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Gothic Charm School: An Essential Guide for Goths and Those Who Love Them [Kindle Edition]

Jillian Venters
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.99
Kindle Price: $7.99
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Book Description

An essential, fully illustrated guidebook to day-to-day Goth living

There's more to being a Goth than throwing on some black velvet, dyeing your hair, and calling it a day (or a night). How do you dress with morbid flair when going to a job interview? Is there such a thing as growing too old to be a Goth? How do you explain to your grandma that it's not just a phase?

Jillian Venters, a.k.a. "the Lady of the Manners," knows how to be strange and unusual without sacrificing politeness and etiquette. In Gothic Charm School, she offers the quintessential guide to dark decorum for all those who have ever searched for beauty in dark, unexpected places, embraced their individuality, and reveled in decadence . . . and for families and friends who just don't understand.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jillian Venters was a fairly spooky and morbid child. When she discovered the existence of the whole Gothic sub-culture, she clapped her hands with glee and fell upon it like a babybat upon a box of Count Chocula cereal. Since then, the Lady of the Manners has spent a not inconsiderable amount of time trying to gently persuade others in her chosen subculture that being a polite Goth is much, much more subversive than just wearing T-shirts with "edgy" sayings on them. She lives in Seattle.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1880 KB
  • Print Length: 258 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0061669164
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; Original edition (June 6, 2009)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001NLL5ZY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #250,601 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A charming guide to alternate aesthetics June 25, 2009
By K. Reed
Format:Kindle Edition
Jillian Venters' Gothic Charm School website has for some time been offering advice, hints and tips on etiquette and lifestyle to her fellow Goths and those close to them. Always insightful, witty, and down-to-earth, she treats her correspondents with obvious respect and a healthy dose of affectionate humor.

The same respectful yet witty tone is liberally larded in this, her first volume distilling the essentials of the most common themes and topics in her advice columns. Though primarily aimed at the Dark and Spooky Crowd, most of what she presents here about dealing with a world that looks askance at those who are different will be taken to heart by anyone who is to either side of the mainstream, and her advice on manners is as applicable to snide cheerleaders as it is to gossipy Goths.

Pete Venters' droll, spot-on illustrations (in black and white, of course!) are a perfect accompaniment to the text and worth appreciating in their own right.

All in all, a very fine read, indeed.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not JUST for the Goth Crowd. June 26, 2009
While it may be aimed at Goths and those that love- or just want to understand- them, this book is a true show of why good manners are a good thing for EVERYONE. As a delighted reader of the GCS columns and a "Goth Friendly" person, I appreciate the humor and wonderful common sense (not so common anymore, really) advice Jillian has to offer. This book is a humorous and informative read!
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A first class guide June 24, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a first class guide to goth culture AND to every day etiquette. Perfect for babybats, Kindergoth, Eldergoth, and parents of well, basically any child that is strange and unusual. Jillian is humorous, thoughtful, witty, and perfect to present this essential guide. Everyone should buy this!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly prim, but elegantly proper May 14, 2010
"Nice costume! Halloween is over, freak!" How should a black-clad denizen respond? "The Lady of the Manners" explains Goths to the rest of us-- and "mundanes" to Goths. Once you wear black, should you ever talk back? Can Goths age gracefully, under umbrellas and sunscreen? How do you get makeup stains off the sink? What one-liners have Goths heard far too many times from the likes of gawkers like you?

Expanding her Gothic-Charm-[...] "gothy advice column," Venters in this spirited primer encourages: "Good manners for Goths, why you shouldn't dress like the Crow, or how, if you're going to wear whiteface, you should make sure you apply it on your damn ears and neck." (5) She emphasizes how "Goth is a subculture and (for some) a way of life, not an emotional template." (19)

This underlies her whole approach. She denies any "secret Goth cabal." She patiently relates the historical background, pop cultural contexts, snarkiness and cattiness, gossip, accoutrements, sartorial fripperies, sounds, and sights that Goths gravitate towards. She explores her subculture wittily.

