Fledgling First Book on “Chuck” Begins to Take Flight

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Fans may well have wondered from time to time why no book has been written about a show as popular and beloved as “Chuck”.   Well, the drought finally came to an end this summer with the appearance of Unpacking “Chuck”: The Television Series Interpreted, written by G. Walter Bush. A kindle book available on Amazon, Unpacking “Chuck” is a 180-page literary analysis of the show, and the early returns are encouraging.

In the U.S., the ebook (which can be downloaded to a phone, computer, or kindle with a free app) entered the rolling top 100 of Amazon’s Television: Guides & Reviews kindle category (out of 591 titles) by the end of its first month. Since then then it has made multiple appearances in the top ten, reaching as high as #3 in September. Unpacking “Chuck” has also reached an international audience, recording sustained sales on the Amazon site in the United Kingdom starting in August, followed by additional sales in Canada, Germany, and Australia in September.

Ironically, Bush, like many recently introduced to the show, watched his first episode of the series on Netflix, long after it ended its run on NBC. However, without his teenage son, who binge-watched the series over Christmas Break, the book would never have been written. While dropping in to see what he was watching from time to time, the author absorbed fragments from Season 1 and became intrigued.  “While it was certainly entertaining,” he explains, “I actually saw some things going on at a deeper level. I soon recognized it wasn’t a typical TV show.” Aside from recognizing the unique blend of comedy, drama,  espionage,  romance and music, the veteran Southern California high school English teacher and occasional college adjunct professor noted how the music, lyrics and cinematography worked together with the script and acting performances to create an audio-visual text of substance and complexity.  That’s when he decided to sit down and watch the show starting from the pilot.

Bush was impressed with what he saw, noting, “The subtle controlling metaphors and visual imagery in the subtext figured the surface themes and character development. Details mattered.”  The deeper he looked, the more subtle but vital links he discovered, a process reminding him of the research he conducted for his UC Irvine master’s thesis analyzing Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner”.  And when checking his insights against blogs and reviews online, he didn’t find others talking about what he was seeing in his research. He discovered there were no books on the topic either.

As a result, he decided to write one, creating a 20-chapter collection of critical readings that focuses on dramatic elements from all five seasons. Though half of the final product—completed six months later– is Chuck and Sarah-centric, the other half emphasizes other characters and storylines.

Bush sees the early success of the book as revealing something unique about the show and its fans, especially since the book didn’t appear until more than two years after the last broadcast of “Chuck”. “Most ‘Chuck’ fans that I have met remain committed to the show and seem hungry to relive, ponder and embrace something fresh about the show. They want to continue the conversation.”

Indeed, what gives the author of Unpacking “Chuck” the most satisfaction is letters from die-hard viewers like one he received from an original “Chuck” fan who began watching during Season 1 and still regularly re-watches episodes on DVD.  After confessing his initial reluctance to read the book because he didn’t want to risk ruining his enjoyment of it, the writer proceeded to instead thank Bush for enriching it by helping him to see the subtle clues embedded in the show.  In fact, the analysis of the series finale actually helped put the fan’s heart and mind at ease about Chuck and Sarah’s future. Bush takes such responses as the ultimate compliment, conceding, “When a ‘Chuck’ pioneer gives you that kind of feedback, it doesn’t get any better than that.”

Unpacking “Chuck”: The TV Series Interpreted Kindle Edition is available on Amazon here for $9.99.


    10 Comments

  1. timtim081October 13th, 2014 at 9:52 am

    any ideas if there will be a book book, for those of us who dont have kindles ?

  2. bill norrisOctober 13th, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Physical copies need to be made!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. LaisOctober 13th, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Could be this the first step to a movie? I really hope so

  4. Jeffrey ScottOctober 13th, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    What about copies for nooks??

  5. G. Walter BushOctober 13th, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Thanks to all the “Chuck” fans who helped Unpacking “Chuck” become the #1 best seller on Amazon in the kindle books Television: Guides and Reviews category today. And this response has me thinking about pursuing a softcover edition in time for the holiday season. ;o)

  6. Brooklyn ClarkOctober 13th, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    PLEASE MAKE A REAL BOOK!!!

  7. Ronnie NewmanOctober 14th, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    I really want to get this! However, I don’t have a Kindle. Please publish this into a real book. I’m a huge fan of Chuck and I need this! I need to know what others see that I might have missed. I need more Chuck!!!

  8. KellaOctober 14th, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    If you have a Nook, it’s an Android-based OS, so you should be able to download the Kindle app from the Google Play store. (At least, I did.) Then wham-bam, import yer books, ma’am (or sir. We don’t discriminate.)

    In other news: YAY! A Chuck analysis book! Saving my Paypal balance…

  9. debbiewomanOctober 15th, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    please make into a book , perfect gift for my daughter !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. melissaDecember 27th, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    I apologize if links are not allowed in comments, but Amazon has paperback versions of this book and I’ve just seen on the author’s facebook page that a sequel is in the works! I’m only on chapter 4 of the book(a Christmas present) but I am REALLY enjoying all of the subconscious context from the series. I can’t wait for the companion book!
    http://www.amazon.com/Unpacking-Chuck-Interpreted-Walter-Bush/dp/1502869845/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419718562&sr=1-1&keywords=unpacking+chuck

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