BOOK REVIEW: THE SIMPSONS FAMILY HISTORY / AUTHOR: MATT GROENING / PUBLISHER: HARRY N ABRAMS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Matt Groening has produced a hefty tome with The Simpsons Family History; a book destined to grace the coffee tables of many a fan of the show come Christmas morning. It’s a 300-page epic keen to tell you that the show is now 25 years old and that this is a celebration of television’s favourite family.
This book takes material from numerous episodes and re-orders them into a chronology; this of course does rather highlight the ‘Simpsons Dating Conundrum’ in that the show is always set in the present, yet has run for more than two decades. As the characters (poor Maggie included) don’t age beyond the odd birthday / Christmas (and rather a lot of Halloweens) the exact period in history of any event becomes rather haphazard.
The Simpsons Family History ignores all this and, instead, shows us the birth of Homer, his mother, meeting Marge (several times) and their courtship. The book then races through past Homer’s jobs, the births of Bart, Lisa and Maggie, and not a lot else. This is the weakness; there is no actual substance to this book, nothing added to your appreciation of the show.
Ultimately, any Simpsons fan will get some entertainment by dipping into this book and be reminded of many of the shows stories, but that will quickly wear thin. Given the level of re-runs available on the small screen it is not likely that many will read it cover to cover or return to it once the first wave of interest has washed over them.
This is destined to be opened on Christmas Day, browsed on Boxing Day, but by Twelfth Night put away on a shelf and forgotten until the space is needed for something else. This is really only for serious fans of the show with space on their shelves.