I received this book a few days before it was released because of me living in the middle of nowhere, but I only started reading it a few days ago due to having shingles on my head. If you don’t know what shingles are it is a virus that you get from previously having caught chicken pox. There is no rhyme or reason as to why the virus reactivates and it is very, very painful. I’m doing much better now, but I couldn’t read for about a week due to some of the sores being on the side of my head where my glasses hit. I felt like a victim of consumption because it made me look really pale and sickly. You have to look on the bright side of things sometimes.
Anyways! This is quite different from the new John Robb book The Art Of Darkness because it has footnote references listed in the back. Personally, that doesn’t make a difference to me but I know that some people are really sticklers for such things. I am about 75% through it so far and I am having some mixed feelings about it. I am in no way saying that it is bad, because it is not. However, the way she goes about explaining things without connecting the information to the actual subculture can be a bit confusing at times. Since I am older and have been in the subculture for a few decades I know what these connections are, but anybody new reading it is going to be wondering why some of the bands are mentioned since they have no obvious connections to the subculture.
Take Lydia Lunch for example, because she is mentioned heavily in it. I have always known who she is because the alternative clubs I went to over thirty years ago used to play some footage of her, and there was a lot of talk back then about her having made a porn film with Henry Rollins in which he fists her. To this day I have no idea if that porno was real or something totally made up because it’s not something that interests me. Because of all of this I have always associated her with the punk subculture, but I can see the connection to goth since her art went down a dark path.
All in all I think it is a worthwhile book to read because there is some information in it that I have never read in other books about the subculture. Its only weakness, as I have mentioned, is the whole connecting the dots issue. Older people will get it, but some newer people will probably be left a little confused.