A witty, intelligent cultural history from NPR book critic Glen Weldon explains Batman's rises and falls throughout the ages - and what his story tells us about ourselves.
Since his creation, Batman has been many things: a two-fisted detective; a planet-hopping gadabout; a campy pop-art sensation; a pointy-eared master spy; and a grim and gritty ninja of the urban night. For more than three-quarters of a century, he has cycled from a figure of darkness to one of lightness and back again; he's a bat-shaped Rorschach inkblot who takes on the various meanings our changing culture projects onto him. How we perceive Batman's character, whether he's delivering dire threats in a raspy Christian Bale growl or trading blithely homoerotic double entendres with partner Robin on the comics page, speaks to who we are and how we wish to be seen by the world. It's this endlessly mutable quality that has made him so enduring.
And it's Batman's fundamental nerdiness - his gadgets, his obsession, his oath, even his lack of superpowers - that uniquely resonates with his fans who feel a fiercely protective love for the character. Today, fueled by the Internet, that breed of passion for elements of popular culture is everywhere. Which is what makes Batman the perfect lens through which to understand geek culture, its current popularity, and its social significance.
In The Caped Crusade, with humor and insight, Glen Weldon, book critic for NPR and author of Superman: The Unauthorized Biography, lays out Batman's 78-year cultural history and shows how he has helped make us who we are today and why his legacy remains so strong.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2016 Glen Weldon (P)2016 Simon & Schuster
An entertaining, informative look at the character and the pop cultural status of Batman through his lifetime, how he interacts with the fan base and how they interact with him.
An insightful look at the development and changing of Nerd culture.
Found it really enjoyable to listen to. Glen's voices and characters provide great contrast and you can feel the warmth and love for the content and character throughout
I Loved this audio book very much and the narration in this audio book. I give it 5 Stars out of five. thank you very much for entertainment.
I've typically been a Marvel fan and didn't pay much attention to Batman, apart from the social, pop culture awareness of the movies. (I'm actually a fan of the second "bat nipple" & snow puns era with Robin, because of its ridiculousness).
With Glen's book, I feel like I've learnt something more about why the Batman character and the comics have managed to exist for so long, and begun to understand the Bat-fans a little better.
Wonderfully read, with accents both great and...unique, it made this an even more entertaining listen. Each sectioned chapter delved into specific enough detail to show the author's extensive research without making it sound like an inaccessible thesis on [insert a thing you don't understand here].
As a result of this wonderful book, i think i'm going to pop down to a comic book shop and grab some issues of Batman, and then I might even go in search of Adam West's Batman series.
Well done Glen! You've converted me.
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