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The Simpsons

An Uncensored, Unauthorized History

Regular price $17.95 CAD
  • ISBN: 9781553657965
  • Tags: Douglas Coupland, John Ortved,
  • Dimensions: 6 x 9
  • Published On: 10/18/2010
  • 352 Pages

The story of TV's longest-running sitcom and the characters who created it, marking twenty years on the air.


"The Simpsons" will celebrate its twentieth anniversary this fall. No other TV show has had the enduring popularity or cultural influence that The Simpsons has. When it premiered in 1989, the enthusiastic reaction to its subversive humor was instantaneous. It is one of the most astounding successes in TV history. John Ortved's unauthorized history-the first ever to look behind the scenes of this pop culture phenomenon-tells how the series grew from a controversial cult favourite to a mainstream powerhouse thanks to a group of intense, thoughtful, and creative people who came together to make something unique in the history of American culture. The writers, animators, producers, and network executives-as much a dysfunctional but loving family as the show's stars themselves-are all here. It's an intriguing yet hilarious tale full of betrayal, ambition, and love. More than an amusing narrative of the making of The Simpsons, this is an intimate look at the characters behind this cultural juggernaut-their creativity, intelligence, hubris, ego, and passion. The result is a book that is as amusing, dramatic, and compelling as the show itself. Also available in hardcover.

John Ortved grew up in Toronto and studied at McGill University. His work has appeared in New York Magazine, Interview, Vice, The New York Observer, and Vanity Fair, where he works as an editorial associate. He lives in New York City and Toronto.

Douglas Coupland is a Canadian novelist, visual artist, and designer. He has published thirteen novels, a collection of short stories, seven nonfiction books, and a number of dramatic works and screenplays for film and television. Coupland’s novels and visual work synthesize high and low culture, web technology, religion, and changes in human existence caused by modern technologies.


"The book is at its strongest with off-centre stories . . . It's a Simpsons history almost as odd as the show itself." -Maclean's

"There are tales of animation deals gone sour, personality clashes that have turned into decades-long grudge - it seems like everyone interviewed knows of someone who got less than he deserved. (Or, in the case of Groening, much, much more.)" -City News

"Ortved managed to finagle interviews with some of the show's most prominent writers, producers, voice actors and guest stars, including Conan O'Brien, Hank Azaria and Ricky Gervais. He even nabbed an interview with Fox boss Rupert Murdoch, who laughed off the protests of his producers. For hardcore Simpsons devotees, some of the information unearthed in Ortved's book might be as intoxicating as a few cans of Duff or as sweet as an all-syrup Squishee." -Hamilton Spectator

"In explaining why he structured his book as an oral history, compiled from both original interviews and excerpts from old ones, Ortved says that his approach is all the more logical because of 'the lack of cooperation from Jim Brooks and the current Simpsons staff.' The subtext in this line is clear: if you want to find the dirt they - i.e., executive producer Brooks, creator Matt Groening, and the voices of the Simpsons themselves - don' t want you to know, you've come to the right place." -See Magazine