She advises how Goths should act among themselves, online, at jobs, and in public. "You chose to dress that way, which means you don't get to complain about the attention your appearance garners." (186) Politeness rules, which appears to be a tricky point among an assemblage so devoted to gatekeeping, backstabbing, and mopes. A sub-heading is telling: "Why no one has an 'original' Goth look, so get over yourselves already." (199)

Her later chapters address her cohort, with plenty of detail on couture, cosmetics, and wardrobe-- not costume.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and informative all in one very cool book! June 26, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have followed The Lady of the Manners column for years. The book follows along with the humor and excellent advice that long time readers have come to expect.

The Goth subculture has sadly had it's share of unfortunate associations and misconceptions, but all of that is put to rest in this wonderful book.

Not only a great guide for Goth or would-be Goths and their friends and family but a good book of advice for someone that just wants to be a kind person without being a doormat;)

I find the book informative enough I purchased two, one from my home and one for the library I work at. Good advice and great presentation, an all around terrific book.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is great for anyone who is different June 25, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Gorgeously written and illustrated, this is a very practical and extremely entertaining book. My mother, who has always supported my very different views of life, has read this and says that everyone who is different should read it too. If you are a Goth, or if you just know someone who is - or even if you ever just wanted to know more about that Goth things any way - read this book. You will laugh and learn. And probably break down and shop too.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As charming as her School June 25, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For those of you that are familiar with the Lady of the Manners' column, the short review is that you'll love the book. You'll find classic lessons revisited, such as manners towards curious bystanders, etiquette, and the old "Why friends don't let friends dress like The Crow". I personally enjoyed her list of favorite vampire books, as she and I share the same liking for them.

For those of you who don't know Jillian Venters, she is a classy columnist and a member of the Goth community for quite some time. With this book she tries to teach the essentials of Goth to those who are not familiar with the term, as well as explaining to familiars, friends and coworkers of goths the inside of the subculture. She provides too with lists of "typically goth" music, films and books. All of it written in an informal and educative manner, while the drawings of Pete Venters provide a lovely background to the text. There is a bit of everything, from swirly bats to decorated pages' numbers, cartoons... My personal favorite was the collection of different types of goth girls (in which I saw myself depicted a couple of times!).

An essential book for those that are curious about Goth.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely
This book is amusing, love The Lady of the Manners...
I already read ost of her blog so it was a bit redundant but I like having hard copies. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Kat
5.0 out of 5 stars Certainly a must read for goths and those who love them: )
I adore this book, and could read it over and over again. Ms. Venters' delightful personality shines through every page, and you could see how much thought she put into creating... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Valerie Hidchenko
5.0 out of 5 stars Awsome
I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone curious and interested in goth to read this. Love it very much.
Published 3 months ago by ShadowLady
5.0 out of 5 stars Just, wow
It came much faster then expected!
All the way from America to Denmark, on just one week!
And also the book seems really interesing and have wise good advices.
Published 4 months ago by Mike Siri Knudsen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A very well written book!
Published 4 months ago by Ramona Munster
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book!
Published 7 months ago by Nanette Alcock
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm very pleased
I love this book. Its a very good guide for anyone who is in or learning about the goth subculture. I follow Jillian on tumblr this book has her personality all over it.
Published 9 months ago by Amanda
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
Very enlightening with a sly and humorous undertone, highly recommended for babybats and gothlings as well as their family and friends.
Published 10 months ago by tim iseri
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It had a lot of information in it and it was very witty.
Published 10 months ago by Janna Colson
5.0 out of 5 stars great book!
this book is great for anyone who is new in the goth scene. i"m pretty new myself and this has been a great read. Read more
Published 12 months ago by stephen
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Topic From this Discussion
The Lady of the Manners finally has a book to go with her website!
I am very excited as well! I have been reading her column since I found it over 2 years ago, and I can't wait to read the book as well.

June seems like a long wait now...
Dec 28, 2008 by K. Karnstein |  See all 2 posts
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