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Gothic Charm School: An Essential Guide for Goths and Those Who Love Them Paperback – June 23, 2009
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Side note, I think Jillian occasionally forgets that there are other style Goths than the Victorian wing and it might alienate some babybats who are growing into a different wing of Goth. A lot of the fashion advice is Victorian related. However, maybe we can't blame her for that, since it IS HER style. PERSONALLY, my experience was a 3 star experience, with MY SITUATION. However, I think for younger Goths poking around in the dark, this would be a 5 star read for both them and their parents.
If I see some floundering babybat, I'll probably give my copy away to them. Won't do much good teaching a black bookshelf how to be respectful.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The perfect parent handbook for anybody who has a gothchild !!! It's also a good gift for anybody that doesn't understand your gothness lol.Published 2 months ago by Heather Jones
Gothic Charm School by Jillian Venters is a collection of the amassed wisdom of the type that she dispenses on her blog, decorated with lovely illustrations by her husband. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Julia O'Connell
Great Book!! A must-have for any Goth or Dark Person like myself. The Lady of Manners (Jillian Venters) definitely knows what she is talking about. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Lucas Newland
Perfect gift for a person into the Goth subculture. Jillian Venters is a very wise woman.Published 4 months ago by MaryAnn Johnson
This is a great book for anyone who wants to know more about what goth is. at the time of writing this review, I have not finished reading it, but it is most certainly an excellent... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Agros Headhunter
One of my favorite books! Explains what being Goth is all about in simple, non-offensive, non-frightening language. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Liz Alexander
As someone who's been part of the gothic subculture for about 12 years now, I found this book absolutely amazing! Read morePublished 11 months ago by gabi