and actors


When did you last hang out with Jim, Pam, Dwight, Michael, and the rest of Dunder Mifflin? It might have been back in 2013, when the series finale aired . . . or it might have been last night, when you watched three episodes in a row. But either way, fifteen years after the show first aired, it's more popular than ever, and fans have only one problem--what to watch, or read, next.

Fortunately, Rolling Stone writer Andy Greene has that answer. In his brand-new oral history, The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s, Greene will take readers behind the scenes of their favorite moments and characters. Greene gives us the true inside story behind the entire show, from its origins on the BBC through its impressive nine-season run in America, with in-depth research and exclusive interviews. Fans will get the inside scoop on key episodes from "The Dundies" to "Threat Level Midnight" and "Goodbye, Michael," including behind-the-scenes details like the battle to keep it on the air when NBC wanted to pull the plug after just six episodes and the failed attempt to bring in James Gandolfini as the new boss after Steve Carell left, spotlighting the incredible, genre-redefining show created by the family-like team, who together took a quirky British import with dicey prospects and turned it into a primetime giant with true historical and cultural significance.



Review: I am a massive fan of The Office (both the UK and the US versions) and so when I was offered the chance to review this book I jumped at it. It kind of ended up being a book of two halves for me though, not the first half and the second half, but the actual content of the book and the audio recording. 

Lets deal with the content of the book. I can safely say that this is a must have for every fan of the office, even the most casual fans. The information it contains is factual and anecdotal and comes from both the writer and interviews with the cast the crew, the writers, basically anyone connected to either the show or the setting. If you are a fan of The Office Ladies podcast, you will have heard some of these earlier facts and stories on their show but there are a lot of facts and figures in here about all of the series as well as information and jokes about how the show was conceived, especially concerning show creator and legend Greg Daniels. So the content in a definite recommend from me. 

I really don't recommend you do the audiobook of this one though. This is a full cast audiobook so they have different people voice the different interviewees when they are telling their stories, the main narrator is simply there to facilitate the segues between the various interviews and change chapter and topic. However these voice actors just play the part of the people being interviewed, Steve Carell isn't voiced by Steve Carell, Greg Daniels isn't voiced by Greg Daniels and so here is where my issue lies. These actors were kind of playing the part of the people they were voicing and some of the voices came off a seriously racist. Essentially if any of the people they were voicing were non-white, the voice used was a caricature of that person and their race as a whole and I found this very off putting. 

Speaking of racism, when this book is talking about the episode Diversity Day, they mention the character Michael Scott getting in trouble for doing a Chris Rock impersonation and using the N word. Only they don't say 'The N Word' they actually use the word, they use the word several times, many more times than I feel was necessary.  

So for me, I really enjoyed the content of this book but it was spoiled by the poor audio recording and the fact that parts of the books actually come off as really racist. Get an ebook or physical copy of this one and ignore the chapter where diversity day is explored, listen to The Office Ladies podcast episode of this one instead. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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