- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Plexus Publishing (August 31, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0859653080
- ISBN-13: 978-0859653084
- Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.6 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,782,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Goth Chic: A Connoisseur's Guide to Dark Culture Paperback – August 31, 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
The author makes it known from the beginning that Goth is a very difficult thing to nail down. Is it Specimen/Batcave Bauhaus/art-rock Sisters Of Mercy/dark rock subculture? An extension of punk? Where do Industrial crossovers and bands like Dead Can Dance fit in? So he decides to roll the dice and talk about as much that has been touched by a "Gothic" aesthetic as possible, and that includes black metal (Cradle of Filth), industrial (Nine Inch Nails), and some silly Spanish band called Gothic Sex whose lead singer you have to see to believe. There's also quite a bit of backstory, so you get details about Byron, Baudelaire, expressionist horror film, EC comics, etc.
Therefore, the book doesn't just talk about Goth (however you interpret it - you being a Bauhaus purist, or Sunshine Blind fan) - it also talks about Black Metal, Death Rock, Horror Films, EC Comics, BDSM, vampire wannabees, etc. and in true liberal arts fashion traces the undercurrents, commonalities, and divergences that separate the different threads that have descended from the Byrons, Baudelaires, Decadents and Romantics that got the dark ball rolling in the first place(so for those of you thinking "Goth" started with Marilyn Manson, you're wrong on two counts... the first being what I just mentioned, the second being that Marilyn Manson is NOT Goth but a HEAVY METAL ARTIST and ALICE COOPER RIPOFF and thankfully, this book gets that right.)
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I would recommend this book strongly to goths who want to know more about the origins and history of their subculture, and to discover some cinematic, musical, and literary treasures that they may not have encountered before. It could also be useful to an outsider who is curious about the subculture. It doesn't try to prettify things, or pull any punches, but it is also refreshingly free of sensationalism or demonization. The result is a reasonably unbiased picture.
This book contains a lot of fascinating information about the origins of the goth aesthetic, it's relationship to punk, literary sources, ties to the fetish scene, etc. It also contains profiles of some important bands and literary figures.
However, not too much time is spent on any one profile/overview- if you want in depth, detailed information, look elsewhere. It's better for figuring out what you want to research or go find for yourself. It also doesn't get much into the psychology or sociology of goth culture. This is a fairly light non-academic read. It also contains a number of black and white photos, some of which are very nice eye candy.
This is a first class piece of research, and while I am primarily interested in the musical side of Goth, it was also fascinating to read Gavin's insights into Gothic influences in art, theatre and film.
This is so comprehensive that few people should be able to say, "Oi, you forgot to mention..." The Hunger? It's in here. Bauhaus? Yep, a no-brainer. Gavin encompasses even fringe bands and artists, such as camp Cabaret-style vamps such as Marc Almond, punkish Adam Ant (pre and post transition to the Dandy Highwayman) and The Cure, who in my opinion mainly qualify because of Robert's time with Siouxsie. At the other end of Fringe, GB also includes Black Metal/Goth band Cradle Of Filth, whose Her Ghost In The Fog video is a must-see.
This modern Goth/Pop Culture classic mentions literally all of my favourite bands, ranging from Bauhaus and Type O Negative, to more melodic Goth acts such as The Mission (UK), Switchblade Symphony (you HAVE to hear Serpentine Gallery), the impossibly beautiful Katharine Blake's Miranda Sex Garden and The Shroud.
This masterpiece is also packed with excellent photographs, many of which I have never seen before. I simply cannot fault it.
I found it amusing and enlightening that so many writers and musicians interviewed in this book who are labeled gothic reject the label; bad news for them, the instinct of the genuine goth is rejection of labels, especially as a goth. My experience is that anyone who calls themself a goth, is not. The essence of goth is to be an outcast, a loner, an individualist and the last thing such a person is going to do is identify themselves with a group.
I found the most interesting parts of this book had to do with early horror films, most of this was material I was unfamiliar with. The weakest part of the book is due to the fact that popular taste in goth music changes so often that there is little mention of the musicians who currently dominate clubs.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Almost exclusively about gothic culture in movies and art. Title is misleading. Dissapointing.Published 20 months ago by buen chapin
I plan events and due to my daughter's recent announcement of a Gothic Wedding.....I am now planning events on the darker side. This has a whole new and very exciting future. Read morePublished on September 4, 2009 by K. Wood
This book is a detailed review of the history of "Goth" up until about 2002. There is a lot of information presented from a variety of sources but, despite the subject matter, it... Read morePublished on April 3, 2009 by Sleepy
If this book claims that Johnny Depp is the best goth actor ever and has outdone all the other actors as the ultimate goth icon, it should at least include a photo of him. Read morePublished on January 22, 2009 by Nan Lewin
I have read thousands on books on gothic subculture, this is one of my favorites. It's really well divided and little for everyone. Read morePublished on December 5, 2008 by Humberto Luminati
So imagine you are at this party and you meet this chatty guy who can talk with you about anything. He has met nearly everyone. Read morePublished on September 6, 2008 by tamiii
Goth Chic is a classic, one of the oldest and still the best detailed history of Goth and its Gothic elements from centuries ago. Read morePublished on December 24, 2007 by Corvis Nocturnum
When I first heard about this book, I thought it would be extremely patronizing, or a puff-piece at best. Read morePublished on January 28, 2007 by Derek Tatum